"He's an all-round guy. You look at his competitiveness. You can't really single out one thing he's better at than others. He's a great player on both sides of the puck -- scores big goals, fights, leads his team by the way he plays and the way he works. Lot of qualities I think I have as a player. You think you can test yourself and find what you really have when you play against a player like that."
-- Jonathan Toews on Mike Richards
Spending time together during the summer is nothing new for Flyers captain Mike Richards
and Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews
However, this summer was a bit different after all the time the pair spent on the ice together during the Stanley Cup Final. After six grueling games, the series ended with Toews hoisting the Stanley Cup on Richards' home ice in Philadelphia.
The teams will meet Saturday, Jan. 23 in Chicago (12:30 p.m., NBC, NHLN-CA, RIS) for the first time since then. But it certainly won't be the first time Richards and Toews have seen each other. Their relationship goes all the way back to their youth hockey days, when they played on opposing teams in Winnipeg-area youth leagues.
Playing in the Winnipeg area as a youngster was common for Richards, who grew up three hours west of the city in Kenora, Ont. As each grew into a young hockey star -- Richards with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League, Toews at the University of North Dakota -- they would see each other during summer hockey in Winnipeg.