The Columbus Blue Jackets signed head coach Todd Richards to a two-year contract extension on Monday, May 14, 2012. Richards, who replaced Scott Arniel on an interim basis Jan. 9, inherited a team that was 11-25-5, but guided them to an 18-21-2 finish.
Prior to his stint in Columbus, Richards was head coach of the Minnesota Wild from 2009-2011. Richards compiled a 77-71-16 record while at the helm in Minnesota.
Richards served as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks in 2008-09 when the club compiled an NHL-best 53-18-11 record. Prior to that, Richards spent two seasons as the head coach of the American Hockey League's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins from 2006-08, compiling a 98-49-13 record and leading the club to the 2008 Calder Cup Final. He also coached the PlanetUSA squad at the 2007 Rbk Hockey/AHL All-Star Classic in Toronto.
Professional coaching began for Richards when he was the head coach of the American Hockey League's Milwaukee Admirals from 2002-06, helping the club to a pair of West Division titles, two appearances in the Calder Cup Final and the 2004 Calder Cup championship.
Richards played four seasons at the University of Minnesota from 1985-89. He was a three-time WCHA Second All-Star Team pick, helping the Golden Gophers win two Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) titles in 1988 and 1989 and reach the NCAA title game in 1989. He served as the team's captain and earned Second Team All-America honors as a senior. He is the University of Minnesota's all-time leading scorer among defensemen with 30-128-158.
Montreal's third pick, 33rd overall, in the 1985 Entry Draft, Richards made his professional debut in 1990 and appeared in eight career NHL games with the Hartford Whalers between 1990-92, collecting four assists and four penalty minutes. His playing career would span 13 seasons, mostly in the AHL and International Hockey League. He helped Springfield win the 1991 Calder Cup championship, was a three-time IHL All-Star and won the 2001 Turner Cup title with the Orlando Solar Bears. He wrapped up his career in 2001-02 with Servette Geneve in Switzerland.
Richards was born on Oct. 20, 1966 in Robindale, Minnesota. He and his wife, Maryann, are the parents of sons, Zachary and Justin.