Newly-signed Blackhawks center Brad Richards participated in a call with the media to discuss his signing with Chicago, his thoughts on his new teammates and more.
On joining the Blackhawks: "It’s an exciting day for me and my family: getting a chance to go to another Original Six team and an amazing sports town in Chicago. It took a lot of work with Stan Bowman making it [happen], with the salary cap structure. When we started talking, it was an unbelievable opportunity to think about joining such a talented, great young group. I’ve heard amazing things about the staff; I know what they’ve done over the past five years and it starts with the top from Rocky Wirtz and John McDonough. I’ve heard amazing things about how they run the organization. Obviously Stan and I have talked a lot the past few days through my agent and with Stan and Joel [Quenneville]. I couldn’t be happier to start this new adventure."
On the signing process: "I got a call from my agent Sunday saying that Stan had reached out to him in person at the draft. To be honest, I didn’t have much of a plan going into free agency; it was kind of 'wait-and-see' because I knew that my situation was flexible depending on what arose. When he mentioned Chicago I was very interested. I knew full well what the challenges to get a contract would be with the salary cap, but when I talked to Stan and Joel in a conference call last night, it made me feel even more excited about trying to figure this out. When I woke up today I left it up to Stan and my agent to try to figure out how all that works with the cap and they did. It’s an amazing opportunity for me."
On playing with talented players like Toews and Kane: "When you look at the opportunity to play here it’s pretty exciting because you know if you’re playing center on the top two lines, you’re playing with a great player or probably two great players. It wasn’t hard for me to love Chicago; it was just a matter of getting it to work with the cap. I’ve watched these guys play for the last 6-7 years and Patrick Kane is one of the most explosive players in the league, and it’s not just him. It’s a great group that’s been together and knows how to win. But when you get the chance to team up with one of those players on a line or whoever’s on your line, it makes you feel pretty excited and I can’t wait to get to work."