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Richards a Finalist for Bridgestone Ultimate Leader Award

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers' Mike Richards, center, collides with teammate Claude Giroux, left, and Detroit Red Wings' Pavel Datsyuk, of Russia, in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, April 4, 2010, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
The National Hockey League has announced that Mike Richards is one of five finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award presented by Bridgestone, which recognizes an NHL player as a superior team leader who leads by positive example through on-ice performance, motivation of team members and a dedication to community activities and charitable causes.

 
This is the first time that Richards has been named a finalist for the award, which offers fans a chance to cast a vote for who they think should be the winner, and is chosen by Mark Messier. All fans currently have the opportunity to vote for Richards at the following location by clicking here. Voting will end on Sunday, Apr. 11.
 
Richards, 25, is tied for the team lead in points (60), while ranking second in goals (29) and tied for third on the team in assists (31) in 80 games thus far. He also leads the team on the power play with 13 goals and 31 points, and leads all Flyers forwards in average time-on-ice per game (20:20). Also this season, he was a member of Team Canada in his first Winter Olympics where he posted five points (2G,3A) and had a plus-minus rating of +5 in seven games to help the Canadian team capture the gold medal in Vancouver.
 
A native of Kenora, Ontario, Richards is in his second season as captain of the Flyers after being named the 17th captain in Flyers history on Sept. 17, 2008. He has been awarded the Bobby Clarke Trophy as the team’s most valuable player in 2007-08 and 2008-09, while also being named a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best forward who excels in defensive play last season.
 
In his fifth season in the National Hockey League, all with the Flyers, Richards has registered 108 goals and 173 assists for 281 points and 335 penalty minutes in 370 games. He was selected by the Flyers in the first round (24th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
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