|Richards talks about the write-in campaign; Briere says he should be an All-Star: FlyersTV |
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(Voorhees, NJ) – When the all-star ballot nominees were announced earlier this week, one question immediately arose when looking at the Flyers’ contingent. That is – where is Mike Richards?
The Flyers’ leading scorer is not among the players around the league that are easily chosen on the online balloting. However, the NHL allows for write-in candidates, and there is a push among local fans to get Richards elected in this non-traditional way.
With Eastern Conference forwards like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Ovechkin on the ballot, that will be no easy task. The website votemikerichards.com, however, doesn’t seem to care. It has already been mentioned in several local media outlets, and features highlights and photos of the Flyers center.
|Mike Richards has 22 penalty minutes to go along with 21 points through 18 games this season. (Getty Images) |
Richards says he hasn’t even seen the site yet, and is trying not to concern himself with an event that is so far away on the horizon. The NHL All-Star Game takes place in Atlanta on January 27.
“I haven’t even seen the website. I don’t even know how it works. I don’t know anything about it. I haven’t even thought about it,” said Richards, who has 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points in 18 games this season.
Although his numbers and his play this season suggest otherwise, Richards doesn’t even see himself as belonging in Atlanta.
“I wouldn’t consider myself an All-Star. I’m not a skilled enough player, I don’t think, to start in that game anyway. There’s [many] more people worthy of being there than I would be,” he said.
Ask Danny Briere
, however (and just about any other player in the Flyers’ locker room), and it becomes clear that Richards should in fact be considered among the game’s best players at the moment.
To Briere, Richards is as complete a player as there is in the league.
“He does everything well,” said Briere. “There’s not too many guys in the league that can play offensively and defensively as well as he does. You have guys that are pretty good at it, but to be in his class, the way he’s performed in the first quarter of the season, there’s not many guys that can do that.
“Hopefully this keeps going, and if it does, there’s no doubt in my mind he’s going to be in the All-Star Game.”
Briere is also familiar with Richards’ modesty, common among players of his breed that care about the team first and everything else, including personal stats and accomplishments, second.
“I know he’s very humble and down to earth and doesn’t like to toot his own horn, but I think we all know in here that he definitely deserves to be there,” said Briere.