Summer Stories: Kimmo I JVR I Giroux I Carle
In our last segment of Summer Stories, philadelphiaflyers.com catches up with Flyers captain Mike Richards, who carried the team to its eighth Stanley Cup Final appearance in its history and is the leading force of the defending Eastern Conference Champions as they enter the 2010-11 season.
Richards was quick to admit the loss in Game 6 to the Blackhawks certainly hurt, but it by no means lingered throughout his off-season.
“No. Not really,” said Richards, who still vacationing at his summer house in Northern Ontario. “For the first couple of days it was pretty tough to wake up in the morning and get out of bed but I mean there’s nothing you can do about it except look forward to what’s ahead of you and prepare for the next season.”
|Mike Richards with a member of his hockey camp in Kenora, Ontario during the summer. Click photo for a full gallery (Cory McCrindle, Northern Exposures) |
Hopefully we’ll do it again, so I don’t think there’s any aftermath,” continued Richards. “You see pictures and everything. That leaves a bitter taste in your mouth and its tough, but there’s nothing you can do about it. Unfortunately there has to be a loser and a winner. We were just on the wrong side of that and like I said we're are shooting for the next year at this point.”
But before next year starts, Richards had an entire two+ months to wind down. And what better way to do that than spend pretty much the entire time at his cottage just outside of Kenora.
“We went on a quick trip at the end of the year to Vegas and that’s it. I’ve been home since the end of June and I haven’t gone anywhere. I live about a half-hour to 40 minutes outside of the town. It’s actually been nice just to relax and not have to do anything but spend some time with friends and family.”
Although relaxing, I wouldn’t quite say it was slow going.
“I have some jet skis, a fishing boat, a wake boarding boat, so I do play a lot of water sports in the summer time.”
Of course you need some friends to enjoy all of those water sports and free time on the lake. That’s where some of his current teammates and old hockey buddies come in.
“[Jeff] Carter came up. I had a golf tournament here this summer too. This year Carts, [Danny] Briere, [Riley] Cote and [Arron] Asham came up for the tournament and a bunch of friends from Winnipeg too, so a lot of hockey players were in town and we had a lot of fun. Cartsy was here for about five days and we went out on the lake and showed him around and why I stay up here all summer.”
Another big reason that Richards likes to stay up there all summer is his own Summer Hockey Camp.
“Hockey Canada comes in and helps out. It’s a week long camp. There are just over 100 kids and usually it’s from ages 5-12, but this year it was 7-12. A lot of kids from the area come in and have fun, so it’s really nice to put on.”
The Mike Richards Hockey Camp completed its 5th year and is operated in Kenora, Ontario. This past year it ran from August 9-13. Approximately half of the kids are from the Kenora area, remainder from Ontario, Manitoba, Northern Minnesota, Saskatchewan, Alberta and as far as Nevada.
All net proceeds are donated to the Kenora and Lake of the Woods Regional Community Foundation, a local organization that provides funds to charities located in the Lake of the Woods area of NW Ontario. Richards spends at least one on-ice session per day with each of the groups.
With rookie camp beginning Monday and the official start of training camp less than a week away, a lot of players who have found themselves in the Stanley Cup Final and playing into June often speak of a short summer. Richards however sees it in a different way.
“I’m looking forward to getting it started again. With the way it ended last year, obviously not the way anyone wanted it too. Myself personally, I’m looking forward to getting back on the ice with everyone and getting back in the swing of the hockey life again. You know it’s really short, but it was also a long summer with the way that it ended.”
Individual game tickets for the 2010-11 season are now on sale exclusively through ComcastTIX at philadelphiaflyers.com, by phone at 1-800-298-4200 or in person at the Wells Fargo Center box office. Fan-favorite All You Can Eat packages including hot dogs, popcorn, chips with salsa and/or cheese, ice cream, and soda (or water) are also available exclusively through ComcastTIX, at philadelphiaflyers.com, by phone at 1-800-298-4200 or in person at the Wells Fargo Center box office.