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Richards eager to start with Wings

by Dana Wakiji / Detroit Red Wings
Coming off a Stanley Cup title run with the Chicago Blackhawks, veteran center Brad Richards is excited to get going with his new teammates in Detroit. (Photo by Dan Mannes/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT -- For newcomer Brad Richards, it was an easy choice to sign with the Red Wings.

"They've had lots of success in the past, bringing in veteran guys and integrating them into a role that fits," Richards said after his first informal skate with his new team.

Richards, 35, is looking forward to lending his veteran expertise to some of the younger Wings this season.

"I know that they have lots of great players here, young players that will create a lot of enthusiasm and push and that's something that's always healthy," Richards said. "To be honest, I'm in a different frame of mind after winning a Cup than I was after being bought out (by the New York Rangers). I wasn't looking for as much. I had a little more confidence in myself, I guess. When teams were talking to me, I knew I could come in and help. That's what I plan to do here."

Richards is fresh off winning the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks.

In 23 playoff games, Richards had three goals and 11 assists.

For his career, Richards has 288 goals and 616 assists in 1,058 regular-season games.

Kyle Quincey expects that to continue.

"He’s a good hockey player," Quincey said. "The more talented and good hockey players that we have we’ll be better off, and he’s gonna add scoring. We lost a good player in (Stephen) Weisser with goal-scoring abilities and I think he’s gonna help fill that void a bit. So it’s just a positive. First time he skated today and he looked great, so it’s good."

Originally the Tampa Bay Lightning's third-round pick (64th overall) in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Richards was named the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2004 when the Lightning won the Cup.

Richards had 12 goals and 14 assists in 23 games that postseason.

Richards believes the Wings have a chance to get back to the Stanley Cup Finals.

"I just played against Tampa, who Detroit had on the ropes in round one," Richards said. "We all assumed, well, not assumed, but kind of thought the Wings were gonna close that series out. They didn't, that shows you how close it is. I don't see why they can't compete. It's a young team that has a little more experience again. That's always valuable."

Although Richards has not played with any of the Wings before and didn't have a chance to ask Marian Hossa about it after the Cup celebrations, he said he knew what to expect.

"This has always been considered, if it's not the best organization, it's right there with any other organization," Richards said. "I just left a really good one recently and one before that in New York that does everything first-class and that's all I heard here. Not only that, they seem to be competing every year for a chance in the playoffs and that's all I ever want."

NOTEBOOK: Although defenseman Kyle Quincey had a good season last year with three goals and 15 assists in 73 games, he expects this year to be better.

Quincey played most of last season with bone chips in his ankle, which were surgically removed after the season.

"It was a successful surgery and I feel better than last year for sure," Quincey said. "Pain's gone. There were a few games where I couldn’t really put too much weight on it, so it’s going to help a lot skating."

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