December 04, 2010

Where's The Beef?

This is Steve Richmond. The University of Michigan graduate played a lot of professional games - 159 in the NHL with New York Rangers, New Jersey, Detroit and Los Angeles, plus a whole lot more in the minor leagues.

How did he sum up the difference between life in the minor leagues - riding the iron lung and living off of the Super 8 continental breakfast - and the NHL, where accommodations and travel are all first class?

"You're probably a piece of meat everywhere you play, but at least in the NHL you're prime rib."

The stats tell the story as to Steve Richmond's contributions to any teams he played in, regardless of the butcher shop. In the NHL he played 159 games, with 4 goals scored, 23 points and 514 penalty minutes. He was a rugged, stay at home defender in the pros.

Which is interesting in that he was an offensive player at the University of Michigan. In fact he set the school career record for goals scored by a defenseman. Yet despite that impressive feat, he was never drafted by any NHL team.

The New York Rangers signed him to a pro contract in 1982. From there his vagabond career through the NHL and multiple minor leagues began.

Outside of the NHL his most interesting minor league times must have been while playing with the Tulsa Oilers in 1984. Due to financial difficulties, the team played from February on without a home. They literally played all of their games on the road. Despite this great hardship, they went on to win the Adams Cup as CHL champions.

By the way, Steve Richmond is now the director of amateur scouting for the Washington Capitals.

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