Friday, July 11, 2014


Todd Richards was a star defenseman at Robbinsdale Armstrong High School in Plymouth, Minnesota (also my alma mater!) and an eventual captain of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers hockey team.  He went on to a 13-year professional playing career that included six games in the NHL for the Hartford Whalers.

He is now best known nationally as the head coach who has helped turn the fortunes of the perennial doormat Columbus Blue Jackets.  This past season he guided the Blue Jackets to their first-ever playoff win while taking the heavy-favorite Pittsburgh Penguins to six games in their first-round series.  Of course, prior to landing in Columbus, Richards spent two years at the helm of his home-state Wild.  Despite talent-starved and injury-plagued rosters, Richards finished over .500 in both of his seasons with the Wild, but was still ousted after just two years on the job.  Perhaps I'm biased because he's a fellow Armstrong Falcon, but I still feel he got a raw deal in Minnesota.  It's cool to see him having so much success in Columbus.

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