Mike Richards gave an exclusive interview to Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post over the weekend, and he talked about all kinds of things: from his captaincy to the media BS that's surrounded him for years now to what happened to the team in the postseason. It's a great read, and good on Gormley to just publish the transcript instead of trying to editorialize everything the guy had to say. Go read it.
I have a few random thoughts on the interview.
- It's interesting to hear that Richards had an opportunity to get his surgery done earlier in the year but didn't because they thought it'd get better. Hindsight is 20/20, so I don't think we can really place any blame or anything. I just find it interesting that we're learning this much about his injury. Even in the offseason, this stuff is usually kept closer to the vest if only to avoid the criticism.
- A lot will be written about Richards saying he's the "right man for the job" when it comes to being captain, but I really thought this was the line of the interview: "You guys aren't around to see everything that happens, so I think it's tough for media people to say stuff about not being the right man for the job when they only see us on the ice and ten minutes after a skate, so I think that's unfair to say."
- He also did a lot of owning up to his faults. He admitted that he's not the loudest guy in the room and he admitted that he didn't play up to par in the postseason, even despite his injury. He also recognized that he can be better with the media, and I think overall, he came off as a pretty mature guy who knows what's going on.
- Seriously, why does it seem that every hockey player goes to Cabo in the offseason? Maybe it just seems that way since a bunch of Flyers happened to go there, but whatever. I'm sure Cabo is fantastic, but aren't there more awesome warm places?
- When it comes to the media stuff, I really think Richards was dead on with his assessment.
Sometimes people don't treat you with respect and your relationship is probably not great. There have been a couple (reporters) that we've had issues in the past and sometimes things get said that maybe you shouldn't have. But that's life, you move on. You're not going to be liked by everyone, nor are you going to like everyone. The media has a job to do and sometimes you have to be more aware and careful of what you say. Can I be better at it? Yes, I probably can be. But at the same time it's a two-way street. It goes back a couple years ago to some articles (about Richards' nightlife) were written and I asked for a little bit of leeway and sometimes you don't get that.
Emphasis ours. It definitely is a two-way street, and if you don't respect him, he's not going to respect you. That's the way it is with everything, and that's absolutely the way it's supposed to be. You know, there's a reason Chuck Gormley got this interview and some others did not.
- Richards talked at length about his captaincy and the desire to keep the C. He admits that he's talked to the players about his captaincy, and I find that extremely interesting. Of course, you can take the negative look at that and say "he doesn't have the confidence in himself" and that he has to be reassured of things as a result. But I don't think that's the way to look at it. He's interested in the input of his teammates. That shows maturity to me, and for a guy that's been painted as a child throughout his time here, that's big.
All in all, I think that's the real thing to take out of the interview. Mike Richards isn't a child. He isn't just some quiet guy that lurks in the shadows and lets the team derail on his watch. He's not what he's been painted as by much of the media. He's mature and able to admit his own faults. That's more than most of us can say about ourselves.