Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final was between the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning—two teams Blackhawks’ Brad Richards is all too familiar with. We have the New York Rangers, who cast him aside less than a year ago by buying out his contract. Then we have the Tampa Bay Lightning where Richards became a Stanley Cup Champion and a Conn Smythe Trophy Winner. In the end, though, Brad Richards and the Blackhawks will be playing against the Tampa Bay Lightning for a chance to bring the Stanley Cup home. Does this give Richards the edge in powering through the Stanley Cup Finals? I think so.

The Beginning

In 1998, Brad Richards was a third-round pick in the NHL Draft by Tampa Bay. He was chosen 63 picks after the Lightening selected Vincent Lecavalier at the number one pick. Together, this pair would go on to bring the Stanley Cup to the Lightening in 2004 when Richards was named the postseason MVP—the highlight of his career. In 552 regular season games with the Lightning, Richards had 150 goals and 489 points before he was traded to the Dallas Stars during the 2007-08 season.

The Stanley Cup Final

Going into the Stanley Cup Final, Richards has a lot to look forward to. For one, he will be playing with the Chicago Blackhawks against the team that gave him up after he helped bring the Stanley Cup to Tampa with a league best of 26 points during the playoffs in 2004. Second, Richards grew up as a player and an adult while playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning—you can’t forget that.

Brad Richards is back in the Stanley Cup Final with another chance to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup. And he must defeat the Lightning to do so—a team that he has already reached the top of the NHL with. With the Stanley Cup Final around the corner, friendships will be put on hold because Brad Richards and the Chicago Blackhawks have one thing on their minds: winning the Stanley Cup and bringing it home to Chicago.

At the end of the day one thing is for sure, while Brad Richards will be a familiar face in Tampa Bay, he and the Chicago Blackhawks are ready to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in tomorrow’s Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Let’s go Blackhawks!

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