Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mike Richards Jersey Card

Mike Richards scored his first goal in 10 games last night, which happened to be the clincher in a 3-0 win that gave the Los Angeles Kings an eponymous 3-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Finals. It was a beautiful if lucky goal, coming off a 2-on-1 where New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh cut the pass Richards attempted only to have it bounce right back on the Kings' center's stick for a goal on Henrik Lundqvist.

And so the Kings are a single win away from their second Cup in three years (and a Conference Finals last year), with most of their players under contract until the end of the decade (and currently under 30 years of age). I'd be saying the word ''dynasty'' (well, I kinda have, haven't I?) if they weren't in the same conference as the Chicago Blackhawks...

They have exactly the type of team a coach and GM need to plow through the grind of an 82-game schedule and still be fresh and ready to then play two and a half months of methodical, systematic, physical, grinding, team-oriented hockey that could topple even an Olympic team. Then again, their roster includes a who's-who of 2014 Olympic stand-outs (Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter from Team Canada, Jonathan Quick and Dustin Brown from Team USA, Anze Kopitar from Team Slovenia, and Slava Voynov from Team Russia) as well as 2010 Olympians Richards (Canada, gold) and Marian Gaborik of Team Slovakia (4th place).

This is the first Mike Richards game-worn jersey card I have featured so far (I have previously featured photo-shoot cards here and here), and the first one of him with the Kings, as both previous ones showed him as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers. It shows him wearing L.A.'s white (away) uniform, with a matching swatch, from Upper Deck's 2012-13 Series 1 set (card #GJ-MR, part of the Game Jersey sub-set):
I would like to reiterate that he is the player who has the most team championship wins of all time, with a Memorial Cup, World Juniors gold, Calder Cup (AHL), Stanley Cup, World Championship gold, and Olympic gold. All he needs to complete the collection is a World Cup and maybe a Presidents' Trophy (NHL regular-season championship) to have every team trophy available to North American players.

Additionally, he also has one of each NHL Conference title, having won the Prince Of Wales trophy as Cup Finalist with the Flyers, as well as the Clarence Campbell trophy every time his Kings advance to the Finals.

He's not among my favourite players, but it's pretty hard to argue against those credentials.

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