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June 19, 2019
Mike Richards Conference Call
by Michael Menser Dell, Editor-in-Chief
The Flyers certainly know a good thing when they see it, signing the 22-year-old center to a 12-year, $69-million contract. Richards was named to his first All-Star Game last week, and yesterday he had a conference call with NHL media. Here's a transcript of the conversation. Oh, except I changed all the questions. Enjoy.
MIKE RICHARDS: I don't know, it's been a pretty big season getting the privilege to play in an All-Star Game, it's pretty exciting.
LCS: What do ya mean you don't know? How hard is it? Do you have a favorite episode or don't you?
MIKE RICHARDS: Not really. I talked to a couple guys and they said it's a good time. I'm excited to get down there. I've never really been a part of something like this before, so I'm excited to get down there and see what it's like.
LCS: I always liked the "Bizarro Jerry" episode. I liked when you were going to work with your briefcase, and Jerry said, "What's in there?" And you said, "Crackers." Aw, that was great, that was fun. Remember that?
MIKE RICHARDS: I'm not even sure. I haven't really looked at some of the skills things that they do. I know I used to watch it a little bit growing up. But I don't really have too much of an opinion on it. From what I've heard about the skills breakaway thing where they judge, I think that's going to be somewhat interesting.
LCS: Dude, how can you not be sure? Are you all right? I mean, are you getting enough protein? I guess that could explain your behavior at the comedy club last year. What was that about?
MIKE RICHARDS: I don't know, the role hasn't really changed a whole lot. I think we have a lot tighter group on the team. Everybody seems like they are gelling together well. It is obviously easier to come to the rink and play every night when you're surrounded by guys that you like and that you're going to play that much harder for.
LCS: Well, good luck with that. But I'll tell you right now, if you even say I should be hanging upside down with a fork up my ass, we're gonna tangle.
MIKE RICHARDS: Well, having Danny and Gagne on the first line, and then Knuble on the second line and Kimmo and Umberger, it makes it a little bit easier to play in games because everyone is focusing on those guys playing so well, it takes some of the attention off of myself and my linemates. I know everyone is focused on Danny and Gagne, shutting them down so much so it frees us up a little bit.
LCS: After the incident in the comedy club, do you think people see you the same way they do guys like Jimmy "the Greek," Al Campanis, and Dog the Bounty Hunter?
MIKE RICHARDS: To tell you the truth, I wasn't in the same boat. It was a shocker. I didn't really expect something like that to happen. And now I mean, a couple of us have done it now. At that time I didn't have too much of an opinion on it, and you think it's a long time to be with an organization. But I guess if you like the organization and you like the city, why not sign so that you know you're going to be there and that you're going to be in an environment you like for the next couple of years.
LCS: Let's leave that ugliness behind us. Getting back to happier times, do you remember how you felt the first time you say Julia Louis-Dreyfus naked?
MIKE RICHARDS: Excited. I talked to Paul Holmgren a little bit. Him and I kind of had a couple discussions about being here for the remainder of my career, and hopefully I will be. I like it here. We both decided I think that was the right move, and that was the right thing we needed to do with me as a player and as an organization. I was happy when we got it done.
LCS: Do you feel pressure to live up to the success of "The Michael Richards Show"?
MIKE RICHARDS: I don't know, I think the only pressure that you have is the pressure that you put on yourself. Obviously you're not going to want to change your game or your style too much. You just want to go out there and play the game. I don't feel any added pressure. I know you obviously have to do a couple more interviews and maybe you have a little more media attention but the pressure I don't think is there.
LCS: Have you ever played checkers with Peter Frampton?
MIKE RICHARDS: Well, Peter is a world-class player so it would be nice to have him on your team no matter what time of season. He's the type of player that not only helps on the ice but he's a great player in the dressing room. Everyone respects him, and he carries himself so well. It would be nice to have him on the ice but also off.
LCS: Before you got in the NHL, did you date a lot?
MIKE RICHARDS: Well, before I got into the NHL I went with a fella out of Toronto Financial Management for financial and pretty much all advice, he helps me out with a lot of things. He's kind of overseeing my financial stuff. He's allowing me to go in there, too, and kind of try to make some decisions. He discusses things with me, and if I have an idea he'll listen and explain the pros and cons about it.
It's not just, you know, them going out and doing what they want to do. The money that you have in the long run, it's your money, so you want to do what you want with it. But they kind of steer you in the right direction and tell you what you should do with it; and if you agree with them, they go ahead and do it.
He's been really good to me the last couple of years and he's treated me really well. He and I have a good relationship and I trust him with my money.
LCS: Who do you like in this weekend's playoff games? I'm goin' with the Packers and Chargers.
MIKE RICHARDS: Yeah, I didn't have to make any vital decisions yet. I'm not a big gambler, so I don't want to go into stocks where it's a big gamble and a high risk; so I'm just content with kind of keeping it simple and not doing a whole lot with it.
LCS: Do you find Oprah attractive?
MIKE RICHARDS: Maybe a little bit, but I think again, there, it fluctuates so much, no matter where you're looking at real estate. I know I bought something back home already, but I bought that as more of a leisure and pleasure spot than real estate investment.
LCS: Hey, Kid Crosby is comin' over this weekend to play some Pictionary. You in?
MIKE RICHARDS: Well, I'm looking forward to being on the same team as Sid instead of the opposing team; it will be a lot easier having to play with him than having to check him. There will be a lot of guys that you kind of respect so much both playing against them and seeing the skills, Ovechkin, guys like that, I'd just like to get to know them a little bit and see what they are like off the ice. Because you've played against them so many times on the ice, it will be a neat experience to get in the room with them and see what they are like.
LCS: I hear you and some of your teammates will be putting on an original production of "Annie." Are you gonna be Daddy Warbucks?
MIKE RICHARDS: You know what, I haven't taken on too much of a leadership role to tell you the truth. We have so many leaders in the dressing room that you don't have to do too much. Jason Smith gets a lot of respect from everyone, and not only on the team but everyone in the league. When something needs to be said there is also Hatch and Briere and Kimmo and all those guys are there, as well, so you don't have to put too much pressure on yourself. You have to more or less worry about your hockey game than kind of the leadership thing.
LCS: What do you like most about "The Golden Girls"?
MIKE RICHARDS: Well, they are very passionate. Last year going through some of the highs and lows, even though they kind of display their displeasure sometimes, they will also cheer. They are a fan group that will cheer you on as long as you work hard. You know, if you show the effort, they are going to cheer you on, and obviously every city likes to be a winning team. It's nice to go to the rink and know that they are going to be there and cheer passionately for you if you have a good game and if you're playing well.