Is Mike Richards Deserving Of Captain’s Role?

“There’s a captain in us all,” according to the famous punch line used in Captain Morgan commercials; however, that claim may not be exactly true, especially for anyone who is a Flyers fan.

Mike Richards was named captain at 23 years-old, which by some standards and perspectives is way too long to carry the title of captain, unless you’re the Pittsburgh Penguins and name a 19 year-old kid by the name of Sidney Crosby captain.

Either way, Richards is handling a major responsibility as captain and this could be too much for him to handle.

The past playoffs is a good example of how he can sometimes disappear in games — or a series. In the postseason, Richards netted just one goal and seven points, finishing with a -1 plus/minus.

Captains need to lead their teams both on the ice and more importantly, in the locker room. In Games 1 and 3 in the Boston series, the Flyers came out flat. They displayed little emotion and were outplayed on the boards, in open ice, and in net.

Some of that responsibility falls into the hands of Richards, who has the job of motivating his teammates either by example or by taking charge.

He failed to do both.

So should Richards support the ‘C’ in 2012?

I’ve always believed that Chris Pronger should be the captain of this team. He donned the ‘C’ with the St. Louis Blues and the Anaheim Ducks before becoming an assistant captain with the Flyers.

There’s no better motivator on this team than Pronger. He always seems to get the guys going whether by delivering a ferocious check, blocking a shot, getting in the face of a player after the play, or the occasional slap shot goal from the point.

There’s many facets to his game that would make him a viable candidate for the Flyers captain position.

And if it’s not Pronger, what about Danny Briere, who isn’t even an assistant captain on the team? Or Claude Giroux, who coincidentally is 23 years-old, the same age Richards was when he was named captain.

Giroux, like Richards, would receive a lot of criticism by the media for the same reasons Richards did: too young and/or not ready to handle the responsibility.

So why not Briere? If I’m not mistaken, Briere is the one who carried this team throughout the players (along with James van Riemsdyk.)

Briere’s playoff stat line is impressive: seven goals and nine points. He’s also very capable of supplying energy to the team because throughout the Buffalo series, Briere was crashing the net after each play and getting in the faces of every Buffalo defender, even Ryan Miller, despite his size.

Whether it be Pronger, Briere, or even Giroux, I feel the Flyers wouldn’t be hurting themselves by stripping the ‘C’ off of Richards’ uniform and assigning one of the above three the title.

And who knows, maybe the decision would be the spark that Richards needs to motivate himself to regain the position in the future.

It’s an interesting sub-topic to a disappointing letdown in 2011.

12 thoughts on “Is Mike Richards Deserving Of Captain’s Role?

  1. GCobb asked onhis radio show who was the most accomplised franchies in philly history. A caller calledin and stated that philly was not a great sports city. Well to that guy I say there is only three or four cities who have more all around greatness in sports than philly. I would say New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and who else maybe pittsburg. When you consider football, basket ball, hockey, baseball, boxing, college sports and highschool sports philly is right their amongthe greatest sports towns in the country.

    As for GCobbs question, Gcobb you can’t forget the Philadelphia Athletics how about 5 world series wins in 8 world series apearances. With two sets of back to back wins.

  2. Don’t forget Dallas either where the Mavs, and Dallas Stars have had some winning, good playoff teams for a while and now even the Texas Rangers are a good team
    Now you can add in the Miami area with the Dolphins and Marlins winning a couple of Championships each and now the Heat being contendors..
    Until the EAgles win a SB, The City will not shed it’s “loser,disappointed again” label.. The Phils have helped no doubt with their recent success but still have the most all-time losses in MLB History and th eFlyers have had good team but no Stanly Cup in almost 40 years though they have played in 3-4 finals over this time and the Sixers are just beginning to become relevant again after a disappearing act the last 6-7 Seasons or so..

  3. You have to decide what kind of player you want Mike Richards to be. If you want him to score more which he is capable of, then you need to put him on a scoring line. He was with how many different linemates this year. If you consistently put him on a line with scorers instead of Versteeg and Carcillo, then you would get some production from him. Versteeg is a good player, but he is a pass first player too. That line needs a go that is gonna shoot, and is going to be in a position to score. If he was consistent that could be Zherdev, but a better choice would be a bruiser like Hartnell or possibly JVR. Laviolette has never had Richards in a position to score and he also did nothing to fix there broken PP the whole season which could have included Richards on the point more.

    I am not defending Richards, because he came up small on the scoring sheet this year and in some series last year, but he is also generally on the ice against the other teams top line, plus the penalty kill. That is going to kill off some of the scoring that you would normally get. So where is he most important to the team. If it is simply scoring then someone has to cover all of those other roles for him.

    I don’t think that scoring goals qualifies you to be the captain of the team. There needs to be more than that which is why it should probably be Pronger or Timmonen with 2 of Richards/Giroux/Briere as the alternates. those)

  4. G:
    First of all: Who is captain of the Philadelphia Eagles? Who? And who cares? The Phillies? The Sixers?
    I’m thinking of that sing-song commercial from the early ’80’s “Fall into the” and instead of that store’s name, “trap”. “Fall into the trap.” The stinkin’ Canadians need to get over that label for cripes sake! Maybe if I tore that letter off of the jersey and used it for toilet paper that would deliver the message.
    I have the “C”! No he should have the “C”. He deserves the “C”! Go to your room boys! This stuff is puerile, G. You’re better than this.

  5. G:
    Let me bring my battle-hardened Marine nephew in to take that stupid “C” off of Richards’ jersey. End this really incredibly stupid debate and play better hockey. The captain sits in the owner’s box.

  6. G;
    Only in the NHL. “We have just learned that Osama Bin Laden was killed by U.S. Special Forces in Abbotabad, Afghanistan a few hours ago. Reports indicate the soldiers entered a re-inforced compound and engaged in a fire fight with several body guards of the world’s most wanted murderer. Early indications are that the world-wide pariah suffered a mortal upper body injury. More later….”

  7. I think Cluade Giroux will be the Captain by the 2013 Season
    Pronger and Timomen on on their last legs as they reach their upper 30’s.. Still good players, but you can’t expect them to play 25 Minutes of Ice Time a game any longer and Briere is a scorer but not much ice..
    The Futures lies in players like Giroux,Leino,JMR,Mezaros, maybe Versteeg but they definelty need to add top Tier Goalie and at least 2 good younger Defensemen
    They currently have O’Donell (39) Timomen (36) Pronger (36) on Defense and are past their primes and need some young blood there alonf the back line moving Forward

  8. Paul good point, but anyone who looks at philly sports history realistically and comes away feeling like a loser deserves every bit of pain he has heaped upon himself. I know no superbowl i get it, but know one can take away our powerful sports traditon.

    Dallas stars has a way to go before they equal the prestige of the Flyers, who earned the respect of the nation by making the russians not only cry but try to quit and go home until they were told they would not get paid. And philly was famous for its stable of historic rugged boxers and fighters who bolstered the rankings for nearly a 100 years. As for the sixers the only thing that could and did stop them from multi rings was that they faced up against two of the greatest basketball franchises, and also two of the top five basketball teams in history in Magics lakers and birds celtic. etc. etc. etc.

    If you feel like your home town is a loser, then stay in carolina, tell everyone your from Raleigh and may the force be with you.

  9. I think some of the best golfers,race car drivers and tobacco spitting champions come from NC besides the best College Basketball on the planet
    with the UNC,Duke,NC State and Wake Forest..

  10. 1) nsidious, you are too old (marine nephew) to be this stupid. G DID NOT WRITE THIS POST YOU MORON. It clearly says who writes each post under the headline

    2) Richie got that “C” cuz he had “Philly” heart. 100% go, all the time, no matter the outcome. But he wasn’t playing with a ton of heart out there and hasn’t been doing it in awhile. They do give out C’s now, by the way, in football…. but you gotta have a really mentally tough and inspirational guy as your captain. I think Pronger would be perfect until he retires and then give it to Claude. That little kid was vicious out there against the B’s (THE ONLY ONE WHO WAS).

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