Mike Richards doesn’t have very many regrets about his six-year tenure in Philadelphia.
But in a radio interview over the weekend, Richards said his biggest regret about the Flyers’ failed Stanley Cup run was that he didn’t have surgery on his injured wrist at the beginning of the season.
“You’re almost setting yourself up for failure,” Richards said in an interview with Philly native Tony Bruno. “The thing I regret the most is not getting surgery on my hand in the beginning of the year and having to play through an injury. Jeff [Carter] had to play through injury. We had injuries to Chris Pronger and other guys throughout the season too. It’s a tough year to go through especially with the Stanley Cup run we had [last year] and a short summer to get right back at with the expectations that we had on ourselves.”
Richards injured his wrist in training camp, affecting the majority of his season and the playoffs, according to Paul Holmgren at the team’s final news conference after being eliminated by Boston in the second of the playoffs.
He had surgery to repair a torn ligament just four days after the Flyers were swept, leaving him with a cast on his arm and a delayed start to his summer workouts.
Richards also said in the interview that he was surprised to see the Flyers target free agent Ilya Bryzgalov this summer, adding that it will be tough for Sergei Bobrovsky to continue to develop with a limited backup role.
“I wasn’t expecting Ilya [Bryzgalov] to be picked up to tell you the truth,” Richards said. “At the end of the year I thought going into the summer we were going to wait and see how Sergei Bobrovsky was doing and I thought he [Bobrovsky] was a great goaltender. It’s going to be tough for him to blossom as the goaltender I think he can be, but at the same time the Flyers wanted a goaltender and I guess they got their man.”
It’s hard for the Flyers to continue to call Bobrovsky the Flyers’ goaltender “of the future,” as the team has repeatedly, with Bryzgalov now signed to a 9-year deal. Bobrovsky would be 33 when Bryzgalov’s deal expires.
Bobrovsky, now finished with his waiver exemption, played 60 games last season. Holmgren said in an introductory press conference about Bryzgalov that the Russian star could play upwards of 70 games this season with lesser travel than he experienced in Phoenix.
That would seemingly leave Bobrovsky, with a limited role as the second highest paid backup in the NHL, valuable trade bait as a 22-year-old this summer.
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