The Hitting Zone

The NHL just makes it up as they go along, why can't we?

Mike Richards Doesn’t Get It

Mike Richards, the savior of Philly hockey and the premier leader in professional sports according to anyone wearing a Orange jersey while urinating in a back alley off of Broad Street (and Pierre McGuire), has a problem.  He doesn’t understand his role as Captain of an NHL team and it turns out quite a few people, don’t think he’s too good at the job.

After a satisfying (my perspective) disappointing sweep at the hands of Boston the Flyers Captain has been under assault from members of the media.  Most notably is the exchange between Richards and Tim Panaccio (of CSN Philly)  almost immediately after their ouster on Twitter.

Richards got some more quotes out there today talking to Flyers Files’ Chuck Gormley that simply shows he doesn’t get the job of being captain.  

Whenever things go wrong, there are always going to be people blamed and fingers pointed. That generally comes with the job of being the captain. The first person in line is usually me. It sucks more that we lost and we’re in this situation than what’s being written. You just learn from your mistakes and try to do better in the future.

There can be a dozen solid leaders wearing skates in one form or another on a hockey club.  The Captain is the buffer.  The Captain is the guy who is supposed to take the public pressure off the team.  The Captain is the individual who is supposed to have tough enough skin to sit at his locker after the 12th loss in a row and answer all the question he needs to in order to keep cameras and recorders out of the faces of his teammates.  Sure the guys with the extra letters on their sweaters have on ice roles as well but as a PR position, that is what the Captain is.  He’s the player spokesman and intermediary.

Mike Richards whines way too much about this aspect of his job.  He’s so confrontational and adversarial with the press that they go elsewhere to ask about how his teammates feel about his performance as Captain.  That’s never good.  it’s also a sign you’re not good at your job.

Richards’ captaincy of his team is in doubt this summer and the most likely successor would be Chris Pronger.  It’s widely understood he is the leader in the room anyway.  Pronger has a way of handling the media in a how dumb was that question way.  He’s intimidating enough that media won’t go running behind his back if the expect to talk to him in the future.  Richards is just too much of a cry-baby to inspire that same respect via fear.

Either Mikey Leadership finds a way to hold back the tears and go out there and be the guy his teammates need after a game or his teammates might start a mutiny on their own.  I am sure none of them want to spend their summers answering an endless flow of questions about the future of their captain.

Maybe if he loses the “C” then Colin Campbell would be more apt to ring him up for a suspension the next time he blindsides someone.


Written by ozman51

May 23, 2011 at 7:50 PM

Posted in Hockey, NHL, Philadelphia Flyers

Tagged with , ,

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