Is Mike Richards Ready to Lead the Philadelphia Flyers to Excellence?

Darren ScottContributor IJuly 3, 2008

For years, the Philadelphia Flyers would have a revolving door at the position of captain. Since the retirement of Eric Desjardins, the Flyers have had a number of captains, including Keith Primeau, Peter Forsberg, and just recently Jason Smith.

Every captain brought a particular feature to their leadership, but for whatever reason have not been long term.

Now, the team feels that they have found their long term solution. Forward Mike Richards, a former first round draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers, has been projected to be one of the best leaders in Flyers’ history.

He has drawn comparisons to Bob Clarke, former player and general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers. The questions surround whether Richards can lead this team.

After the season that Richards had in 2007/2008 where he went on to score 28 goals and notch 47 assists with an astonishing two five on three short handed goals, the Flyers believe he is ready to lead the team after deciding not to sign former captain Jason Smith.

He is an all around team player. He is just as great with his defense as he is with his offense and has proven himself to be able to match up with some of the leagues best players.

In the playoff series against the Washington Capitals, Richards publicly attacked Alexander Ovechkin for the number of dives he was taking in the series.

Then in the playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Richards defended and antagonized Sidney Crosby and held him in check for the entire series.

Richards appears to be ready to lead this team to greatness. Although young, he is wise above his age and has the respect of his teammates, the fans, and the organization.