Thursday, February 28, 2008

How's that for a debut?

Initially I was going to write my review of Makoto Shinkai's latest effort 5 Centimeters Per Second tonight however after watching Brad Richards performance in his debut with the Dallas Stars tonight I changed my mind. After all how many times do you get to see a guy get five assists in his first night with a new team? The answer is not very often.

Brad Richards, who won the both the Lady Bing Memorial* and Conn Smythe** Trophies in 2004, came to the Stars via a five player trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning just hours before the trade deadline (which was 3:00pm EST on Feb. 26th). The Lightning sent Brad Richards and goalie Johan Holmqvist to Dallas in exchange for goalie Mike Smith, center Jeff Halpern, winger Jussi Jokinen and a 4th round draft pick in 2009. As sad as I am to see all three of those players leave the Big D behind, Richards made a believer out of me tonight. Five assists in one game is quite an amazing feat even when you are with a team where you have player for years, but to do it on your first night on the job is inspiring. These five assists also marked a career-high night in scoring for Richards and ALMOST doubles his point production from his final five games with the Lightning.

As I said I am sad to see all three of the Dallas players go, however after tonight all I can say is "Welcome to Texas Brad!" Here's hoping he gets to eat from Lord Stanley's Cup again in the near future.

* The Lady Bing Memorial Trophy is awarded to the player who demonstrates the best sportsmanship in the NHL.
** The Conn Smythe trophy is awarded to the playoff MVP.

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