Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/22/13

ST. LOUIS - NOVEMBER 2: Center Brad Richardson #12 of the Colorado Avalanche faces off against center Petr Cajanek #26 of the St. Louis Blues on November 2, 2006 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The Blues won 4-1. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
It is good for Brad Richardson but probably not such a good thing for the Vancouver Canucks that he has more goals this season than Daniel Sedin Henrik Sedin Chris Higgins David Booth and Jannik Hansen. Richardson wasn’t really brought to Vancouver to light it up offensively. He was signed this past summer to centre the third or fourth line in more of a checking role kill penalties win faceoffs and add a little sandpaper to the lineup. Richardson has done all that as well as score three goals two of them shorthanded in the team’s first 10 games. His signing on the first day of free agency by general manager Mike Gillis raised more than a few eyebrows. After all Richardson was coming off a shortened season with the Los Angeles Kings where he spent more nights as a healthy scratch than he did in the lineup. He played just 16 games last season and had one goal and six points. “Last year sucked” Richardson says. “There are ups and downs throughout your career and sometimes you have to ride it out and shut your mouth when you don’t want to and you know things will get better. I love being here everyone has been great. I am just going to keep playing and having fun.” Richardson was confident that last season notwithstanding he would attract interest from other teams when he became an unrestricted free agent. When the Canucks called he didn’t hesitate signing a two-year deal that pays him $1.15 million a season. “That is a nice feeling to know that you are wanted for sure and other teams have noticed what you have done in the past” says Richardson. “I was happy to come to Vancouver it is a city that I have loved for a long time and they have had a good team for a long time. There’s a checklist you kind of go through when you are considering a team and they had all the boxes checked.” Richardson is one of the big reasons why the Canucks lead the league with a penalty-kill efficiency rate of 91.4 per cent. He has worked on the PK mainly with Mike Santorelli another free agent who has been an even bigger surprise than Richardson. Richardson’s two shorties this season give him seven in an eight-year NHL career that has yielded just 46 goals. He acknowledges that he’s always looking for an opportunity to take advantage of a power-play unit that gets careless. ““A lot of time you get some chances” he says. “Some teams will have five forwards out there or a guy not used to playing on the point and you may get some of those chances against a guy who is not familiar with skating backwards or whatever. You take it when it’s there.” After spending much of last season in Darryl Sutter’s doghouse with the Kings Richardson has enjoyed having a clean slate with new coach John Tortorella. “It has been exactly what I thought it would be” Richardson says of playing for Tortorella. “He is very honest and very blunt. If you are playing well he is going to tell you and if you’re not he is going to tell you that. I have no problem with that. If you’re not playing well why wouldn’t he say something? That’s his job to tell you if you are not playing well.”
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