Midseason Grade: C
Final Grade: C+
Season Stats: 73 GP, 14 G, 8 A, 22 Pt, +4, 129 Shots
Minutes: 960 total minutes (9th among forwards), EV 10:09, PP 0:07, PK 2:53
1st Half: 36 GP, 5 G, 4 A, 9 Pts +3, 63 shots
2nd Half: 37 GP, 9 G, 4 A, 13 Pts, +1, 66 shots
Positions: LW (42 GP), C (30)
Lines: 4th (39 GP), 3rd (23), 1st (6), 2nd (4)
LW: Laaksonen (25 GP), Ryrcoft (3), McLean (2)
C: Arnason (20 GP), Guite (11), Sakic (6), Stastny (3), Turgeon (2)
RW: Laperriere (27 GP), Svatos (7), Rycroft (6), McCormick (6), Brunette (6), Parros (2), Klee (2), Hejduk (1)
Wojtek Wolski, Brad May and Scott Parker are the only three forwards not to play with Richardson
Career: In his 2nd year in the league (and first almost-full season), Richardson set a career high in GP (73), goals (14), points (22), and plus minus (+4). Not surprisingly, his 8 lousy assists were not enough to surpass the 10 he had last year in just 41 games.
Report: Richardson spent much of the first half of the season centering the 4th line, a role that he really isn't well suited for...In the 2nd half, bounced around among all four lines, playing most often on the 3rd line with Tyler Arnason and Ian Laperriere...Has good speed, but excellent explosiveness – can get from a standstill to top speed very quickly...Played a total of 211 minutes on the penalty kill, tops among forwards...The 26 PP goals scored by opponents while he was on the ice was also tops, unfortunately...Richardson had 3 SH goals, tops on the team and the only Avalanche with multiple shorties...Awful at faceoffs (40.8%), a key attribute for a guy centering a checking line or the PK...Overall, I was not very impressed with Richardson's defensive game, another reason I feel there are better options than him for the PK / checking role...Offensively, however, Richardson had some nice flashes of promise...In the 2nd half, playing on scoring lines, he had 9 goals, tied for 5th on the team...Has a deceptively good wrist shot, which he needs to use more often...Is not afraid to go into the corners even though he looks like he could be knocked over by a strong wind...His eight assists, though, is almost laughable...Essentially, he needs to handle the puck more in the offensive zone in an effort to create more scoring chances for him and his linemates...His speed and hands make him a good forechecker...He had a bunch of steals, especially late in the season, leading me to believe he's going to get even better in that area...Had 3 goals in the 6 games he played with Sakic and Brunette and generally played well enough in those games to warrant more ice time on the top line...He was a scratch for 6 games, and also missed 3 games after being demoted to the AHL for a week in January.
Fast Fact: 11 of his 14 goals were scored on the road
2007-2007 Salary: $550,000
2007-2008 Status: signed ($600.000)
Outlook: I personally don't think Richardson has a great future in the defensive role he spent much of the season, and I think playing there stunted his development a bit. I do think he can be a useful offensive player (now and in the future). He's probably not going to be a top 6 guy, but his acceleration, shot and forechecking skills would make him a valuable guy to have on the third line. With Brett McLean and Tyler Arnason free to test the free agent waters this summer, there's a chance Richardson will have an opportunity to spread his offensive wings a bit next year. A return to the 4th line next year would be a sign that the Avalanche don't feel he has enough upside to be a scorer in the NHL.