|Born||September 22, 1966 |
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)|
|Played for||New York Rangers|
|National team||United States|
|NHL Draft||28th overall, 1985|
New York Rangers
Mike Richter (born Michael Thomas Richter on September 22, 1966) is a former ice hockey goaltender.
One of the most successful American-born goaltenders in history, he is best known for having led the New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup title in 1994 and for repeatedly representing the United States in international play.
Due to his success, Mike was a part of the Class of 2008 in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, alongside his former Rangers and U.S. teammate Brian Leetch.
Mike attended and played for Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania and then Northwood School in Lake Placid, New York, graduating in 1985. He also played at the Wissahickon Skating Club.
After playing for the United States in the World Junior Championships in 1985, he played for the University of Wisconsin–Madison from 1985–1987 and the Rangers made him the 28th overall pick in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft.
He again represented the U.S.A. in the 1986 World Junior Championships, as well as the World Championships and the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, before making his NHL debut in the 1989 playoffs.
Even though he lost the one game in which he played, Mike was soon a regular member of the Rangers, posting 12 wins against 5 losses in his rookie season as the club's backup goaltender. Over the next two seasons, he split goaltending duties with the Rangers' veteran starter, John Vanbiesbrouck and was selected to play for the U.S. in the 1991 Canada Cup tournament.
Mike then had his first campaign as the team's number-one goaltender. He posted a career-best 42 wins and 2.57 goals-against average as the Rangers won the Presidents' Trophy as the league's top regular-season team for the second time in three years. He was also named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the NHL All-Star Game, which the Rangers hosted at Madison Square Garden that year.
In the playoffs, Mike ramped up his play, becoming the eighth goaltender to post four shutouts in one playoff season. The Rangers reached the Stanley Cup Finals against the Canucks and he earned a career highlight in Game 4, famously stopping Vancouver sniper [[[Pavel Bure]] on a penalty shot. The Rangers defeated the Canucks in seven games to win their first Stanley Cup since 1940.
Over the next few years, Mike would be consistently ranked among the world's top goaltenders. He led the United States to victory in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, with his efforts earning him tournament Most Valuable Player honors.
Injuries plagued much of Mike's career with everything from MCL sprains, ACL sprains and concussions. At some points they occurred together, but he worked hard to rehabilitate his injuries to always make the return to the ice.
Mike's last appearance in the Stanley Cup playoffs would be 1997 as a series of knee injuries and a string of mediocre Ranger teams saw his personal statistics suffer. Nevertheless, he was selected as the top goalie for Team USA in the 1998 and 2002 Olympics, winning a silver medal in the 2002 Games.
A year later, a skull fracture and concussion forced Mike to retire, but not until after he became the first Ranger to record 300 wins. He finished his career as the Rangers all-time leader in wins, later surpassed by Henrik Lundqvist.
Mike's jersey (#35) became the third number retired by the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on February 4, 2004. Though he played his entire career for the Rangers, he twice changed teams between seasons due to a quirk in the NHL rules of free agency, returning to the Rangers each time.
Upon his retirement and having played his entire career in New York, the Rangers posted the quote of "Once a Ranger Always a Ranger" from everything to posters, websites, bill boards and arenas. The phrase is still seen all over the place in and near Madison Square Garden.
|1989–90||New York Rangers||NHL||23||12||5||5||1320||66||0||3.00||.904|
|1990–91||New York Rangers||NHL||45||21||13||7||2596||135||0||3.12||.903|
|1991–92||New York Rangers||NHL||41||23||12||2||2298||119||3||3.11||.901|
|1992–93||New York Rangers||NHL||38||13||19||3||2105||134||1||3.82||.886|
|1993–94||New York Rangers||NHL||68||42||12||6||3710||159||5||2.57||.910|
|1994–95||New York Rangers||NHL||35||14||17||2||1993||97||2||2.92||.890|
|1995–96||New York Rangers||NHL||41||24||13||3||2396||107||3||2.68||.912|
|1996–97||New York Rangers||NHL||61||33||22||6||3598||161||4||2.68||.917|
|1997–98||New York Rangers||NHL||72||21||31||15||4143||184||0||2.66||.903|
|1998–99||New York Rangers||NHL||68||27||30||8||3878||170||4||2.63||.910|
|1999–00||New York Rangers||NHL||61||22||31||8||3622||173||0||2.87||.905|
|2000–01||New York Rangers||NHL||45||20||21||3||2635||144||0||3.28||.893|
|2001–02||New York Rangers||NHL||55||24||26||4||3195||157||2||2.95||.906|
|2002–03||New York Rangers||NHL||13||5||6||1||694||34||0||2.94||.897|
|1988–89||New York Rangers||NHL||1||0||1||58||4||0||4.14||.867|
|1989–90||New York Rangers||NHL||6||3||2||330||19||0||3.45||.896|
|1990–91||New York Rangers||NHL||6||2||4||313||14||1||2.68||.923|
|1991–92||New York Rangers||NHL||7||4||2||412||24||1||3.50||.894|
|1993–94||New York Rangers||NHL||23||16||7||1417||49||4||2.07||.921|
|1994–95||New York Rangers||NHL||7||2||5||384||23||0||3.59||.878|
|1995–96||New York Rangers||NHL||11||5||6||662||36||0||3.26||.883|
|1996–97||New York Rangers||NHL||15||9||6||939||33||3||2.11||.932|
Mike's style of play was very acrobatic and quick. For a small goalie he made himself look big by using his lightning quick reflexes to make saves. He was rarely out of position and always square to his shooters. He was known for making plenty of desperation and sometimes unbelievable saves using his focus, flexibility, and athleticism.
Longtime teammate and Hall of Fame Ranger defenseman Brian Leetch once said this about Richter:
"I have never seen anyone more focused than he was. As the game got tougher, he got better. If a goal was ever scored on him I was always surprised."
Mike grew up in Flourtown, Pennsylvania (near Philadelphia) and idolized Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Bernie Parent. He has 3 sons, all of whom play ice hockey in their home town of Greenwich, Connecticut.
After retiring from the NHL, Mike enrolled in Yale University, entering the university through the highly competitive Eli Whitney Students Program, Yale College's admissions program for non-traditional students & received his degree in Ethics, Politics, and Economics with a concentration in Environmental Policy (EP&E).
Mike is currently a founding partner at Healthy Planet Partners, a sustainable power finance and consulting group and Environmental Capital Partners, a $100 Million Private Equity Fund focusing on resource efficiency. He serves on the Board of Directors for Riverkeeper, the Board of Trustees for the Adirondack Nature Conservancy & sits as a member of the National Advisory Council for the Sierra Club.
He recently began collaborating with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in their effort to bring the best ecological practices to the sports industry. He also launched Athletes for a Healthy Planet, an organization dedicated to fostering an understanding of the connections between environmental issues, human health, economy, social justice and well-being.
In 2007 & 2009, Mike stated that he would be interested in running for Congress as a Democrat in either Connecticut's 4th congressional district or New York's 20th congressional district special election in 2009.
During the 2013-14 hockey season, "Let’s Play Hockey" newspaper and the Herb Brooks Foundation announced the creation of the Mike Richter Award to annually honor the most outstanding goaltender in NCAA men’s hockey. The inaugural award was presented to Connor Hellebuyck of UMass Lowell at the 2014 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four in Philadelphia.