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1984
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1984 NHL DRAFT PICK
Stephane Richer
Selected in second round
No. 29 overall by Montreal Canadiens

Born June 7, 1966
Position: Center
Height: 6-2   Weight: 190
BEFORE THE DRAFT
Last Team: Granby (QMJHL)                             
Birthplace: Buckingham, Quebec (Canada)
Hometown: Ripon, Quebec
PRE-DRAFT STATISTICS
Year TeamLeague GPG ATP PIM
1982-83 LavalQue. AAA 4847 54101 86
1983-84 GranbyQMJHL 6739 3776 58

PRE-DRAFT AWARDS AND HONORS
QMJHL Bergeron Trophy (Offensive Rookie of Year):
1983-84 (Granby)
Miscellaneous: Coached by future NHL head coach Pat Burns during his years in midget hockey. ... Was Granby's first-round pick, No. 2 overall, in 1983 QMJHL midget draft.
NHL CAREER
Debut: January 15, 1985 (Montreal at Quebec)
Numbers:  22, 44 (Montreal); 44 (New Jersey); 44 (Tampa Bay);
19 (St. Louis); 44 (Pittsburgh)
Stanley Cup: 1986, 1995.
Playing Status: Retired for final time on August 18, 2002
CAREER NHL STATISTICS
Years TeamsGP GA TPPIM
1985-2002Montreal, New Jersey,
T.B., St. Louis, Pitt.
1,054 421398 819614
CAREER NHL PLAYOFF STATISTICS
YearsTeams GPG ATP PIM
1986-2002 Montreal, N.J., STL134 5345 9861

NHL AWARDS AND HONORS
All-Star Game:
1990 (Montreal)
Stanley Cup Finals (Lost): 1989 (Montreal)
Montreal Molson Cup (Three-Stars Leader): 1987-88, 1989-90
New Jersey MVP (Media Vote): 1995
New Jersey SportsChannel MVP (Fan Vote): 1995
New Jersey Three-Stars Leader: 1991-92, 1995
New Jersey Fan Club Player of Year: 1995
Montreal Records: Most points in one period (5 in first period vs. Vancouver on Feb. 14, 1990)
50-Goal Seasons: 1987-88 (Montreal) (50), 1989-90 (Montreal) (51)
NHL Game-Winning Goals Leader: 1987-88 (Montreal) (11 goals)
Montreal Points Leader: 1989-90 (91)
Montreal Goals Leader: 1987-88 (50), 1989-90 (51), 1990-91 (31)
Montreal Playoffs Points Leader: 1988 (12), 1990 (10, tie)
Montreal Playoffs Goals Leader: 1988 (7), 1990 (7), 1991 (9, tie)
New Jersey Points Leader: 1995 (39)
New Jersey Goals Leader: 1992-93 (38), 1995 (23)
New Jersey Playoffs Points Leader: 1993 (4, tie), 1995 (21)
New Jersey Playoffs Goals Leader: 1993 (2, tie), 1994 (7)
New Jersey Playoffs Assists Leader: 1995 (15)
Miscellaneous: Played on line with Ryan Walter and Mark Hunter in his first NHL game for Montreal. ... Played on line with Claude Lemieux and Brian Skrudland for Montreal in 1985-86. ... Missed part of 1985-86 season with sprained ankle, an injury suffered when he was checked by Alain Cote during Montreal's Nov. 18, 1985, game vs. Boston. He did not return to action until Montreal's Dec. 14, 1985, game vs. Chicago. ... Began playing right wing for Montreal in addition to his natural position of center in 1986-87 season. ... Began playing right wing on a full-time basis for Montreal in 1987-88. He remained a right wing for the rest of his NHL career. ... Missed part of 1987-88 season with knee injury, suffered during Montreal's Oct. 30, 1987, game at Detroit. He did not return to action until Montreal's Nov. 7, 1987, game vs. Philadelphia. He scored a goal in that game ... Missed part of 1987-88 season with jammed right thumb, an injury originally suffered in fight with Kevin Dineen during third period of Montreal's March 12, 1988, game vs. Hartford. He played three games with the injury, but re-aggravated it during Montreal's March 19, 1988, game vs. Chicago and did not return to action until Montreal's April 2, 1988, game vs. Buffalo. He scored two goals in that game and then had a hat trick in Montreal's April 3, 1988, season finale at Buffalo to finish the season with 50 goals. He scored his 50th goal of the season at 4:04 of the third period against Buffalo goaltender Tom Barrasso. ... Missed remainder of 1988 playoffs with broken right thumb, an injury suffered when he was slashed by Michael Thelven in the first period of Game 2 of Montreal's second-round series vs. Boston on April 20, 1988. ... Missed part of Montreal's 1988 training camp with sprained right thumb, suffered in September 1988. ... Missed part of 1988-89 season with the flu, an illness contracted in March 1989. ... Missed part of Montreal's 1989 training camp with bruised right shoulder, suffered in Montreal's Sept. 22, 1989, preseason game vs. Quebec. ... Had two goals and five assists for seven points in Montreal's 10-1 win over Vancouver on Feb. 14, 1990. ... Missed part of 1989-90 season with bruised left foot, an injury suffered during Montreal's Feb. 16, 1990, game at Buffalo. He did not return to action until Montreal's Feb. 22, 1990, game at Quebec. ... Missed remainder of 1989-90 regular season with hip pointer, an injury suffered during Montreal's March 24, 1990, game at Hartford. He did not return to action until Game 1 of Montreal's first-round playoff series at Buffalo on April 5, 1990. ... Missed remainder of 1990 playoffs with sprained left ankle, an injury suffered during Game 3 of Montreal's second-round series vs. Boston on April 23, 1990. ... Finished second in NHL with plus-35 rating in 1989-90. ... Became only the second Montreal player to score 50 goals in more than one season (joining Guy Lafleur) when he achieved feat in 1989-90. ... Missed part of 1990-91 season with knee injury, suffered in Montreal's Nov. 24, 1990, game vs. Los Angeles. He did not return to action until Montreal's Dec. 1, 1990, game vs. Calgary. ... Played on line with Denis Savard and Shayne Corson for Montreal in 1990-91. ... Missed part of 1990-91 season with the flu, an illness contracted in February 1991. ... Led Montreal with nine power-play goals in 1990-91. ... Left Montreal in 1991 with negative reputation, having reportedly complained about coaches and teammates while blaming others for his own mistakes. He would later attribute such behavior to his own immaturity. ... Became first player on New Jersey roster who had ever recorded a 50-goal season in NHL when he joined team in September 1991. ... Scored two goals and had one assist in his first game with New Jersey on Oct. 5, 1991, vs. St. Louis. ... Played on line with Claude Vilgrain and Kevin Todd for New Jersey in 1991-92. ... Missed part of 1991-92 season with groin injury, suffered in New Jersey's Oct. 18, 1991, game at Washington and re-aggravated during New Jersey's Oct. 22, 1991, game vs. Los Angeles. He did not return to action until New Jersey's Oct. 29, 1991, game at Vancouver. ... Missed part of 1991-92 season with sore left knee, an injury suffered during New Jersey's March 24, 1992, game vs. San Jose. He did not return to action until New Jersey's April 12, 1992, game vs. Washington. ... Missed part of 1992-93 season with sore back, an injury suffered during New Jersey's Dec. 5, 1992, game vs. Boston. He did not return to action until New Jersey's Dec. 11, 1992, game vs. Pittsburgh. ... Missed part of 1992-93 season with sore left knee, an injury suffered during New Jersey's Jan. 16, 1993, game vs. N.Y. Islanders. He did not return to action until New Jersey's Jan. 26, 1993, game at N.Y. Islanders. ... Led New Jersey with seven game-winning goals in 1992-93. ... Played left wing, right wing and center for New Jersey in 1992-93. ... Played left wing and right wing for New Jersey in 1993-94. ... Played left wing on line with Corey Millen and John MacLean for New Jersey in 1993-94. ... Played right wing on line with Tom Chorske and Bobby Carpenter for New Jersey in 1993-94. ... Missed part of 1993-94 season with back injury, suffered during New Jersey's Feb. 17, 1994, game at Toronto. He did not return to action until New Jersey's Feb. 23, 2004, game at Detroit. ... Scored his 300th career NHL goal for New Jersey on March 29, 1994, vs. Montreal. ... Named New Jersey Fan Club Player of Month for February 1995. .... Missed part of 1995 season with pulled groin, an injury suffered during New Jersey's March 14, 1995, game vs. Ottawa. He did not return to action until New Jersey's March 19, 1995, game vs. Boston. ... Missed part of 1995 season with re-aggravation of groin injury, suffered during New Jersey's March 22, 1995, game at N.Y. Rangers. ... Named New Jersey Fan Club Player of Month for March 1995. ... Led New Jersey with five game-winning goals in 1995. ... Missed part of 1995 playoffs with arm injury, suffered during Game 3 of New Jersey's Eastern Conference finals series vs. Philadelphia on June 7, 1995. ... Missed part of 1995-96 season with bruised right wrist, an injury suffered during New Jersey's Dec. 6, 1995, game at Montreal. He did not return to action until New Jersey's Dec. 23, 1995, game at Florida. ... Missed part of 1995-96 season with the flu, an illness contracted in February 1996. ... Tied New Jersey single-season record (since broken) with four short-handed goals in 1995-96. ... Played on line with Marc Bureau and Shayne Corson for Montreal in 1996-97. ... Missed part of 1996-97 season with lower back spasms, an injury suffered during Montreal's Nov. 25, 1996, game vs. Tampa Bay. He did not return to action until Montreal's Dec. 11, 1996, game vs. Buffalo. ... Missed part of 1996-97 season with bruised right foot, an injury suffered during Montreal's Jan. 20, 1997, game vs. Detroit. He did not return to action until Montreal's Feb. 1, 1997, game vs. New Jersey. ... Missed part of 1996-97 season with hairline fracture in right foot, an injury suffered during Montreal's Feb. 17, 1997, game at N.Y. Islanders. He did not return to action until Montreal's March 5, 1997, game vs. Colorado. ... Missed part of 1996-97 season with back spasms, an injury suffered during Montreal's April 2, 1997, game at Hartford. He did not return to action until Montreal's April 12, 1997, regular-season finale vs. Philadelphia. ... Missed part of 1997-98 season with deep cut in right calf, an injury suffered when he was accidentally cut by Paul Coffey's skate while attempting to check John LeClair during Montreal's Oct. 11, 1997, game vs. Philadelphia. The injury required plastic surgery, and Richer did not return to action until Montreal's Oct. 27, 1997, game vs. Chicago. ... Benched by Montreal coach Alain Vigneault for Canadiens' Nov. 5, 1997, game vs. Phoenix. It was the first time in his NHL career that Richer was held out of the lineup. ... Missed part of 1997-98 season with sprained left ankle, an injury suffered during Montreal's Nov. 7, 1997, game at San Jose. ... Missed part of 1997-98 season with re-aggravation of sprained left ankle, an injury suffered during Montreal's Nov. 12, 1997, game at Anaheim. He did not return to action until Montreal's Nov. 30, 1997, game vs. Pittsburgh. ... Missed part of 1997-98 season with second re-aggravation of sprained left ankle, an injury suffered during Montreal's Dec. 3, 1997, game vs. Los Angeles. He did not return to action until Montreal's Jan. 12, 1998, game at Tampa Bay. He had two assists in that game. ... Missed part of 1997-98 season with re-aggravation of left ankle sprain, an injury suffered during Tampa Bay's March 28, 1998, game at Montreal. He did not return to action until Tampa Bay's April 13, 1998, game vs. Ottawa. ... Missed remainder of 1997-98 season with re-aggravation of left ankle sprain, an injury suffered during Tampa Bay's April 13, 1998, game vs. Ottawa. ... Missed part of 1998-99 season with left ankle injury, suffered during Tampa Bay's Oct. 16, 1998, game vs. Philadelphia. The injury required arthroscopic surgery, and Richer did not return to action until Tampa Bay's Nov. 19, 1998, game vs. Pittsburgh. ... Missed part of 1998-99 season with re-aggravation of left ankle injury, suffered during Tampa Bay's Dec. 18, 1998, game vs. Edmonton. He did not return to action until Tampa Bay's Dec. 26, 1998, game vs. Florida. ... Missed part of 1998-99 season with shoulder injury, suffered during Tampa Bay's Feb. 20, 1999, game vs. Carolina. ... Missed part of 1999-00 season with strained muscle in rib cage, an injury suffered during Tampa Bay's Nov. 13, 1999, game at Carolina. He did not return to action until Tampa Bay's Dec. 23, 1999, game at Pittsburgh. ... Suspended indefinitely without pay by Tampa Bay after refusing to remain with the team's IHL affiliate in Detroit on Dec. 31, 1999. The situation was finally resolved two weeks later when Tampa Bay traded Richer to St. Louis in exchange for Chris McAlpine and Rich Parent on Jan. 13, 2000. ... Scored his 400th career NHL goal for St. Louis on Jan. 26, 2000, at Ottawa. ... Missed part of 1999-00 season with strained muscle in rib cage, an injury suffered during St. Louis' practice on Feb. 11, 2000. He did not return to action until St. Louis' Feb. 18, 2000, game at Nashville. ... Signed one-year, $825,000 contract with Washington as Group III unrestricted free agent on Aug. 25, 2000, but never played for parent team because he opted to retire for the first time on Sept. 10, 2000. In reality, he chose to quit the team after just one practice and later announced that he was retiring because he no longer had a desire to keep playing. He later acknowledged that the real reason for quitting was that he was suffering from severe clinical depression. ... Came out of retirement to join Pittsburgh at its 2001 training camp and later signed one-year, $700,000 contract with Penguins as a Group III unrestricted free agent on Oct. 2, 2001. ... Missed part of 2001-02 season with left foot injury, suffered during Pittsburgh's Nov. 13, 2001, game at New Jersey. He did not return to action until Pittsburgh's Nov. 21, 2001, game vs. Vancouver. ... Missed part of 2001-02 season with the flu, an illness contracted in December 2001. ... Missed part of 2001-02 season with strained muscle, an injury suffered during Pittsburgh's Jan. 21, 2002, game vs. Philadelphia. He did not return until Pittsburgh's Feb. 10, 2002, game at N.Y. Rangers. ... Missed remainder of 2001-02 regular season with bruised left foot, an injury suffered in New Jersey's April 5, 2002, game at Atlanta. He did not return to action until Game 4 of New Jersey's first-round playoff series vs. Carolina on April 23, 2002.
Richer's Big Suspension: The NHL suspended Richer for 10 games during the 1988-89 season for spearing Jeff Norton during Montreal's Nov. 16, 1988, game vs. N.Y. Islanders. Although no penalty was called on the play, Norton was removed from the ice on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed with bruised ribs. Richer said the spearing incident was unintentional and that he was only trying to hit Norton's hands at the time. Given the extent of Norton's injury, the NHL held Richer out of Montreal's Nov. 17, 1988, game at Boston, pending a review of the incident, and then announced the suspension on Nov. 18, 1988. NHL vice president Brian O'Neill ruled that Richer was attempting to injure Norton on the play because the "blade of his stick was turned inward." Richer and the Canadiens expressed shock at the length of the suspension, figuring he only deserved a maximum of five games. Part of the reason the suspension was made harsher was because the league was trying to crack down on stick work during the 1988-89 season. Richer did not return to action until Montreal's Dec. 7, 1988, game at Minnesota.
Battling Depression: Richer's abrupt retirement from hockey in September 2000 was followed by his public announcement that he suffered from lifelong clinical depression that had led him to contemplate suicide at least twice near the end of his hockey career. Several months after his return to the NHL in 2001, Richer told a St. Petersburg Times reporter that he had considered killing himself by driving his Porsche at excessive speed into a barrier. He also noted that a 10-year relationship had ended at around this time. He finally sought help in the spring of 2001 and the treatment enabled him to make a brief comeback in 2001-02. On top of his long battle with depression, Richer had to deal with persistent rumors that he might be a closeted gay athlete. Although Richer never spoke out about these rumors, it is likely that they did not help his difficult emotional state.
NON-NHL CAREER
Post-Draft Teams: Granby, Chicoutimi (QMJHL); Sherbrooke (AHL); Detroit (IHL)
World Junior Championships: 1985 (gold medal)
NON-NHL AWARDS AND HONORS
AHL Calder Cup:
1985 (Sherbrooke)
QMJHL All-Star Second Team: 1984-85 (Chicoutimi)
1986-87: Played on AHL regular-season champion (Sherbrooke).
Miscellaneous: Traded by Granby (QMJHL) with Greg Choules to Chicoutimi for Stephane Roy, Marc Bureau, Lee Duhemee, Sylvain Demers and Rene Lecuyer in January 1985. ... Became focus of a controversy between Montreal Canadiens and owners of Chicoutimi (QMJHL) after Montreal recalled him in January 1985. Chicoutimi, which had just traded for Richer, did not want to lose him to the NHL. Chicoutimi ownership threatened to stop selling Molson beer products in protest of the move (Molson owned the Canadiens at the time). The situation was quickly resolved when Montreal returned Richer to junior after just one game. Chicoutimi's owners did not realize that under new rules of recalls from junior, Montreal could not keep Richer unless three of its players were out with injuries. Richer had been recalled due to injuries to Bobby Smith, Ron Flockhart and Mike McPhee. ... Joined Sherbrooke (AHL) for remainder of 1985 AHL playoffs after his Chicoutimi team was eliminated from 1985 QMJHL playoffs. He scored nine points in nine games to help Sherbrooke win Calder Cup. ... Was on Montreal team that joined Minnesota to compete in the 1990 NHL Friendship Tour in Soviet Union. ... Was out of hockey for entire 2000-01 season. ... Owned golf course in Montpellier, Quebec, called Club de Golf Montpellier during his playing days, and continued to operate it after his retirement.. ... Played for Montreal alumni team in Heritage Classic outdoor game at Edmonton on Nov. 23, 2003.
Personal: Full name is Stephane J.J. Richer.
HOW HE GOT AWAY
TRADE (2): Montreal traded Richer and Tom Chorske to New Jersey for Kirk Muller and Roland Melanson on September 20, 1991. Five years later, Montreal got Richer back from New Jersey for Lyle Odelein on August 22, 1996. Just over one year later, Montreal lost him again when it traded Richer, Darcy Tucker and David Wilkie to Tampa Bay for Patrick Poulin, Mick Vukota and Igor Ulanov on January 15, 1998.

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SNAPSHOT '84
Total Selected: 250
Forwards: 142
Defense: 88
Goaltenders: 20
Major Junior: 110
Tier II/Jr. B: 16/9
College Players: 23
High School: 47
Midget: 4
U.S. Junior B: 1
Canadian: 145
Euro-Canadian: 2
USA Citizens: 62
U.S.-Born: 63
European: 41
Reached NHL: 102
Stanley Cup: 20
Hall of Fame: 1
All-Star Game: 18
Year-end All-Star: 7
Olympians: 31
 
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