Brad Richardson has had a very long and successful NHL career. I know that the Arizona Coyotes did not add him in the summer of 2015 to be a scoring threat. Instead, he has been something else for the Coyotes.
Brad Richardson has never been a scoring machine. His best season came in 2015-16, his first season with the Coyotes, Richardson put up 46 points including 11 goals. The former Stanley Cup Champion is known for his defensive play, something the Coyotes have always valued.
Richardson is not the player he used to be by any capacity. His Corsi numbers are the worst of his career at 40.2%. However, one reason for that might be how reliant the Coyotes are on Richardson in their own end.
Brad Richardson’s defensive zone starts are at the highest of his career. Richardson is now starting 72% of his zone draws in the defensive zone, considering his career average is at 59.2% in the defensive zone that is just too high.
Richardson’s numbers might be down because of the fact that he is playing so much more in the defensive zone than normal, even for his standards. One reason for his reliance in the Coyotes own end might be the fact that Richardson has a 53.6% faceoff percentage, not bad from someone who is reaching the wrong side of 30.
Richardson, in my opinion, is doing his best to make the Coyotes better. Although he is currently on injury reserved, his 1.25 million dollar contract is great for the team. It will be interesting to see if he re-signs with the Coyotes at the end of the season, or if he goes elsewhere to pursue more money and a bigger opportunity.
The Arizona Coyotes have a lot of players that can play center, which makes Richardson more expendable to the team. One way to make the team need Richardson more is by repeating the success he had last year. We are about a year removed from Richardson putting up a great effort against the Vancouver Canucks, we could really use another effort like this from Richardson.
For Richardson’s play so far this season I would have to give him a C rating. He is a hard-working player and is doing his very best to keep the team in the game from their own end. However, with the team falling in the standings, he needs to be better if they are to make the playoffs this spring!