Todd Richards was named head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets on May 14, 2012. He joined the Blue Jackets as an assistant coach on June 20, 2011 and took over as interim head coach on January 9, 2012. He led the Blue Jackets to an 18-21-2 record, including a 16-14-1 mark over the final 31 games with wins in seven of its last 11 outings. Columbus also went 14-0-0 when taking a lead into the third period after dropping points in eight of its previous 17 games when leading after two periods (9-6-2).
Prior to joining the Blue Jackets, Richards compiled a 77-71-16 record as the head coach of the Minnesota Wild from 2009-11. He was named the second head coach in Wild history on June 16, 2009 and led the club to a 38-36-8 record in 2009-10 and a 39-35-8 mark in 2010-11. In 2008-09, he served as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks and helped the club capture the Presidents’ Trophy with an NHL-best 53-18-11 record.
During his stint with the Wild, the club’s power play unit converted nearly 19 percent of its man advantage opportunities. He was also responsible for the power play while serving as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks in 2008-09. That unit ranked third in the NHL at 24.2 percent and helped the club capture the Presidents’ Trophy with a 53-18-11 record and 117 points.
Prior to his stint with the Sharks, Richards spent two seasons as the head coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins from 2006-08, compiling a 98-49-13 record and leading the club to the 2008 Calder Cup Final. He also coached the PlanetUSA squad at the 2007 Rbk Hockey/AHL All-Star Classic in Toronto. He began his coaching career as an assistant with the American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals from 2002-06, helping the club to a pair of West Division titles, two appearances in the Calder Cup Final and the 2004 Calder Cup championship.
Richards played four seasons at the University of Minnesota from 1985-89. He was a three-time WCHA Second All-Star Team pick, helping the Golden Gophers win two Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) titles in 1988 and 1989 and reach the NCAA title game in 1989. He served as the team’s captain and earned Second Team All-America honors as a senior. He is the University of Minnesota’s all-time leading scorer among defensemen with 30-128-158.
Montreal’s third pick, 33rd overall, in the 1985 Entry Draft, Richards made his professional debut in 1990 and appeared in eight career NHL games with the Hartford Whalers between 1990-92, collecting four assists and four penalty minutes. His playing career would span 13 seasons, mostly in the AHL and International Hockey League. He helped Springfield win the 1991 Calder Cup championship, was a three-time IHL All-Star and won the 2001 Turner Cup title with the Orlando Solar Bears. He wrapped up his career in 2001-02 with Servette Geneve in Switzerland.
Richards was born on Oct. 20, 1966 in Crystal, Minnesota. He and his wife, Maryann, are the parents of sons, Zachary and Justin.
Todd Richard's Coaching Career