Richards To Lead Blue Jackets

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Go Gophers! Todd Richards
Go Gophers!
Todd Richards had 158 points as a Gopher in 167 games.
Go Gophers!
The Columbus Dispatch reported this morning that former Gopher standout Todd Richards will be named the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The club has since confirmed the hiring and will hold a press conference at 12 p.m. CT. Fans can watch the press conference here.

Richards has been on the Columbus staff for one year. He started last season as an assistant coach, but was then named interim head coach with 41 games remaining in the regular season.

According to the Dispatch, under Richards the Blue Jackets went 18-21-2, which included an 11-8-0 record after March 1 and wins in five of their last six games. Columbus was also 14-0 with Richards behind the bench when they had the lead after 40 minutes.

Richards played in 167 games for the Gophers from 1985-89 and served as captain during his senior season. He ranks first in Minnesota history for career points (158) and assists (128) by a defenseman. Among all Gopher players he is tied for 23rd in points (with Reggie Berg) and tied for fifth in assists (with John Pohl). His 30 career goals place him tied for eighth among Gopher blueliners (with Bill Baker). Richards' 43 helpers during his sophomore also rank third all-time in single-season assists for a Minnesota defenseman.

This will be the second NHL head coaching stint for Richards, as he previously led the Minnesota Wild from 2009-11. He compiled a 77-71-16 record as the bench boss for the Wild. Richards also served as an assistant coach for San Jose during the 2008-09 season. He was also the head coach of the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton franchise from 2006-08 and was an assistant with the Milwaukee Admirals from 2002-06.

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