Brad Richards missed his second straight game Thursday night after being cross checked from behind by Patrick Kaleta in Sunday’s 3-2 shootout win over the Sabres, which earned Kaleta a five-game suspension.
Richards said he is not dealing with a concussion or long-term absence, though he does not have a timetable for a return. His neck and back are "a little locked up" but, having missed 10 games because of a concussion with the Stars in 2010-11, Richards is obviously relieved.
"I don’t know where you want to start, how bad it could have been," Richards said. "Overall, I’m standing here talking about trying to play right now and that’s a few days after so I’m pretty fortunate."
Richards was also asked whether a five-game suspension was appropriate.
"I don’t know what’s appropriate," Richards said. "I just hope that someone doesn’t have to have a broken neck and get carried off on a stretch for that to sink in. We learn in Pee Wee if you see somebody’s number, you just don’t do that."
Sadly, Richards’ comments came the same day it was reported that Swiss League player Ronny Keller sustained permanent spinal paralysis after being cross-checked into the boards from behind on Tuesday.
Brad Richards "fortunate"
Bergen Record | Mar 8