Wednesday

Dave Richter

This is Dave Richter.

He looks pretty harmless in this photo. But he was a pretty menacing tough guy in his day.

The University of Michigan grad played throughout the 1980s, riding a lot of minor league buses but also getting the chance to play in 365 NHL games with Minnesota, Philadelphia, Vancouver and St. Louis.

He was a giant at 6'5" and pushing 200lbs. Honestly, he was not much of a hockey player at the NHL level. He played defense, but was at best the number 6 defenseman on any given night, playing only to rest another defender or on the occasional penalty kill. He just did not have the skating ability, neither speed nor mobility, to be an every day defenseman.

Richter was there to fight. Despite his size, he was not a noted fighter of his time. He seemed to accept the role with some reluctance. He never instigated a fight and was not as aggressive as his size-created reputation suggested. When he had to he dropped the gloves and did his job, all in hopes that that would allow him the chance for more playing time.

As you can see, off the ice he was a quiet, unassuming nice guy, well liked by his teammates. In the picture above he almost looks more like a trustworthy high school teacher. Richter did earn his bachelor of education at Michigan. He was the academic athlete of the year at Michigan in 1982, too.

On the ice he played a role. Here's a much more fearsome looking Dave Richter feeding none other than Terry O'Reilly a knuckle sandwich:

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