One of the best goaltenders to ever put on the pads for the University of Wisconsin will now have college hockey's top goaltender award named in his honor.
Let's Play Hockey and the Herb Brooks Foundation announced Thursday the creation of the Mike Richter Award, which will annually honor the most outstanding goaltender in NCAA men's hockey. The inaugural award will be presented during the 2014 NCAA Men's.
Candidates for the Mike Richter Award will be determined by a vote of all 59 NCAA Division I men's hockey head coaches. The finalists and winner will then be selected by a selection committee of coaches, scouts and members of the media.
Criteria for the Mike Richter Award:
- Candidates must display outstanding skills on the ice
- Candidates should be in good academic standing at an NCAA college or university
- Consideration should be given to academic achievement and sportsmanship
- Candidates must comply with all NCAA rules; be full-time students at an NCAA college or university; and complete 50 percent or more of the season
- Consideration should be given to the candidate's activities in the community
"I am incredibly honored to have this award named after me considering all of the many talented goalies that have played college hockey over the years," Richter said, "My time as a student-athlete at Madison was deeply rewarding both personally and professionally, and I am thrilled to be able to share in this tradition with the current generation of athletes by having my name associated with an award that will specifically honor the goaltending position."
Richter spent two seasons in Madison playing for the Badgers, and was named the 1986 WCHA Freshman of the Year. Richter earned All-WCHA second team honors as a sophomore in 1987 before signing his first professional contract.
While he was great in college, Richter excelled once he got to the NHL. The Pennsylvania native split time his first few seasons with the New York Rangers, but was the man between the pipes who led them to the Stanley Cup in 1994 when they defeated Vancouver in seven games.
Consistently ranked one of the world's best goaltenders, Richter played in 666 games during his 14-year NHL career, all with the Rangers. His 301 wins are more than any other Rangers goaltender and he was named an NHL All-Star three times in his career. Richter's jersey (No. 35) became the third number retired by the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 4, 2004.
Richter was also a standout on the international stage, tending the net for Team USA for parts of three decades. He is one of just 10 Americans ever to compete in at least three Olympic Games (1988, 1998, 2002), including in 2002 when he helped the team capture the silver medal. In addition, he led Team USA to the World Cup of Hockey championship in 1996 and was named the tournament's MVP. He also played in two IIHF World Junior Championships (1985-86), three IIHF Men's World Championships (1986-87, 1993) and the 1991 Canada Cup.
For more hockey coverage, follow Andy on Twitter -- Follow @AndyJohnsonB5Q
You can also reach Andy via e-mail (AndyJohnsonB5Q@gmail.com)