Tampa Bay Lightning: 20 Greatest Goal Scorers In Franchise History

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Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

4. Brad Richards

Single Season High Goals: 26

Career High Goals: 288

The Tampa Bay Lightning had no idea when they drafted a young forward from Prince Edward Island by the name of Brad Richards in the 6th Round (64th Overall) of the 1998 National Hockey League Entry Draft that he would turn out to be the success story he ultimately became. We would go as far as to say he was one of the best draft picks the Tampa Bay Lightning ever made.

Brad Richards would make his Tampa Bay Lightning debut in the 2000-01 season, the same season as his teammate Martin St. Louis. In his very first season in the Lightning sweater, Richards would already start making an impact on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Richards would register twenty-plus goal seasons in every season he was with the Tampa Bay Lightning with the exception of the 2002-03 and 2007-08 seasons.

The then-twenty-four year old center would set a single season high for goals scored as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2003-04 season where he would register 26 goals and 53 assists for a total of 79 points and a plus-14 rating. As most of you know by now, this is the same season the Tampa Bay Lightning would capture their first-ever Stanley Cup victory.

As much as Brad Richards as a part of the collective Tampa Bay Lightning effort towards winning Lord Stanley’s Cup, Richards would get some recognition of his own that season. In the 2003-04 season, Richards would be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy, which is awarded to the Most Valuable Player of the Playoffs.

In the 23 games Richard played in the post season with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2003-04 season, Richards would record 12 goals and 14 assists for a total of 26 points. This means Richards was scoring an average of at least one point per game during the post season. With statistics like this, it is no wonder he was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Unfortunately, after spending seven successful seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Brad Richards would be involved in what most Tampa Bay Lightning fans refer to as one of the worst trades in Tampa Bay Lightning history as Richards was sent to the Dallas Stars along with goaltender Johan Holmqvist in exchange for Jeff Halpern, Jussi Jokinen, Mike Smith, and a 2009 fourth round NHL Draft Pick.

While Richards was with the Lightning, he was able to register a total of 150 goals. This places Richards in fourth place in overall goals scored by a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning during their time with the team. The only players to beat him out are his former teammates Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, and current Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos.

Brad Richards made many contributions to the Tampa Bay Lightning both on and off the ice. While we can’t speak for everyone here in the Bolts Nation, as far as we are concerned there will always be a place in our hearts for Brad Richards.

Next: The Once Heart and Soul of the Tampa Bay Lightning