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Richardson retires from NHL, eyes coaching role

TSN.ca Staff

11/28/2008 7:14:13 PM

Defenceman Luke Richardson has elected to retire from the NHL after being put on waivers by the Senators on Thursday.

The 20-year NHL veteran was eligible to play for Ottawa's AHL affiliate in Binghamton, but opted instead to hang up his skates.

"It's a little weird, you know," said Richardson.  "Today it's kind of like the first day after the season.  Every hockey player feels lost for a while."

Richardson made his NHL debut with Toronto in 1987 before playing for Edmonton, Philadelphia and Columbus.  He then had a short second stint with the Maple Leafs before moving on to Tampa Bay and finally his hometown of Ottawa.

"I definitely enjoyed my time playing and it looks like it's over," said the 39-year-old.  "So there's pretty well no regrets in that area."

Prior to his retirement, Richardson was the fourth-oldest player in the NHL and had spent the majority of the season as a healthy scratch.  But he had also been helping to run team practices, and now seems hopeful about remaining with the Senators in a non-playing role.

"I'd love to stay on here and coach and I think they've shown interest in that," Richardson said.  "I would love to stay in the game and contribute."

"We use him at times during games to sit upstairs and get on the headsets," head coach Craig Hartsburg recently told NHL.com. "I think, eventually, he wants to get into that. When it's time, he'll do a good job of that. He's a guy with lots of experience as a player. He's seen a lot and knows what the game is all about, on and off the ice. He'll be a good coach."

In 1,417 career NHL games, Richardson recorded 35 goals and 166 assists with 2,055 penalty minutes. He had eight assists and 130 penalty minutes in 69 career NHL playoff games.  This season, Richardson had no points and two penalty minutes in two games.