Richards' script ends with crash scene

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 12, 2011 - 12:29 AM

 Fired as Wild coach following a late-season fade that cost the team a playoff spot, the Crystal native said he simply "needed to do a better job."


Former Wild coach Todd Richards, who was fired Monday, behind the bench during a game this season against the Vancouver Canucks.

Photo: David Brewster, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

What’s next for Todd Richards?

“I’m going to a movie, I think it’s that new comedy called 'Your Highness,’ that one with Natalie Portman and that guy I like from 'Eastbound and Down,’ I think his name is Danny McBride,” Richards, chuckling, told the Star Tribune on Monday. “That’s exactly what I’m doing next: I’m going to a movie.

“Whenever I need time to get away and relax and take a deep breath, that’s my escape.”

Richards and his wife, Maryann, sat at the front door anxiously awaiting their 15- and 13-year-old sons, Zachary and Justin, to get home from school.

It wasn’t going to be an easy conversation, although there’s a chance both knew their father had lost his job as the Wild coach Monday morning.

The conversation was brief inside General Manager Chuck Fletcher’s office.

Richards’ reaction? “Just disappointed. Just disappointed in myself, that’s all,” he said. “I needed to do a better job — simple as that.”

As veteran Andrew Brunette said Monday, it’s amazing how fast it unraveled.

“Eight weeks ago we’re talking about Todd as 'Coach of the Year,’ ” Brunette said. “Things happened so fast.”

Richards agreed, saying: “That’s the way it went a lot of times with us over two years. Things were going good and things then got bad. At times they got better, but at times they didn’t get better.
“The one thing that’s disappointing was when we were playing good hockey before we went on that four-game road trip [to Nashville, Dallas, Vancouver and San Jose], I truly believed we were a playoff team, I really did.

“But we weren’t playing great hockey and I think we missed Mikko [Koivu]. That was a huge injury [broken finger] at a real critical time for us.”

The Wild lost eight in a row, Richards was under siege and the Wild ultimately missed the playoffs for a third consecutive season — the second under Richards.

Still, when Richards woke up Monday morning, “I wasn’t thinking it was going to happen.”

Richards admits he made mistakes, but didn’t want to talk about them publicly Monday. He also didn’t want to talk about the team, a team even Fletcher admits is just not good enough and must add talent.

“I don’t want to get into what I think about the team just because I’m no longer a part of it,” Richards said. “So I don’t want to get into my views of what I think the team is lacking or what it needs.

“There’s some things that I would probably do different though. I don’t think they’re drastic or major things.”

Richards, a Crystal native and former Gophers star, had high hopes when he became coach two years ago.

“Life moves on,” he said. “I’m disappointed being a kid from Minnesota, you want to come here and do well. You want to do well for the fans. The fans supported me 100 percent. You want to do well for them. That’s where the disappointment comes in.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Washington 0
Pittsburgh 7 FINAL
Detroit 3
Miami 3 FINAL
St. Louis 2
Boston - WP: K. Couch 11 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: C. Reavis 8
NY Yankees - LP: M. Tanaka 1 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: T. Milone 3
Tampa Bay 4 FINAL
Baltimore 3
Philadelphia 6 FINAL
Toronto 10
Chicago Cubs 15 FINAL
Texas 10
Cincinnati - WP: M. Lorenzen 10 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers 4
Colorado 3 FINAL
San Francisco 4
Chicago WSox 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 1
Seattle 6 FINAL
Cleveland 8
Oakland - WP: J. Fuller 13 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: B. Loconsole 10
Texas 7 FINAL
Arizona 8
Houston 8 FINAL
Atlanta 5
Kansas City 4 FINAL
San Diego 1
Atlanta 95 FINAL
Detroit 105
Indiana 106 FINAL
Brooklyn 111
San Antonio 95 FINAL
Miami 81
Golden State 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 106
New Jersey 2 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 3
Carolina 2 FINAL
Washington 4
Florida 2 FINAL
Boston 3
Ottawa 2 FINAL(SO)
Detroit 1
Tampa Bay 1 FINAL
Toronto 3
NY Rangers 3 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Vancouver 5 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
UT Martin 66 FINAL
Evansville 79
Miami-Florida 60 FINAL
Temple 57
Northern Ariz 68
Stanford 67 FINAL
Old Dominion 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: What are you following most closely right now?

Weekly Question