The Vancouver Stealth have announced the team has signed goaltender Tyler Richards to a one-year contract.
Richards returns to the franchise after retiring from lacrosse on May 22, 2015 and will be entering his eighth season in the National Lacrosse League (NLL), which all have been with the Stealth. He appeared in 14 games with Vancouver during the 2015 season and had a 4-9 record along with a 14.57 goals against average and a .739 save percentage.
“I am so thankful for this opportunity from ownership and the coaching staff to allow me to come back to the team out of retirement. I am really excited and can’t wait to run out on the floor with my teammates again,” said Richards.
The Coquitlam native was drafted in the fourth round (46th overall) by the Stealth in the 2007 NLL Entry Draft. His 33 regular season wins is second in franchise history and in 2014, surpassed Rob Blasdell for most saves in franchise history (2,576). He’s also the franchise leader in playoff wins with 8. In 2015, Richards became just the 13th goaltender in league history to record 3,000 career regular season saves. On February 28, 2015 he also scored his first career NLL goal, marking the first time since 2009 that a goaltender scored in the NLL.
“My body feels great and hopefully it doesn’t take too long for me to shake some of the rust off,” Richards continued.
Stealth Head Coach Dan Perreault is looking forward to having a familiar face back in the dressing room.
“I have known Tyler for a long time and he is a guy that is going to help this team in many areas on and off the floor. He has had some great years in this organization and seems very motivated to come back and compete hard with his teammates,” said Perreault.
As for expectations, Richards plans to come in and do whatever it takes to help the team win.
“First and foremost, I don’t want to enter the room and disturb any chemistry the team has going right now, especially after that big win last weekend against Colorado. As for Eric [Penney] and myself, I hope we push each other the rest of the year, as that is the recipe of having a successful goaltending tandem. He is a good young goaltender with a great future and is playing well this year,” Richards said.
With the addition of Richards, the Stealth have released goaltender Chris Levis.