I spoke with Mike Richter last week and couldn’t help but ask the politically-astute and legendary Rangers netminder what he thought about the current race for the U.S. presidency – in particular, Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s description of herself as a “hockey mom.”
“I certainly hope that’s not the definition of a hockey mom right there,” said Richter, who described his political views as “conservative in some areas, and liberal” in others. “My mom is a hockey mom, and she’s frankly not the same.”
Richter, who works to promote the growth of environmentally progressive companies, announced in 2007 he would not run as a Democratic candidate for Congress this year. But he didn’t sound like a man entirely averse to a run in the coming years, either.
“I won’t say never,” Richter said. “One of the things I felt strongly about was that I got paid because the fans came out to see us play and you feel you owe a debt to people in a way, and public service is a pretty cool way of getting it back. You can use some of your stature or political capital to put yourself in a position to do something useful. We’ve got a lot of problems in the United States right now, and we could use a lot of help in making things better than they are.”
Richter has never been shy about presenting his opinion. Remember, this is the guy who shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, heavily criticized George Bush’s statement that he wanted Osama bin Laden “dead or alive.” He also pulled no punches when asked about a recent ESPN.com story that mentioned just one NHLer, Canadiens right winger Georges Laraque, has donated more than $200 to a political cause for the current presidential race. (You can search his and others’ donation histories HERE)
“My particular theory on that is that it’s not because hockey players are apolitical – it’s because they’re cheap,” Richter said with a laugh. “Honestly though, 500 NHL players last year wrote a check to go carbon neutral on their flights for the season, which is a really great thing I’m quite proud of (helping to co-ordinate).
“In terms of the environment, hockey players really get it. They’re just good people, and that’s whether they’re conservative or liberal.”
May I say, I’m digging the heck out of the just-unveiled third St. Louis Blues jersey? Because I am.
Adam Proteau is writer and columnist for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Mondays, his Ask Adam feature appears Fridays and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.
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