It was a brief retirement.
Less than a year after he left the game, goaltender Tyler Richards has returned to sign a one-year contract with the Vancouver Stealth.
“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,” Richards said.
“I am really excited and can’t wait to run out on the floor with my teammates again.”
Richards returns to the franchise after retiring from lacrosse last May and will be entering his eighth season in the National Lacrosse League (NLL), all of which 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.
The Coquitlam native was drafted in the fourth round (46th overall) by the Stealth in 2007.
His 33 regular season wins places him second in franchise history and in 2014 he surpassed Rob Blasdell for most saves (2,576).
He’s also the franchise leader in playoff wins with eight.
In 2015, Richards became just the 13th goaltender in league history to record 3,000 career regular season saves.
On Feb. 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 said.
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.
With the addition of Richards, the Stealth have released goaltender Chris Levis.
The team’s next home game is Feb. 20 against the Calgary Roughnecks at 7 p.m.