Bruce Richardson (born June 8, 1977) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player best known for his time playing for Braehead Clan and the Nottingham Panthers in the BritishElite Ice Hockey League and for the Hershey Bears in the American Hockey League. Richardson was often a favourite with fans wherever he went, due to his aggressive style of play and determination. He was the head coach of the Victoriaville Tigres in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League from 2014 to 2016 and now coach of Armada Blainville-Boisbriand in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Bruce Richardson started his 18-year playing career in Quebec, with the Sherbrooke Faucons in the QMJHL. He stayed there for 3 and a half years, playing over a hundred games before moving onto the Chicoutimi Saguenéens in the same league.
Most of Richardson’s time in North America was spent at the Hershey Bears in Hershey, Pennsylvania. During his first year there he was coached by Bob Hartley, who went on to become a Stanley Cup winning coach with the Colorado Avalanche in 2000-01. He is remembered fondly by the Bears fans, racking up a total of over 150 games in his two spells there, and was named their ‘Unsung Hero’ for the 1998-99 season. Hershey is also where Richardson met Tim Wedderburn and Jordan Krestanovich, who he became friends with and signed for the Braehead Clan in his first coaching role.
Richardson also played for the Manitoba Moose, in Winnipeg, in the final season of the now defunct IHL.
Despite not ever playing in an NHL game, Richardson did take part in the Detroit Red Wings pre-season in 2001. On September 17, 2001 in a game against the New York Rangers Richardson, wearing the number 68, had a fight with Richard Scott. Richardson also got to take to the ice in Madison Square Garden, home of the New York Rangers, an achievement which he classes as his greatest memory in hockey.
Richardson had a fairly successful season in 2004-05 with the Danbury Trashers in the UHL. The Trashers came second in the Eastern Division, qualifying them for the play-offs. They saw off Adirondack Frostbite, winning 4 games to their 2 in the Quarter-Finals. They then fell to eventual play-off champions Muskegon Fury in the Semi-Finals, winning only 1 game to their 4. Richardson was the Thrashers overall top point scorer for the season, with 25 goals and 62 assists in the regular season and a further 2 goals and 6 assists in the play-offs.
During his time playing hockey in North America, Richardson played alongside many future NHL players. These included Eric Perrin, Raitis Ivanans, Jason Williams, Jordan Krestanovich and many others. It is often suggested that had Bruce been slightly bigger, he may have made it there himself.
Richardson was sometimes considered injury-prone, due to suffering some major injuries in his career. He tore a knee ligament in 2000, and a broken left eye socket in 2002. This was often attributed to the fact that Bruce played with such aggression and determination, and was willing to put his body on the line for his team.
Richardson continued to play for many different clubs all across North America until 2005, when Richardson realised that his dream of playing in the NHL may be over. With this in mind, he took on a new challenge and joined the Iserlohn Roosters in the German Hockey League, after a major summer restructuring that saw twelve players leave the club. The Roosters signed him to lead their fourth line, which included two younger players. They wanted Richardson to help their development with his experience.