Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Mike Ricci
With an Italian cultural background, Mike Ricci was raised with a deep love for soccer, especially when Italy's national team hit the field in World Cup competition. While growing up in the greater Toronto area, he took up the game himself along with some baseball and the Canadian tradition of hockey.

It didn't take long for everyone, including Ricci himself, to realize that hockey was his forte. He joined the Peterborough Petes of the OHL in 1987 and staged a veritable scoring clinic during his three years with the club. In year two, his team made it to the Memorial Cup tournament where Ricci scored 35 points in 17 playoff games. In his final junior season, he was named the Canadian Hockey League's player of the year.

The first round, fourth overall selection of the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, a member of Canada's gold medal World Junior team in 1990, Ricci played two seasons in Philly before he was packaged up along with a throng of other players and sent to the Quebec Nordiques to secure the rights to Eric Lindros. With the Nordiques, Ricci finally settled in as a true NHL character. An offensively gifted player, Ricci established a career high 78 points in his first seasaon with Nordiques and quickly became a fan favorite.

Over the years, Ricci's game has evolved away from the finesse style of his junior days towards a more defensive approach although he still spots his share of goals and assists. Ricci joined the Nordiques in their transition to Colorado in 1995, capturing a Stanley Cup later that spring. After parts of six seasons with the Quebec/Colorado franchise, Ricci was traded to the San Jose Sharks during the 1996-97 campaign and went on to play parts of seven seasons with the club. The former OHL star continued to play a game replete with leadership, character, and dogged defense for the club surpassing the 1000 games played mark during the 2003-04 season.

In the summer of 2004, Ricci signed as a free-agent with the Phoenix Coyotes. In his first season as a Coyote, Ricci would appear in 78 games with the club and suffer a serious neck injury. In the off-season Ricci would undergo neck surgery. The following season, his neck injury lingered and as a result the gritty forward would only see action in seven regular season games with the club.

The Coyotes opted not to re-sign Ricci who would announce his retirement after 16 NHL seasons at a charity golf tournament in Peterborough, Ontario.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1986-87 Toronto Marlboros MTHL 38 39 42 81 27
1987-88 Mississauga Reps MTHL
1987-88 Peterborough Petes OHL 41 24 37 61 20 8 5 5 10 4
1988-89 Peterborough Petes OHL 60 54 52 106 43 17 19 16 35 18
1988-89 Canada WJC-A 7 5 2 7 6
1988-89 Peterborough Petes M-Cup 5 3 1 4 8
1989-90 Peterborough Petes OHL 60 52 64 116 39 12 5 7 12 26
1989-90 Canada WJC-A 5 0 4 4 0
1990-91 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 68 21 20 41 64 -8
1991-92 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 78 20 36 56 93 -10
1992-93 Quebec Nordiques NHL 77 27 51 78 123 +8 6 0 6 6 8
1993-94 Quebec Nordiques NHL 83 30 21 51 113 -9
1993-94 Canada WC-A 8 2 1 3 8
1994-95 Quebec Nordiques NHL 48 15 21 36 40 +5 6 1 3 4 8
1995-96 Colorado Avalanche NHL 62 6 21 27 52 +1 22 6 11 17 18
1996-97 Colorado Avalanche NHL 63 13 19 32 59 -3 17 2 4 6 17
1997-98 Colorado Avalanche NHL 6 0 4 4 2 0
1997-98 San Jose Sharks NHL 59 9 14 23 30 -4 6 1 3 4 6
1998-99 San Jose Sharks NHL 82 13 26 39 68 +1 6 2 3 5 10
1999-00 San Jose Sharks NHL 82 20 24 44 60 +14 12 5 1 6 2
2000-01 San Jose Sharks NHL 81 22 22 44 60 +3 6 0 3 3 0
2001-02 San Jose Sharks NHL 79 19 34 53 44 +9 12 4 6 10 4
2002-03 San Jose Sharks NHL 75 11 23 34 53 -12
2003-04 San Jose Sharks NHL 71 7 19 26 40 +8 17 2 3 5 4
2004-05
2005-06 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 78 10 6 16 69 -22
2006-07 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 7 0 1 1 4 -1
2006-07 San Antonio Rampage AHL 2 0 0 0 0 +1
NHL Totals 1099 243 362 605 974 110 23 43 66 77


OHL Second All-Star Team (1989)
OHL First All-Star Team (1990)
OHL MVP (1990)
Canadian Major Junior Player of the Year (1990)
OHL First All-Star Team (1990)
Traded to Quebec by Philadelphia with Steve Duchesne, Peter Forsberg, Kerry Huffman, Ron Hextall, Philadelphia's 1st round choice (Jocelyn Thibault) in 1993 Entry Draft, $15,000,000 and future considerations (Chris Simon and Philadelphia's 1st round choice (later traded to Toronto - later traded to Washington - Washington selected Nolan Baumgartner) in 1994 Entry Draft, July 21, 1992) for Eric Lindros, June 30, 1992. Transferred to Colorado after Quebec franchise relocated, June 21, 1995. Traded to San Jose by Colorado with Colorado's 2nd round choice (later traded to Buffalo - Buffalo selected Jaroslav Kristek) in 1998 Entry Draft for Shean Donovan and San Jose's 1st round choice (Alex Tanguay) in 1998 Entry Draft, November 21, 1997. Signed as a free agent by Phoenix, July 9, 2004. Missed majority of 2006-07 due to recurring neck injury. Officially announced his retirement August 13, 2007.