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Wednesday, March 8, 2006
Blue Jackets send Richardson to Maple Leafs


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Luke Richardson's career has come full circle.

Luke Richardson

Richardson, who was drafted by Toronto in 1987, was acquired by the Maple Leafs on Wednesday from the Columbus Blue Jackets for a conditional pick.

Selected seventh overall by the Maple Leafs, Richardson spent the first four seasons of his career in Toronto before being traded to Edmonton in a seven-player deal in September 1991. The defenseman, who turns 37 later this month, signed with Philadelphia in July 1997 before inking a deal with Columbus prior to the 2002-03 season.

The Blue Jackets' captain this season, Richardson recorded one goal, six assists and 30 penalty minutes in 44 games. He missed 15 games after suffering a fractured jaw on Dec. 21 but returned to action Jan. 28.

"Luke Richardson is the consummate professional who brought tremendous class and leadership to our organization, both on and off the ice," Blue Jackets general manager Doug MacLean said. "After receiving a number of inquiries from teams, Luke and I talked about his future and tried to do what was best for him and his family moving forward. I have great respect for Luke and wish him all the best."

A native of Ottawa, Richardson has collected 33 goals, 153 assists and 1,955 penalty minutes in 1,291 career games.

Toronto, which currently is six points out of a playoff position in the Eastern Conference, will send Columbus either a fifth-round pick in 2006 or a fourth-rounder in 2007 for Richardson.