Stanley Cup Champ Mike Richter Hosts a “Signature STAC Chat”

Kayla Healey, Contributor

Former New York Ranger goalie Mike Richter spoke to an audience of more than 100 people in the Romano Student Alumni Center on Thursday, April 13, offering advice about school, career moves, and the importance of mental health.

The Hall of Fame goalie who won a Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1994 is now the President of Brightcore Energy, a company focused on helping people reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.

His new life is a 180-degree pivot from Richter’s 14-year career in the NHL.

“Many people tell me I had a really important job,” Richter said. “That always made me feel weird because all I did was stop a frozen piece of rubber from going into a net.” 

When his hockey career ended, Richter decided to go back to school. He received a degree from Yale University in ethics and politics with a concentration in environmental policy. 

Most athletes are content to live the rest of their life comfortably after they retire, but Richter decided he wanted to make an impact on the world in a new way.

He’d always loved being a student and taking classes, prompting his decision to return to school after sustaining a career-ending injury. 

“I was a pretty serious student,” Richter said. “I loved playing hockey and if I could do it to this day, I would still be doing it. But I think there’s different aspects of [my] life that have fortunately forced me to move on to different things.” 

Richter emphasized the importance of being nimble, telling students they shouldn’t fear trying new things or failure.

There is a lot of pressure on college students to know what they want to do with their life and what career path they should choose, Richter noted.

“Be nimble” and “try things on,” he advised.

Ricther told the story of a young man he met who knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life — get a career in finance and work on Wall Street. Richter said he was surprised that such a young man knew exactly what he wanted to do.

Years later, Richter happened to run into that same young man, who now was doing exactly what he said he always wanted to do. Except, he told Richter, he was absolutely miserable, and he hated it.

“Take some pressure off yourself right?,” Richter said. “There’s a lot of things you can probably do. All you need to do is find the thing that feeds your soul, what moves you, what makes you happy.”

Richter emphasized the importance of not limiting yourself and taking this time in your life to figure out what makes you happy.

“You have to be able to move from one thing to another without getting married to something because God forbid you get into something, and maybe you are good at it and maybe it pays you well, but if you are miserable, you are miserable, and you don’t get that time back,” he concluded.