Flyers sign leading-scorer Richards to 12-year extension

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers signed scoring
leader Mike Richards to a 12-year contract extension Thursday.

While the team didn't disclose financial terms, The Canadian
Press reported the deal was for $69 million.

The 22-year-old forward has a career-high 14 goals this season
and also has 20 assists. He's third in the NHL with three
short-handed goals.

Richards' new contract will start next season and run through
the 2019-20 season. The team announced the extension before its
game Thursday night against Montreal.

"Mike has become an integral part of our core group and we are
extremely happy to have him under contract long term," general
manager Paul Holmgren said. "We believe that he will continue to
grow as a player and as a leader."

The Flyers' first-round draft pick in 2003, Richards has 35
goals and 65 assists over three NHL seasons. He's making just over
$940,000 this season.

"I am very happy to be part of the organization for hopefully
the rest of my career,'' Richards said.