Carter choked up at one point. "Dean showed a lot of faith in me," he said. "A lot of people doubted us. A lot of people doubted me. Proved them wrong." At another point, Richards skated by wearing a gray championship T-shirt and holding a blue bottle of Bud Light.
"It was a frustrating year," Richards said. "It was ups and downs. It was highs and lows. But this is one of the best groups I've ever been a part of … the resiliency, the camaraderie that we had. It was awesome."
Richards and Carter, the much-maligned friends from Philly, shared some words, though Carter wouldn't share them with reporters. "I can't tell you," he said. "You guys would have too much fun with them."
Here we find the Carts in a familiar scenario– with Richie, in the winner’s circle, this time hoisting sports’ greatest trophy, Lord Stanley’s Cup. And to be frank, we haven’t seen Jeff this happy since that time he and his cowboy hat proudly brought three cases of Miller Light into La Costa. Or when he and his buddies had that red fist. They loved that red fist.
Traded Shot last summer by an overreactive Paul Holmgren and Ed Snider, Carts was wounded, at times not leaving his Sea Isle house for days. He finally came around, not so willingly, when front office members from the Blue Jackets, his new team, flew to New Jersey to assuage his feelings.
They were of no help.
Carts’ buddy and the alpha male in their relationship, Mike Richards, was in a better place. He had been shipped off to LA, where the sights were beautiful, the women scantily clad, and the hockey not so bad.
It was tough times for both men, though. The separation took its toll and there was much commiserating, by phone, during those long summer nights.
But they had shared adversity before: There was the time they went to Chester to see Becks but Becks wasn’t there:
I. Don't. Know, Michael.
And then there was the…
… actually, that was it. There was never any adversity. Just partying… and that one time David Beckham didn't show for the Union-Galaxy match.
Jeff wasn’t quite sure how to deal with his newfound struggle. He took a private jet to visit Richie in Canada. Later in the year, when the Blue Jackets came to Philadelphia, he was injured. So he rented a luxury box and had a sad:
But then things started looking up. The trade winds swirled and, eventually, Carts was shipped off to LA to join his former captain, his first mate, Mike Richards.
Happy days were here (there, I suppose) again. Carts and Richie were together, and it felt like home. Flyers West, if you will. Simon Gagne and Justin Williams were there. John Stevens was behind the bench. And Ron Hextall, upstairs.
Now they're all Stanley Cup champions. The Cup, standing guard as Richie and Carts railroad struggling actresses from The Valley.
All their friends? Excited.
SoCal swagger DeSean Jackson, who reps the Stanley Cup Camps:
Actor Kevin Connolly:
Hunter Pence’s Sister:
Al Michaels and his flip phone:
Paul Holmgren? Not so much:
Pic via (@DomHadik)
Join us now, if you will, in viewing a pictorial of Jeff Carter and Mike Richards winning the Stanley Cup.
That's all great, but something feels like it's missing. Jeff feels… empty. Richie is here. Simon is here. The Cup is here. The drinks are most certainly here. The girls are presumably on a bed, naked, waiting for someone to snort recreational drugs out of their ass cracks. But something is amiss. Someone is missing. WHERE'S BECKS?! Carts and Richie couldn't find him in Chester last summer. But they need him now. The celebration won't be complete witho… there he is!!!!