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Mike Richter Will Play in the Outdoor Alumni Game ... But Not As a Goalie

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 03: Former New York Rangers player Mike Richter walks onto the ice during a ceremony retiring Adam Graves' jersey prior to a game between the New York Rangers and the Atlanta Thrashers on February 03, 2008 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Mike Richter is the Rangers' all-time leader in wins, and was a cornerstone of the 1994 Stanley Cup championship team. But the popular goalie's name was nowhere to be found when the rosters for the Winter Classic alumni game were announced. Richter, you'll recall, retired in 2003 because of concussion issues, and had reportedly been seeking medical permission to play. And last night, Sam Rosen said on the air that Richter will indeed play in the game on December 31. There's a catch, though: He won't play as a goalie.

Which makes sense: A skater should be able to avoid serious contact in an old-timers' game like this, but even in a friendly game, a goalie can't control whether a puck will come at his mask with some force on it. So this seems like a reasonable compromise, even though it'll be hella weird to see Richter skating around the outdoor rink without his goalie equipment. Then again, at least it's not like we haven't seen that before:

Photo: Chris McGrath/2009 Getty Images