Richards comes to Minnesota from San Jose, where he spent last season as an assistant coach. Before that, he was the head coach of Pittsburgh's AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre. Oilers fans might remember him from his time there; in that capacity he coached prospects such as Tom Gilbert, Kyle Brodziak, Marc Pouliot, Robert Nilsson, J-F Jacques and Rob Schremp. This is a solid choice, although it's probably a crime to name any head coach whose first name isn't "Dave" and whose last name isn't "Tippett". As far as the AHL up-and-comers go, the only guy who I can see as being in the same range as Richards is Scott Arniel.