Richard played his college hockey at Miami University (Ohio), before being drafted by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1992 Supplemental Draft. He never played for the Nordiques, and was signed by New Jersey as a free agent in 1997.
As anyone who has been a Devils fan knows, being a backup in New Jersey in the mid to late 90’s (and beyond) meant playing second chair to one of the greatest goalies in the history of the game. Richard was not first in line, either, as the Devils also had a young goalie named Mike Dunham, who saw most of the action.
In fact, Shulmistra would play only one game for the Devils, allowing two goals in a an overtime loss to the Florida Panthers. The game winning goal was scored by former Devils player, Rob Niedermayer, who also had a famous brother.
Richard would get another chance in the NHL with those same Florida Panthers, and two years after his first appearance with the Devils, he recorded his first and only NHL win against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Richard would continue to play in the United States and in Europe until 2004, when he retired from play. He became a goaltending instructor and still works with a junior hockey program to this day.
Locating a Shulmistra signed puck was a strange situation for me, because I was able to find very reliable information about him, both a physical address and an e-mail. I tried contacting him both ways to no avail.
I then contacted the executive director of the junior program he works with, who told me Richard was his friend and he would forward him my info. He believed Richard would be happy to help.
I never heard back. I emailed the executive director again, and after having received a reply within 5 minutes the first time, I never heard back from him. I even sent a puck to their offices with a small donation to their program, and nothing. So I gave up.
I took to Facebook, where I had just registered for an account. After joining several memorabilia groups, I just threw it out there: anyone have a puck from one of these four remaining guys?
Almost immediately, I received responses from not one but two fellow collectors who had Shulmistra signed pucks! I chatted with my new buddy Andrew McCartney, who was willing to sell me his puck.
It’s the only Albany River Rats puck in my collection, and I am really, really happy to have it. Thanks again to Andrew for stepping up and providing me with one of the final four.
Anyone else wanna do that for one of the three remaining?