By Jeremy Houghtaling
Tanner Richard remembers getting the call, taking the ice for warmups, and then hitting the showers.
The Syracuse Crunch center earned his first call-up to the Tampa Bay Lightning last December, but was a healthy scratch and never saw game action. Richard is looking to change that this season.
In a system that's all about high tempo play, Richard has continued to work on his skating in order to take the next step to the NHL.
"You're so close. You can't get any closer than doing the warmups and showering while the guys are walking out getting their names called," the fourth-year pro said. "You can't get any closer than that. It left a little taste in my mouth to just make it to there so that one day I can hear my name called during the game too.
"I used that for motivation this summer. I thought I had a good summer, so hopefully this year it can happen."