PHOTO: Brad Richards appears in 'ESPN The Magazine' Body Issue

Brad Richards shows off his ... form. ( Phibbs)

It has become an annual tradition for ESPN the Magazine to come out with the Body Issue. In case the title didn't give it away, it is an edition dedicated simply to the bodies of professional athletes.

They do a good job of cross the gammut of athletes from all sorts of sports, hockey included despite ESPN's apparent feelings about the sport. Last year the magazine featured Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler in a photo that drew a lot of attention ... and drew some teasing of Kesler from his teammates.

Now it's Rangers forward Brad Richards' turn. He was the featured hockey player in this year's edition and, well, you can see it for yourself up above.

I'll certainly give him the obvious ... he's really fit. ESPN lists him at 195 pounds and just 6 feet ... When I think of 200-pound 6-footers, that's not what I expect. Of course, that's why he's a pro athlete and most other people aren't.

In the description on the photo, Richards has this little quote to describe the toll the game takes on his body.

"When people ask what playing hockey is like, I tell them to imagine a 40- or 50-second spring but with people hitting you and you having to hit people back. Over 82 games of the season, it's draining."

Richards talked even more about the whole photo shoot (h/t to Puck Daddy for the video).

Considering the success of these issues every year I can't imagine ESPN is going to stop anytime soon. So I pose this question to you (and maybe it's for the ladies); who would be best for the hockey spot next year ... Zdeno Chara? That would be a bit freaky.

Now if you are at all interested, this link comes courtesy of our friends at Eye on Golf: LPGA golfer Suzann Peterson also appeared in the issue.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

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