Los Angeles Kings‘ 10th year veteran center Mike Richards(18) was recently put on waivers and reassigned to minor league affiliate Manchester Monarchs for the first time ever, save for the time he spent winning the 2005 AHL Calder Cup with Philadelphia Phantoms after finishing up 4 years of juniors with Kitchener Rangers.
As a 20-year old playing his first pro games he was a point per game guy in the playoffs with 8 goals and 7 assists. He was also a +8 plus/minus.
You’d think the sports’ world stopped for a second when in his first game not so unhappily reporting to skate, he failed to get a point.
In his second appearance though he came up with the night’s first goal, assisted on two others and was chosen the game’s first star.
Through 704 NHL games he has 179 goals and 302 assists with a +21 rating.
He’s four times connected for over 60 points in a season, once had 80 points, twice over 30 tallies and on three occasions had over 40 helpers with 50 in one campaign.
He played 6 years with the team and was captain for his last three.
Signed to a 12-year deal in 2007 he’s officially under a big league contract through 2020.
It’s likely that a buy out will be exercised and he’ll be free to pursue a fresh start, which is easily what the still young 29-year old needs moving forward.