Following his demotion to the American Hockey League in late January, Mike Richards has put together three goals and 14 points in 16 games with the Manchester Monarchs.
The production has Kings’ GM Dean Lombardi talking about a possible recall for the 30-year-old.
“We’re running him through some tests right now,” Lombardi told Sportsnet on Thursday. “I mean, the one thing about Michael everybody knows, when there’s big games or critical moments, he’s always there. And we just gotta get him up to that capacity to be able to do that.
“But there’s very much a possibility he’ll be back.”
Prior to being demoted, Richards was having one of the worst seasons of his career. He had just five goals and 15 points to go along with a minus-7 rating in 47 games while averaging a career-low 13:42 in ice time.
Richards carries a $5.75 million cap hit in the NHL and has another five seasons remaining on his deal.
If his AHL production can translate back to the NHL level it’d be beneficial for all parties involved.
“The only thing I can say about this group, it’s been a group that’s essentially been together now for five years and they never let themselves down, they never quit,” Lombardi said. “They almost like having their backs against the wall. The one way you’re able to sleep at night is you know they’re a group that cares.
“That’s our strongest asset in terms of this team is 20 guys who care about each other and either way you know they’re going to be out there fighting.”
Richards is certainly a part of that group and could be an asset if he can rediscover his game at the NHL level.
Related: Quick silences Canucks to push Kings into Wild Card spot
The L.A. Kings will visit the White House and be honored by the President of the United States on Monday for their 2014 Stanley Cup victory.
One player who won’t be there is Mike Richards.
The 29-year-old had three goals and 10 points last spring as the Kings captured their second Stanley Cup in three years.
Richards cleared waivers and was sent to the American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs last week, but was invited by the Kings to join club in Washington.
The Monarchs don’t play again until Wednesday, but according to Jon Rosen, Richards declined the offer.
Richards had two shots on goal in his Monarchs debut as Manchester defeated the Portland Pirates 3-1 on Friday night.
The L.A. Kings have placed Tanner Pearson on injured reserve with a fractured left fibula.
Pearson suffered the injury in Saturday’s 5-4 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets.
The 22-year-old has 12 goals and 16 points in 42 games this season.
In a corresponding move, the Kings have reportedly recalled Nick Shore from the American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs.
Shore, 22, has 20 goals and 41 points in 37 AHL games this season.
Originally the Kings’ third-round pick (82nd overall) in 2011, Shore has yet to make his NHL debut.
The Kings are back in action Monday when they play host to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Wojtek Wolsk, who now plays for Torpedo Nizhny Novgoro in the KHL, showed off his soft hands during the shooutout in a recent game against HC Dynamo Moscow.
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $20,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Monday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Monday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
NHL Winter Classic: Setting up rinks a shared passion for father and son (The Washington Post)
Kings’ defenseman Alec Martinez admits contract talks are in the back of his mind (L.A. Kings Insider)
Did the Devils contact Adam Oates without permission? NHL and Capitals consider case closed (The Bergen Record)
Sharks’ Nieto set for return after missing 9 games (CSN Bay Area)
Travis Green and Mike Stothers named coaches for AHL All-Star Classic (The AHL)
Curtis Lazar and Connor McDavid: Junior hockey’s odd couple (Toronto Star)
What can the NHL do to get more fans? (The Hockey News)
Canadian gold-medal Olympic men’s hockey team named CP Team of the Year (The Canadian Press)
The L.A. Kings have activated defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk from injured reserve and assigned him to the American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs.
The 26-year-old was injured during training camp in September.
Bodnarchuk has appeared in five career NHL games – all with the Boston Bruins during the 2009-10 season where he picked up two penalty minutes.
Bodnarchuk signed with the Kings as a free agent on July 6, 2012 and has appeared in 142 regular season games with the Monarchs over the past two seasons scoring 13 goals and 52 points.
The Bruins originally selected Bodnarchuk in the fifth-round (128th overall) at the 2006 NHL Draft.
The Kings return to action on Tuesday when they play host to the Florida Panthers.