Tag: Mike Richards

Mike Richards

Lombardi: Mike Richards buyout ‘a possibility’


After winning the Stanley Cup in 2014, the Los Angeles Kings faced a difficult decision regarding Mike Richards. He played a big role in them winning the Cup back in 2012, but he had clearly taken a step back in 2013-14, which was dangerous because the Kings had committed to him through the 2019-20 campaign at an annual cap hit of $5.75 million.

Los Angeles had an out though in the form of a compliance buyout. Stemming from the lockout, that special type of buyout would have freed Los Angeles from his contract entirely from a cap perspective, but that option was also nearing its expiration date. In the end, Kings GM Dean Lombardi called Richards a “special ingredient” and held onto him. That didn’t work out as hoped.

Richards declined further this season and while the possibility of a trade can never fully be dismissed, no team wanted his contract when he was put on waivers earlier this season. In the end Los Angeles might resort to buying him out after all and Lombardi does admit that’s “a possibility,” per LA Kings Insider’s Jon Rosen.

Lombardi isn’t committing to that course of action though and even if he does, buying out Richards would come with a cap penalty now, in contrast to what would have happened if he had done it last summer.

Perhaps, in the end, Lombardi will stay the course when it comes to Richards in the hopes that he will once again become that special ingredient.

“Hockey ain’t my first love. My first love is team,” Lombardi said, rejecting the idea that players are “commodities.” He continued, “Because they care so much and their loyalty to each other, we can fix this and become stronger.”

Video: Blackhawks’ Shaw fined $2,000 for diving/embellishment


Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw has been fined $2,000 by the NHL for diving/embellishment.

From the league:

Shaw was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 228 against Tampa Bay on Nov. 11. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident during NHL Game No. 1138 against Los Angeles on March 30. Shaw drew a delayed penalty to Los Angeles forward Mike Richards on the play, at 5:24 of the first period. The penalty to Richards was nullified when Chicago scored seven seconds later.

Shaw becomes the ninth player to be fined for diving/embellishment this season, joining Washington’s Tom Wilson, Toronto’s Richard Panik, Islanders goalie Michal Neuvirth (fine occurred while with Buffalo), the Islanders’ Cal Clutterbuck, Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist, Florida’s Vincent Trocheck, Nashville’s James Neal and Montreal’s P.K. Subban, who has been fined twice.

Many reasons — including plain, old luck — to explain Kings missing playoffs

Darryl Sutter

Ask Darryl Sutter why his Los Angeles Kings are going to miss the playoffs less than one year after winning the Stanley Cup and he first points to the “disparity” in the home (24-9-7) and away (15-18-8) records.

On top of that, he concedes that all the hockey, regular season and playoffs combined, the Kings have played the last three years “probably” took a toll.

You may also recall earlier in the season when Sutter noted how it’s a “quite a bit different team on the back end” (without Slava Voynov and Willie Mitchell) and how “we need great goaltending,” something the Kings didn’t really get compared to previous seasons.

We’d add their shootout record (2-8) and their overtime record (1-7).

Oh, and a lack of finish. Sutter has talked about that, too.

And their special teams were pretty mediocre.

And losing Tanner Pearson hurt.

And they probably should’ve bought out Mike Richards.

Bottom line: a lot of things didn’t go the Kings’ way. Given all the good fortune they enjoyed during their two championship runs — from getting the Coyotes and Devils as their final two opponents in 2012, to all the overtime victories that could’ve ended differently in 2014 — perhaps they were simply due a dose of the opposite.

It’s always a contentious topic when it comes to hockey: luck. But like it or not, it can be the difference between a good team winning it all and a good team missing the playoffs.

That’s not to say that everything boils down to luck. It obviously doesn’t. The Kings got the job done in 2012 and 2014; they didn’t in 2015. And yes, Dean Lombardi has some work to do this offseason. His team has flaws.

That being said, let’s end this with a fun fact:

If the Kings beat the Sharks on Saturday, they’ll finish with the same record (40-27-15) as they did in 2011-12.

One team finished with a parade.

The other will finish with a meaningless game against San Jose.