Tag: Mike Richards

2014 NHL Draft - Round 2-7

Dean Lombardi is criticizing the NHL again


L.A. Kings GM Dean Lombardi, who has already taken the NHL to task this season, lobbed another complaint at the league on Tuesday — this time, regarding the Canadian dollar’s affect on next year’s salary cap.

“It’s a matter of how all these pieces fit into the puzzle,” Lombardi told the L.A. Times, in speaking about his club’s cap situation. “Then we also have this whole thing with the Canadian dollar. I’ve been talking to other GMs about that. It’s a crazy way to run a cap.

“Do I need a stat guy or do I need a currency trader to figure this out?”

Lombardi is referencing statements made by Gary Bettman at All-Star weekend in Columbus, during which the commissioner said next year’s salary cap would be affected by the (slumping) Canadian dollar, but clarifying it wouldn’t cause the cap “to fall off a cliff.”

Bettman said that if the Canadian dollar continues to trade around $0.80 USD (as it is currently), next season’s salary cap ceiling would be $71.6 million. If the Canadian dollar is at $0.82 USD, the cap ceiling would be $72.2 million.

(Back in early December, the league pegged next year’s cap number at $73 million.)

The Kings have been pressed up against the cap ceiling for a while and, recently, waived high-priced center Mike Richards before sending him to AHL Manchester, which relieved them of $925,000 of Richards’ $5.75M cap hit.

Lombardi had another cap-related complaint earlier this season. In early November, he called the system “dysfunctional” after the Kings were forced to carry Slava Voynov’s $4.1 million hit despite the Russian rearguard being suspended indefinitely following a domestic assault arrest.

Two weeks after the “dysfunctional” remark, Lombardi was at it again.

“As this case makes clear, we must now do one and/or two things. We must build in a cushion in case one of our players is a bank robber, kleptomaniac, etc,” he said, per the O.C. Register. “The seemingly better alternative is, we have to do a better job of educating our players and, in particular, monitoring our players away from the rink.

“While monitoring them away from the rink may have the Orwellian connotation of ‘Big Brother’ oversight, that is the nature of the sports business in the cap era.”

Financially speaking, L.A. will be a team to watch this offseason. The club has several big decisions to make on key players, including the reigning Conn Smythe winner in Justin Williams (a UFA on July 1) and two highly-coveted RFAs in Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli.

Report: Richards declined Kings’ invite to the White House

Calgary Flames v Los Angeles Kings

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.

Mike Richards trying to make the best of being sent to the AHL

Mike Richards

Mike Richards made his debut for the Manchester Monarchs on Friday. No goals. No points. Two shots on goal. He then spoke about the events of this week, which saw him put on waivers and eventually sent down to the American Hockey League.

“It’s not easy. That’s for sure. But, at the end of the day, I’m a hockey player. I [did] what I was told in LA,” he told Mayors Manor.

“Whether it was third line, second line, fourth line, I do what I was told. I got told to come down here and play, so I do what I’m told. It’s what being a hockey player is all about.

“It is what it is. You play hockey. That’s what I’m here for is to play hockey. I liked LA, I liked the team, but I’m in this position now. I’m a big believer in everything happens for a reason, from being drafted to Philly to being traded to LA. Everything happens for a reason. You just try to make the best out of whatever scenario you’re put in.”

The Kings placed the 29-year-old Richards on waivers on Monday. Not a single team claimed him, and he was then dispatched to Manchester.

With an annual cap hit of $5.75 million through to the 2019 season, Richards’ offensive numbers with the Kings this season have been way down, with five goals and 15 points in 47 games.

L.A.’s general manager Dean Lombardi called placing Richards on waivers a “tough decision” to make.