2010 NHL Free Agency: LA Kings re-sign Brad Richardson

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bradrichardsonla.jpgThe Los Angeles Kings re-signed spirited forward Brad Richardson to a one-year, $900K contract according to Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider. This allows the Kings and Richardson to avoid the often-painful salary arbitration process.

Richardson had a career year in 09-10, benefiting from occasional spot duty alongside Anze Kopitar and Wayne Simmonds. He scored 11 goals and 16 assists for a personal best of 27 points while earning about two more minutes per game than he did with the Kings in 08-09.

He’s a pretty limited player considering the fact that he’s an “energy guy” at 5-11, but you really have to hand it to those “spark-plug” types. As the team waits to see what happens with Ilya Kovalchuk, it’s important to remember that their forward ranks are pretty light at the moment. CapGeek.com only lists eight other NHL-level forwards on their roster right now, although there’s a solid chance that prospects – particularly Oscar Moller and Brayden Schenn – could see some more time with the big club.

Richardson won’t set the world on fire, but he’s the kind of dirty work guy that can help a team win in subtle ways. That doesn’t necessarily make him very special, but GM Dean Lombardi feels like it at least makes him worth keeping around.