According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, the L.A. Kings have had discussions with multiple teams about the idea of a trade involving Mike Richards.
LeBrun reports nothing is imminent, but that in order for the Kings to unload Richards they will need to include another asset.
Richards had five goals and 16 points to go along with a minus-10 rating while averaging 13:22 in time on ice in 53 games with the Kings in 2014-15.
The 30-year-old’s decline in productivity landed him on waivers during the season, and after he went unclaimed, Richards spent 16 games with the American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs where he scored three goals and 11 assists prior to being recalled.
Richards still has five more years on his current contract with a $5.75 million cap hit. Any team acquiring him has to worry about future implications as well.
If you’re a team trading for Richards, are you hoping he can recapture his form? The risk is if Richards retires before the end of his contract, there are cap recapture penalties at stake, both for the Kings and the team that trades for him.
LeBrun believes the Kings are hoping the team that takes Richards in a deal will eventually buy him out. The point of the deal would be to acquire an asset in the trade.