Richards: ‘I took coming to the rink and playing hockey for a living for granted’

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Mike Richards had to wait a long time before he was able to latch on with another team, but on Wednesday, the Washington Capitals finally gave him the opportunity he’d been looking for.

“I’m just really looking forward to getting back to having fun playing the game I love,” Richards said, per TSN . “I’m excited and I’ve never felt better.

“It was a forced vacation but the extended stay away from the game has been good for me. Its given me a chance to see I took coming to the rink and playing hockey for a living for granted.”

The 30-year-old brings an impressive resume with him to Washington.

He’s won two Stanley Cups, an Olympic gold medal, the Memorial Cup (CHL), the Calder Cup (AHL) and a World Junior gold, but his on-ice performance last year seems to indicate that he’s lost a step.

Can he still keep up with the NHL’s pace?

“Good question,” said Richards. “We’re going to find out. I was never the best skater. But I know how to get into position to be effective. We’ll see. I don’t know what role they have planned for me in Washington.”

Richards had five goals, 16 points and a minus-10 rating with the Kings last season. He averaged 13:21 of ice time in 53 games in ’15-16.