Mike Richards Back From AHL


Headlines were made two months agowhen the Los Angeles Kings sent former all star Mike Richards to their AHL team the Manchester Monarchs. Now, as the Kings fight for a playoff spot in the western conference, Richards is back.

The 30 year old Richards played in 30 games with the Monarchs where he had 14 points- three goals and eleven assists. He was sent down, after being placed on waivers, mostly because the Kings were struggling to stay under the salary cap and they could afford to not play him.

Richards has four years left on his deal after a trade involving the Philadelphia Flyers where the Kings acquired the former Philly captain. In that time he is owed $23 million and with a cap hit of $5.75 million. The Kings have won two Stanley Cups in three years, but they have paid the price as they have struggled to stay under the cap. At times they have had to play with a short roster due to the restraints.

Richards had scored just 15 points in 47 games with the Kings before his demotion, so it wasn’t like he had been a productive player on their roster anyways. However, Richards had scored 80 points in a season in the past, so they are obviously hoping he can regain that ability. The lack of production and the cap hit were the reasons why Richards passed through waivers so easily.

Last season as the Kings won the Stanley Cup Richards ended up on the fourth line as their center, but he was helpful at times when needed.

Currently, the Kings are two points back of the Calgary Flames for the third seed in their division and they are four points the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card spot in the west.

The Monarchs, in their last season in the American Hockey League before moving to Ontario, California, are having a terrific year. They have the most points in the entire league with 90 and have a three point lead for the top seed overall in the eastern conference.

The Monarchs also have the second most goals in the east with 202, behind the Binghampton Senators who have 206 but are not in a playoff position.

Along with his 14 points, Richards was a +6 in his Manchester stint and had 39 shots on goal along with one of this three goals being on the power play. The team itself won’t miss Richards a ton as they head towards the playoffs.

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