WAIVING GOODBYE

It didn’t come out of nowhere, but no one was expecting this:

WUT.

*jaw hangs open*

Mike Richards, the player that Dean Lombardi went all in for in the summer of 2011, was suddenly all but gone.

There are still many things to play out, but here’s what we know right now (by that I mean what Bob McKenzie is telling us):

*thumbs down emoji*

Richards never lived up to the statistical level that he reached with the Philadelphia Flyers, but we was an integral part of the 2012 Stanley Cup team and played a big part in the 2014 run as well.

King Tufficult, our resident historian and lover of all things LA Kings, wrote about why Richards means so much to the organization. It was a moving piece that captured how we should all look back on the Richards Era.

Beyond that, it’s just a sad day…

Sad because we never wanted it to end like this.

Sure, Richards’ game had fallen off, but Kings fans don’t take joy in seeing one of their own become a shell of his former self.

We here at #TeamTRH wish nothing but the best for a man who brought so many great memories to us and Kings fans everywhere, and hope that this isn’t the end of his career.

So, for now, just remember the good times while the rest of the dust settles:

Just the mood music that we need.

Take care, Rick.

PumperNicholl is a lifelong LA Kings fan and actually learned how to speak English from Bob Miller by watching LA Kings games… and the Police Academy movies.You should probably follow PumperNicholl on Twitter @pumpernicholl
  • TheoriginalDominick

    That music makes me sad. Waiving bye bye slowly now. Lol

  • Joey D

    I hate to say this, but this ends LA’s time as Cup contender. But, being the best team in the league for 2 of the last 3, and damn close to going 3 for 3 is well worth the money the man was, and will be paid. The Kings became relevant for the first time in the NHL and in the LA area thanks to Mike Richards. The salary cap killed his time there, but one day soon he should be back at Staples Center to receive the standing ovation and appreciation from the organization he has earned. I don’t think the jersey should hit the rafters, but #10 should be off limits for a long, long time

    • Paul

      @ Joey D “The Kings became relevant for the first time in the NHL and in the LA area thanks to Mike Richards.”
      Your right that Gretzky guy was completely irrelevant to L.A. hockey! Your a JOKE!

      • Joey D

        Quick question, how many Championships has Gretzky lead a team to, where either Mario Lemieux or Mark Messier wasn’t on by his side? The answer is ZERO. Where the Kings ever considered a top team, or a Champion after Gretzky quit on Edmonton? Can you say the same about the Kings following Richards arrival?

        Mike Richards has won an OHL Championship, Memorial Cup, World Junior Championship, Calder Cup, Olympic Gold and 2 Stanley Cups. He has been the catalyst for the success on every one of those teams (FYI, Manchester just became a Calder Cup contender). The Kings are at their highest level the franchise has ever been, and it all happened after they acquired Mike RIchards. They never got this far with Gretzky. Now maybe if they had brought in Messier, things might have been different

        You can display your ignorance all you want, but when the Kings bomb in the 2nd round this year, and do the same for the next couple years, you can look back at this post and think of 4 simple words; “I told you so”. And when Richards finds his way back into the NHL, on a team that needs to shake it’s funk, and ends up back in the Stanley Cup Finals, then you can remember those 4 words again.

        The ignorance of un-knowledgeable hockey fans lead you to believe Gretzky was important to the scene. He wasn’t. Mike Richards was. The Kings have 2 Cups to prove it

        • Jeffrey Woods

          Joey D to suggest that Gretzky was not a critical part of the development of Kings hockey shows how short minded you are, plain and simple. Your not wrong that Richards put the Kings on the board with finally taking the cup, but by your own logic, How many cups has Richards won without Quick or Kopitar or Doughty by his side? He had some pretty good talent next to him in Phili for a long time and how many cups again did he win? He’s an impact player, I’m guessing clear HOF credentials, however, that doesn’t mean someone like a Gretzky isn’t. I’m not a King fan, actually a Duck fan, but Gretzky not only elevated Kings hockey he brought hockey to a higher level throughout all of Southern California. As good as I believe Richards once was he’s never going to be called ” the great one”

          • Joey D

            Gretzky is an over hyped media darling who made it popular and trendy to be a Kings fan when he arrived. But he didn’t actually make the Kings relevant in the hockey world. Richards did.

            Richards has won everywhere he has gone, no matter who his teammates were. And the teams he left never re-gained the form they had following his departure. Gretzky never had the same impact, anywhere. Any team with Mike Richards on their roster is a contender.

            10 – 15 years from now, you will see that Mike Richards did more for the entire hockey market in the SoCal area than Gretzky could ever dream of getting credit for. After all, it;s been more than a decade since Gretzky’s failed attempt in the desert, when are we going to see that impact?

            • Jeffrey Woods

              Joey D again you dismiss your own argument. Without all your Richards ranting, tell me again how many cups did he win in Philly? How many times has he been named MVP when he has won the cup? You say he’s won everywhere he has gone. I thought Richards was a key part of two cup teams, but your over the top suggesting that he and he alone won the cups for LA, come on man put the booze away. Do they win without him, probably not, but that’s also true if you take Gaborak away last year and Quick the year before. Wait a second, is this just Mike Richards posting as Joey D? That’s funny Mike, still a legend in your own mind!

              • Joey D

                He dragged a team who had no business getting past the first round all the way to within 2 wins of a Cup in Philly (I noticed you ignored all the other Championships he has be a vital asset to for those teams’ runs. Guess it’s easier to dismiss everything he’s won when it blows a hole in your rebuttal). Every year he was there, they had a shot. Every year since he left, they have fallen further and further. LA was nothing before him, and look what they have done with them. Is it all Mike Richards? No. It’s a team thing. But the history is there; where ever Mike Richards goes, Championships follow. Gaborik wasn’t on the team for their first run, yet they still won. Quick was good, but not great on their second run, but still won. Every player played a role in the wins, but it was the arrival of Mike Richards into a Kings jersey that took the franchise from being second fiddle to the Ducks, to surpassing them. Ask the players who were in LA pre-Richards days what he has meant to the team. If you don’t want to believe me, I sure hope you believe them

                I couldn’t care less about the MVP award. It’s voted on by the same people who thought PK Subban was the best defenceman in the league, and gave the Conn Smythe to Pat Kane because they want the NHL to be the first major sport with a gay star athlete with a MVP trophy. People who vote on that are the same ones who think your corsi rating is the most important stat out there.

                Let’s make a gentlemen’s bet. This is my prediction; if Richards doesn’t make his way back in the line-up, the Kings don’t get out of the second round. If Richards comes back, the Kings at minimum are in the Western Final, if not in the big dance. Furthermore, I also say that Richards will be back in a Stanley Cup Final by the time his career ends. Whether in LA, or elsewhere. No wager needed, just the recognition that when it happens, we both remember back to this post

                • Jeffrey Woods

                  “He dragged a team” that’s funny, you left out full of talent. So the answer to my questions were zero and never. Come on Mike (alias Joey D) just accept the reassignment and go work on your game. You’ll always be remembered as a good hockey player just not as “the great one”

                  • Joey D

                    How many Cups did LA win before Richards arrive? How many Finals has Philly been to since he left?

                    It’s a damn shame people of your ilk try to pass themselves off as a Kings fan when you clearly have no idea about the team, or the sport

                    • Jeffrey Woods

                      Its a damn shame they let idiots like you post Joey D.

                      Fact: Nicknamed “The Great One”, Gretzky has been called “the greatest hockey player ever” by many sportswriters, players, and the NHL itself. He is the leading point-scorer in NHL history, with more assists than any other player has points, and is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season – a feat he accomplished four times. In addition, he tallied over 100 points in 16 professional seasons, 14 of them consecutive. At the time of his retirement in 1999, he held 61 NHL records: 40 regular-season records, 15 playoff records, and six All-Star records. After his retirement in 1999, he was immediately inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, making him the most recent player to have the waiting period waived. The NHL retired his jersey number 99 league-wide, making him the only player to receive this honour.

                      Richards will never come close to those credentials, period! What are you like 16 or 17 years old? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, just for a fool like you, I’m not a kings fan, but only a loudmouth fool like someone named Joey D could ever try an argue that Richards is the reason the Kings are relevant and Wayne Gretzky had little impact on Kings hockey or the hockey world in general. Come back when you finish puberty and can carry on an intelligent debate. I done trying to educate stupid!

                    • Joey D

                      Comical. The same people who thought Subban is the best Dman in the league, give Gretzky a nickname, and you think it holds weight. This is a league that would rather keep failing organizations in Phoenix and Miami, then see Canada have another team. Yeah, sorry kid, the league “retiring” Wilf Paiement’s number while 66, 9 and 4 are still up for grabs shows what a joke the league is with Bettman in charge

                      Fact – Gretzky played in a high scoring era, with bad defenceman, and horrible goaltending. He was protected by the league, and by the goons around him. Had Gretzky been given the same treatment Lemieux, Orr or Crosby got, when would have folded up and quit. And despite all your cute numbers, so still neglect the fact that without Messier and Lemieux by his side, he won NOTHING/

                      The LA Kings are now 2 time Stanley Cup Champions because they pulled the trigger and brought Mike Richards. Winning those Cups will have a bigger effect on the market in SoCal than any other thing. Because after all, just the presence of Gretzky should have made Arizona a hockey hot bed. Opps, yeah, there are those pesky facts again

                      Enjoy last season Jeff, it’s the last time the Kings are going to make noise

    • eigenstate_wes

      “The Kings became relevant for the first time in the NHL and in the LA area thanks to Mike Richards.” — mmmm . . “I hate to say this, but” — if you set out to scale Mount Reason, Joey, you fell a very great distance from a very low hillock.

      • Joey D

        2 Stanley Cups in 3 years. The guy has won at every level. If you are a Kings fan, and you truly don’t understand the impact the man had on your franchise, then I feel sorry for you. Simply put, without Mike Richards as a Los Angeles King, then the Kings never meet Lord Stanley

        • Paul

          Well as far as medals and championships go Wayne has a closet full of them. All levels and with far better #’s than Richards ever put up. Look Im not busting on him as if he sucked but hes no “Greatzky!” see what I did there. Plus your logic is week if you think Wayne and Mario played together for Pitt.That was Luc. Just say’in. Mikes not even the 2nd 3rd or 4th best center to ever play for the Kings and his #’s with the Kings reflect that loud and clear.Look Mike got LUCKY he fell in to Deans lap and he is paying that back how? By sucking coasting through neutral zone,letting his man beat him down the middle, and over all smugness about it all. Now lets focus on how many championships he captained in Philly………hang on I’m still counting……….ZERO! 0,goose egg, NOT! See as cool as those other championships and medals go,none not one compares to winning the cup and Wayne has 4! Granted both played on stacked Canadian teams so that’s a wash as far as winning those goes. And I’ll bet Mikes #’s on those stacked teams don’t even come close to Waynes. As far as your bet goes the way the Kings are playing with or with out Mike they still loose a possible 2nd round appearance. Remember Mike was on the roster when they fell out of a play off spot before the break! Were did he go if hes the man! Just say’in!!!

          • Joey D

            Gretzky never won a Stanley Cup without Messier, yet Messier won 2 without Gretzky. Gretzky also failed at the Olympics twice when he didn’t have Lemieux.

            He couldn’t win on his own, but others had no problem without him

            PS, technically speaking, Philly did win a championship with Richards. Easter Conference Championship. So opps, you are proven wrong again

            • eigenstate_wes

              Joey, Joey, Joey. you’re now arguing that #10 produced championships “on his own”! a god that man is!
              hmmm, still not okay letting it go, Joey? with such an ongoing demonstration of an ardent crush on Mike Richards, I’m wonder how badly you want to see the Kings fail without the presence of your hero-god– the Greater One, plainly greater than the Great One, to hear you tell it.
              Richards best post season in LA was 2013, the year the Kings lost to Chicago. in that first championship campaign, 2012, Richards had the second worst Corsi on the roster. he was more of a passenger than the Almighty Bus Driver of your dreaming.

              • Joey D

                BWHAHAHAHA!!!!!! You mentioned corsi stats? Thanks for proving you have no idea about how the sport is actually played

                You’re right though. Kitchener was nothing, then Richards arrived and they won the OHL and Memorial Cup. The Phantoms were nothing, until he arrived and they won the Calder Cup. The Flyers were nothing until the C hit his jersey and they became Eastern Conference Champs. The Kings were nothing until he showed up in Manhattan Beach.

                You’re right, he doesn’t produce Championships “on his own”. It’s just a coincidence that everywhere he goes, Championships follow.

            • Paul

              Did you catch that game tonight. Wana guess who wasn’t missed. No Mike=WIN!! So…. tell me again how A team without Mike sucks again?!?!?!

              • Joey D

                Wow. You mean when the GM sends the most popular guy in the dressing room to the minors to send a message to his team, they actually responded? Wow.

                Since you don;’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe Carter. Nah, wait, you California idiots know more than actual hockey players

                http://lakingsinsider.com/2015/01/27/carter-on-richards-upcoming-stretch-of-hockey/

                It’s not exactly a secret that Mike Richards and Jeff Carter are friends; the two were born six weeks apart, were drafted in the first round of the 2003 NHL Draft, played OHL hockey against each other and made their professional debuts during the Philadelphia Phantoms’ 2005 championship run. They were even traded on the same day by the Flyers in 2011 – Richards to the Kings and Carter to the Blue Jackets – before they were reunited later that year when Carter was eventually shipped to Los Angeles. So, yeah, it’s safe to say there’s a linked history between the two key forwards.

                But Richards’ popularity with his teammates carries much farther beyond Carter’s stall on the opposite width of the Kings’ room. From the coaches, to teammates, to the hockey operations and support staffs, yesterday wasn’t the easiest day of the season as the club said an indefinite good-bye to a very popular player and two-time Stanley Cup winner. Sure, there’s the potential that Richards attacks his Manchester assignment with gusto and rejoins the Kings later this season – it’s more or less a certainty that Richards would be recalled should Los Angeles qualify for the playoffs – but yesterday’s developments represented a low water mark on the season.

                “I think it’s tough obviously,” said Carter, who said that he saw Richards on Monday night.

                “We’ve got a pretty close team in here. Anytime anybody leaves, it’s always tough. We understand that those things happen, but he brought a lot to this room and a lot of stuff that, unless you’re in this room, you don’t see. It was tough. It was tough on him too, I know. But it’s an opportunity for someone else to step up and some younger guys to play a little more and become leaders in the room and all of that.”

                Richards, who will report to Manchester on Wednesday, understands the situation, as Carter alluded to.

                “I think he’s alright,” he said. “Obviously, nobody wants to get sent down. It’s the [lousy] part of the game. I think he’s handled it well. He’s been around a long time and he knows how it works. So I’m sure he’ll work hard and we’ll see him again soon.”

                “Teams aren’t playing well these things happen, right? That’s the way it goes.”

                • Paul

                  Your a funny guy Joey. Well lets start with the waiver OK. According to you he’s the best player in not only LA but the league.Right! And thats why alllllll the teams in the league PASSED on him. Because no team in a play off hunt wants the best player in the league…Although Ill bet you think Gretzky would have cleared waivers to……NOT!!! I’m sure he’s a nice guy but he’s quitter he being the best player in the league EVERRRRR and all. Is that why Philly said goodbye to there C. and the same reason Dean sent him DOWN because he’s that good and had to be taught a lesson….for being to AWSOME! Cartz had no prob playing his game without him and was not missed at all ON the ice. I mean really wouldn’t missing the best player in the league show up on the ice.?? NOT once did I hear any announcer,color commentator,or studio cat say”WOW they really miss Mike on the power play” or “How can they expect to win against these super clubs with out Mike” or “Without Mike this team has no chance of advancing” ……..never happened cuz he ain’t all that….well maybe hes worth a bag of chips ….but not the good ones. Would I have beer with the guy …..Sure! BUT are MINOR club is to far a way to do so. Hahahaha GKG!!!

                  • Paul

                    But wait “That’s not all Folks” So I had to look up these teams you say Mike carried on his back to all those Championships

                    2003 Dude had Derek Roy and David Clarkson on that squad….Oh! Funny on the way to the rink.. D Roy was named MVP for the the 2003 playoffs and if that wasn’t enough in the ’99-2000 season Roy won Rookie of the Year!…..The Wayne Gretzky 99 Award. Crazy!….I know right! Good thing Mike was there to put them over top! Then he had another W.G.99 winner to play with in ’04’05,Corey Perry the top scorer in the league that year and got knocked out of the playoffs in 15 games. WHAT!!! Than got sent immediately to the Phantoms(Picked to win it all before Mike got there) and guess who’s on that team already….Cartz!!!! Lucky for Jeff right!!! (Jeff showed up for the last game of the reg. season,Mike didn’t show up till the 2nd game of the 2nd round. And P Sharp was on that team as well)… How did Jeff and Sharp get out of the first round without him!?

                    Now lets look at World Jrz…All I’m gona say is the All Star team for that Worldz Forwards: Zach Parise, Valtteri Filppula, Jeff Carter! WHERES MIKE!

                    2010 Olympics Your right! He carried that weak ass team,that only had like 6-7 other team Captains on it!

                    So it looks like not playing on a team with a TRUE #1 center man (Kopi) or elite #1 wingers (Jeff,Zach,Justin,Sharp,and so on and so on…. He doesn’t stand a chance at a cup…. on any level.

            • Paul

              PS, technically speaking, Philly did win a championship with Richards. Easter Conference Championship. So opps, you are proven wrong again….
              Your right and so did Wayne in the West 92-93. So we got 4 cups v’s 2 cups Hmmmmmm! Oh! And using your logic Mike has never won any thing without Cartz…..Wonder how that’ll play out for him.??

  • typicaljs

    Can we get an actual location on Mike Richards? There’s approximately 18 thousand beers I would like to purchase for that man.

  • Americanitis!

    Flyers fan here. Mike Richards was a beast, no questions. I STILL remember where I was standing (in my kitchen) when I read the tweet announcing his trade that summer. Carter too. Flyers fans everywhere were split on Carter (I thought he was great too), but at the time, the Richards trade was a stunning bombshell that left the vast majority of us reeling, like we’d been punched in the gut. Richards was the prototypical Flyers center: slightly undersized, offensively determined and gritty, defensively sound (was a Selke finalist as a Flyer), and provider of BRUTAL open-ice hits, hard, tenacious play, and quiet leadership that willed his team to victory most nights. I’m glad he was able to win the Cup twice with Carter, although sad it didn’t happen in Philly (haha yeah right; 40 yrs and counting lol), at least they did it.

    I’m wondering if his nagging shoulder injuries due to his style of play have finally caught up with him? This can’t just be conditioning…Mike Richards has been an alpha dog since juniors, and I’m sure a competitor like that who’s won at every level he’s played knows how to take care of himself and his body. There has to be some medical explanation or something not right with him. I hope he can put it back together, because when he was at the top of his game, there weren’t many better centers in the NHL.

    Good luck Mike. You’re still missed and loved in Philly. LA too, it seems, which is great to see. I think in either city, you’ll never have to buy a beer or meal ever again, which is as it should be.

    • Cappyhockey

      LA fan here….45 years waiting for a cup! He will always have a special place in my heart. Character and grit. Loved how he went after players that were much bigger. Langenbrunner vs Richards, anyone?

  • K’sfan

    Guys, guys, guys! Enough bickering. You’re both talking about entirely different players and playing styles. I’ve been a King fan since the late 70’s and experienced many frustrating seasons. We had some talented teams before Gretzky (Triple Crown Line) but never got far in the playoffs. When Gretzky came to LA (along with Kurry and Sandstrom, among others), King fans felt that winning the Cup was a real possibility. Attendance soared. He did more than any other player to bring popularity and recognition of the sport of hockey to Southern California. You would never see him go into corners to scrap for the puck or deliver bone crushing hits, but he was the best passer/facilitator this game has ever seen or will see in the future (keep in mind, he did this BEFORE the rules were changed regarding the two line pass). He won numerous cups with Edmonton and made everyone he played with better. Did he win a cup in LA? No, but he brought us closer than we had ever been.

    I love the current version of the LA Kings, but you have to admit it’s a completely different animal than that of the Gretzky days. Today’s Kings are not about flash and pizazz. It’s about the team concept and defense and grinding it out by playing physical and using their size. This was the vision of GM Lombardi and coach Sutter. It’s not pretty, but it’s been effective and now every team in the NHL is copying or trying to copy this format. Richards’ style fit perfectly with the team Lombardi envisioned and because of his work ethic and willingness to be a team player, the Kings won two Stanley Cups, a dream come true for a fan like me. Will Richards ever enjoy the same celebrity that Gretzky did? No. Will we see him in the NHL Hall of Fame some day? Probably not. Will that make him any less appreciated by Kings fans? No.

    Apples and oranges, boys. Each made their own, unique contribution to hockey in LA.

  • Joey D

    It’s not exactly a secret that Mike Richards and Jeff Carter are friends; the two were born six weeks apart, were drafted in the first round of the 2003 NHL Draft, played OHL hockey against each other and made their professional debuts during the Philadelphia Phantoms’ 2005 championship run. They were even traded on the same day by the Flyers in 2011 – Richards to the Kings and Carter to the Blue Jackets – before they were reunited later that year when Carter was eventually shipped to Los Angeles. So, yeah, it’s safe to say there’s a linked history between the two key forwards.

    But Richards’ popularity with his teammates carries much farther beyond Carter’s stall on the opposite width of the Kings’ room. From the coaches, to teammates, to the hockey operations and support staffs, yesterday wasn’t the easiest day of the season as the club said an indefinite good-bye to a very popular player and two-time Stanley Cup winner. Sure, there’s the potential that Richards attacks his Manchester assignment with gusto and rejoins the Kings later this season – it’s more or less a certainty that Richards would be recalled should Los Angeles qualify for the playoffs – but yesterday’s developments represented a low water mark on the season.

    “I think it’s tough obviously,” said Carter, who said that he saw Richards on Monday night.

    “We’ve got a pretty close team in here. Anytime anybody leaves, it’s always tough. We understand that those things happen, but he brought a lot to this room and a lot of stuff that, unless you’re in this room, you don’t see. It was tough. It was tough on him too, I know. But it’s an opportunity for someone else to step up and some younger guys to play a little more and become leaders in the room and all of that.”

    Richards, who will report to Manchester on Wednesday, understands the situation, as Carter alluded to.

    “I think he’s alright,” he said. “Obviously, nobody wants to get sent down. It’s the [lousy] part of the game. I think he’s handled it well. He’s been around a long time and he knows how it works. So I’m sure he’ll work hard and we’ll see him again soon.”

    “Teams aren’t playing well these things happen, right? That’s the way it goes.”