Mike Richards put on waivers by LA, unlikely to be claimed
Did you hear the news that the Devils reportedly put Tim Sestito on waivers? Oh and Mike Richards as well.
Wait, THE Mike Richards?
Yes, that Mike Richards, who has been extraordinarily unproductive this year in spite of having a $5.75 million salary cap hit over the next five seasons.
Richards was an integral part of the Kings' 2012 Stanley Cup championship win, and although his role was diminished last spring when they won the Cup again, he did manage 10 points in 26 playoff games. This year, Richards has five goals and 15 points in 47 games and is a minus-7; since Nov. 22, he has managed to score just once.
The move will give the Kings cap relief on a player that they were getting absolutely nothing out of. Will someone claim him? The answer is probably no … mostly because he does not have the one ring to rule them all.
In all sincerity the Kings have gotten a lot out of Richards. Two Stanley Cups? Depth down the middle. Stinks for him that at the ripe young age of 29, he looks so completely donezo. And the Manchester Monarchs suddenly got way deeper at center.
Some general manager would have to be nuts to pick him up. The issue isn’t exactly the cap number, it’s the amount of years. That’s just too many for a guy who has fallen off so far like Richards.
And what if Richards decides to call it quits before the end of the deal? Unless the Kings try Flyers-like cap circumvention ... the below per TSN's Bob McKenzie.
If Richards retires before end of contract, especially in penultimate or last year, LA gets dinged with significant cap recapture penalty.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 26, 2015
According to the Orange County Register, the Kings toyed with the idea of parting ways with Richards over last summer:
Lombardi had a chance, last June, to buy out the final six seasons of Richards’ contract. Instead, he kept Richards, encouraged by what he believed to be Richards’ re-dedication to training and fitness.
Per The Times, the Kings would like to re-sign Justin Williams to an extension this summer and need cap space to do so. Also, this should enable Los Angeles general manager Dean Lombardi to do his usual deadline deal that propels the Kings from a meandering regular season to yet another Stanley Cup.
They really have a very interesting formula for this.
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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @joshuacooper
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