Richards has six seasons remaining on the 12-year, $69 million contract he signed in December 2007 as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers. Richards was traded to the Kings on June 23, 2011.
Lombardi said after speaking with Richards during exit meetings after the Kings won the Stanley Cup that he trusts Richards will make the necessary changes in his approach to the game that will allow him to have a better season in 2014-15.
SOG: 157 | +/-: -6
Lombardi said in addition to telling Richards what needed to change, he liked what he heard from Richards in the player's self-evaluation.
"He was very candid," Lombardi said. "The most important thing is, he realized he wasn't anywhere near where he is capable of being. If he's telling you, 'Well, I was good,' then you've got a big problem. If he's not able to critique himself, then we're wasting our time.
"But he freely admitted that it was nowhere near where he was capable, and the root is not age or injury. It starts with the understanding that I've got to prepare like a 28- or 29-year-old, not a 22-year-old."
The Kings have two compliance buyouts available, and the window to exercise one remains open until 5 p.m. ET on June 30. Lombardi said he feels comfortable keeping Richards.
"As long as he looked me in the eye and made that promise that he would make the commitment in the offseason … essentially, I have to trust him," Lombardi said. "Once that deadline goes, we're locked in."