LOS ANGELES –
The Los Angeles Kings have acquired center Mike Richards
from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forwards Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and a second round draft selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
Richards, who served as the Flyers’ captain for the past three years, is 26 years old. He is signed through the 2019-20 NHL season after inking a 12-year contract with Philadelphia in December of 2007. Richards is a two-time 30-goal scorer who has averaged 28 goals, 42 assists and 70 points over the last four seasons while playing in an average of 78 regular season games per year. He has also during that time played in 57 total playoff games while helping lead Philadelphia to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010. During that playoff run he recorded 23 points in 23 playoff games.
Said Lombardi: “We felt at this stage of the franchise it was time to make a significant move for an impact player. Mike Richards
is not only one of the top players in the league, he’s also universally recognized as one of the finer leaders in the game and one of its elite competitors. Additionally, given that he’s only 26-years-old and he’s on a long-term contract, he fits our plan now and for the long-term future.”
Drafted in the first round (24th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, the 5-11, 195-pound native of Kenora, Ontario played his first six NHL seasons with the Flyers, debuting during the 2005-06 season. Over the course of his career, Richards has recorded 349 points (133-216=349) and 397 penalty minutes in 453 regular season games. He also has scored 36 power play goals, 23 short-handed goals and 21 game-winning goals while recording a plus-39 rating. In 63 playoff games, he has 50 points (16=34=50) and 49 penalty minutes.
This past season, Richards in 81 regular season games, recorded 66 points (23-43=66), a plus-11 rating and 62 penalty minutes. The 66 points ranked tied for third on the team while the 43 assists were second. In 2009-10, he led the Flyers in points (62) and finished second in goals (31), a career high, while also finishing tied for third in assists (31). Additionally, he led the team in power play goals (130), power play points (31) and he was tied for second in power play assists (18).
In 2008-09, Richards tied for the team lead in playoff scoring. He won the Bobby Clarke Trophy (second consecutive season) as the team’s most valuable player, as selected by a panel of sportscasters and sportswriters, and he set new career highs in points (80), goals (30) and assists (50). He also led the NHL in shorthanded goals (seven) and he led the team with his 50 assists and 33 power-play points (33). For the team, he finished second in points (80) and plus/minus rating (+22) and tied for third in goals (30).
In 2007-08, Richards was the winner of the Bobby Clarke Trophy as the team's most valuable player. He also received the Gene Hart Memorial Award, presented annually to the Flyer who has the best rapport with the fans as voted by the Philadelphia Flyers Fan Club Board of Directors. On the ice, he set new career high for goals in a season, for assists in a season and for points in a season while leading the team in assists (47), points (75, 25th in the NHL) and shorthanded goals (5, tied for third in the NHL). He also tied for the team lead in game-winning goals (six), was first on the team in average time on ice among forwards (21:30), was second on the team in power play points (31) and second in plus/minus (+14)...
Richards also that season was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team for the first time (posted an assist in the NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 27) and he enjoyed a 16-game point-scoring streak at home (tied team record).
In 2006-07, Richards led the team in shorthanded goals with four. In 2005-06, he was tied for first among NHL rookies in shorthanded goals with three and he recorded his first career NHL hat trick.
During a standout Junior Career, Richards in four seasons with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League from 2001-02 through 2004-05 registered 115 goals, 177 assists and 308 penalty minutes in 233 regular season games. With the Rangers, he served as that club’s captain for two seasons (2003-04 and 2004-05). In 2003, he was named to the 2003 Memorial Cup All-Star Team after capturing the 2003 Memorial Cup Championship.
Internationally, Richards was a key member of the Canadian Olympic team which captured the gold medal at the 2010 Olympic Game in Vancouver. It was his first Olympics and he had five points (2G, 3A) and was a +5 in seven games for Canada. It was with that club in which Richards was a teammate of Kings defenseman Drew Doughty
Richards also was the captain of Team Canada at the 2005 IIHF World Junior Championships, recording five points (1G, 4A) in six games, as Canada won the gold medal. He was also a member of Team Canada which captured the silver medal at the 2004 World Junior Championships and a member of Team Canada that won the gold medal at the 2002 under-18 Eight Nations Cup;
The length of Richards’ 12-year contract is also historic and fits in with several key Kings who are currently under multi-year contracts. Kings center/assistant captain Anze Kopitar
signed a seven-year contract extension on Oct. 11, 2008 and Kings forward/captain Dustin Brown
agreed to a six-year contract extension on Oct. 26, 2007. Several other Kings are currently under multi-year contracts, including defenseman/assistant captain Matt Greene
, who agreed to a five-year contract extension on Oct. 17, 2008; Kings forward Justin Williams
, who agreed to a four-year contract extension Feb. 28, 2011; Kings center Jarret Stoll
, who agreed to a four-year contract extension on Sept. 4, 2008; and Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi
, who signed a four-year free agent contract with the Kings on July 2, 2009. Among Kings all-time, Wayne Gretzky signed an eight-year contract in 1988 (after the first year that contract was extended from seven years to nine years).
Simmonds, 22, played the last three seasons with the Kings, totaling 93 points (39-54=93) and 264 penalty minutes in 240 regular season games. Simmonds, who was originally selected by the Kings in the second-round (61st overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, also played in all 12 Kings playoff games from the past two years.
Schenn, 19, has played parts of the last two seasons with the Kings, totaling two points (both assists) and zero penalty minutes in nine regular season games. He was originally selected by the Kings in the first-round (5th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
Mike Richards -- Career NHL/OHL Stats: