Los Angeles Kings forward Mike Richards, now with their American Hockey League affiliate in Manchester, wasn't happy with his play in the NHL this season. He also said there is room for improvement after his first game with the Manchester Monarchs on Friday.
Richards, who was waived by the Kings earlier this week, cleared, and was sent to Manchester, was in the starting lineup and had two shots and two penalty minutes in a 3-1 victory against the Portland Pirates.
"I wasn?t great," Richards told Mayorsmanor.com. "I had some good shifts, did some good things, did some bad things, had some bad shifts. [You can] only go up from here."
Richards had five goals and 15 points in 47 games with Los Angeles. Last season, he had 41 points in 82 games.
"I liked L.A., I liked the team, but I'm in this position now," Richards said. "I'm a big believer in everything happens for a reason, from being drafted to [the Philadelphia Flyers] to being traded to L.A. Everything happens for a reason. You just try to make the best out of whatever scenario you're put in."
Richards was traded to the Kings in 2011 from the Flyers. He scored 20 or more goals four straight seasons from 2007-2011, was an all-star in 2008, and won the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014.
"It???s not easy," Richards said. "That's for sure. But, at the end of the day, I'm a hockey player. I [did] what I was told in L.A. Whether it was third line, second line, fourth line, I do what I was told. I got told to come down here and play, so I do what I'm told. It's what being a hockey player is all about."
Richards, 29, said he wasn't ready to talk about retirement.
"You just come [to Manchester] and play hockey and have confidence that things are going to work out," he said. "You're going to try things that have success, but I feel like I can still play."