I think it is time for us as Kings fans to finally put this to rest. The Flyers won the Mike Richards trade. It's not easy to admit when you have come out on the losing side of things. It is easy to admit however that Mike Richards was bad, and then was terrible. The former captain, heart and soul, and arguably the best player the Flyers had was a wreck. Richards may have been a vital piece to Philadelphia, but out in L.A. he was a cog in a machine that has proven to be easily replaceable.
Which is the totally fucked up side of sports, treating humans like a piece of equipment at AutoZone, but hey I'm just a lazy blogger.
But that's how it went. Andy Andreoff replaced him on the fourth line. Andrew Crescenzi replaced him in the AHL. Jeff Carter replaced him as a productive two-way center and leader that the Kings thought they already had.
Sure, Richards may have helped the Kings win their first Stanley Cup in 2012, all while putting up his lowest numbers in goals, assists, and points since the 06/07 season. Then his numbers got even worse. His ice time dipped. He was more of an anchor 2014 when the Kings won again. Even being in the best shape of his life resulted in him getting booted. And this is all Philadelphia's fault.
Mike Richards was the best you had to offer, Philly. Your star. Your hero. Maybe if you had trusted him as a leader he wouldn't have been a healthy scratch regularly. Maybe if you had trusted him to continue being a playmaker he wouldn't have been demoted to the AHL to become one of the richest minor leaguers ever. It's your fault you exposed him to the harsh realities of an efficient and winning hockey team in Los Angeles, where you knew he wasn't going to be able to hack it.
He could have stayed your captain. Now you have a "leader" in Claude Giroux who only scores on the power play. You could have had the consistency Richards brought of never scoring, ever. You all loved him. Now you are forced to love Andrew MacDonald (another Andy replacing Richards!) and his albatross contract that you gave him that was Mike Richards's money.
Instead you disowned him. He made mistakes. He played poorly. His problems escalated from drinking to drugs. He made Dean Lombardi sad. Do you know how terrible that feels? Knowing your general manager is emotionally distraught? Mike Richards became so toxic that the Kings couldn't even pawn him off to Alberta. And it's all because you traded him.
You could have kept him. Mike could have been fine. Seeing big minutes. Scoring more than five goals a year. Lazily skating around the top of the defensive zone because that totally flies in the eastern conference. Instead here you are on the verge of trading Brayden Schenn. Probably to L.A. He is after all Mike Richards v.2, just five years behind or so. But congratulations on winning the trade though guys. Philadelphia, you got the better end of that one. Though you ruined your hero and destroyed a man.
The Flyers' logo I drew sort of looks like a misshaped cock and balls. Pretty appropriate if you ask me.
The Kings won again, despite taking a series of naps against the Oilers. Thankfully, that's Edmonton for you, where they give up game winning goals in the last few minutes of play against a third line center who has to take shooting lessons from Trevor Lewis.
The Whoa! Prediction: Mike Richards rises from the dead. Jeff Carter is so overcome with joy, he abandons the Kings and teams up with Richards. The two of them defeat Los Angeles and Philadelphia, then makeout.