So of course, as soon as I woke up I checked the net and saw the news about Brad Richards. I was mildly bummed for a moment.
Then I had a vision.
Mike Richards – Andrei Loktionov – Dustin Brown
I know the Kings want to replace Smyth from outside the organization. They should. I’m all for a Gagne signing or a Booth trade or whatever else Lombardi has up his sleeve.
But Loktionov has major skill. He has serious smarts. He plays much better at center than at left wing. He is about as NHL ready as a prospect can be. His only knock? Well, getting knocked around. With the two destroyers on his wings, I have a hard time believing he’ll be getting bullied around the rink. When you have to keep your head up for Richards or Brown putting you on your ass, you likely aren’t going to be spending too much time punishing the imp.
It’s another option if Gagne signs elsewhere or the trade market doesn’t bear fruit. Sign/trade for stronger depth in the bottom six. Focus on replacing Simmonds instead of Smyth. Get some veteran stability to help Lewis, Richardson, Westgarth and Clifford that was lost with the departure of Zus and Poni. I’m not too fond of the idea that Stoll is the sole veteran in the bottom six. I want one more smart, checking bruiser with some speed that has been around the block a time or ten.
I believe Mike Richards is no stranger to playing wing. Supposedly Helene was told by the Kings that had we acquired the free agent with his namesake, Mike would have been converted to left wing. We have a gem just waiting for an opportunity in Loki and with Philly’s fan favorite now King property, we finally have the right combination of skill and demolition to protect the sneaky midget.
Call me crazy. Call me hungry. Call me sunburned. I am all of these things.