Let’s Talk Mitchell, Greene, King and Gaborik Contracts…and More.

Sorry to interrupt your drunken two Stanley Cups in three seasons stupor but there is business to be done.

Willie Mitchell

Matt Greene

Dwight King

Marian Gaborik

I know you want to add Mike Richards to this list and we will discuss that briefly at the end.

He who has a long stick

Willie Mitchell is coming off a $3.5M per season contract. He is 37 years old. He has miles on him but he still has a lot of value to our Kings. I have often called him the glue to our D core. Less glue today than before but his contribution to clearing the front, breakouts and the timely goals and assists are beyond reasonable dispute. Willie Mitchell has value. 2 years, $2.75M per season. Willie will be back.

Warrior

Matt Greene is only 31 but I am concerned. His average contract was $3M rounded off. He has had serious injuries and he was a healthy scratch for much of the season. Yet, when we needed him the most, he came up huge.

He was every bit as good in June of 2014 as he was in June of 2012.

The question with Greener is simple and complex. Simple is if he is healthy enough to come back and he can play like we have seen, then he has a lot of value to our Kings. Complex in the sense that if he cannot and with Robyn Regehr essentially being a round peg to that round hole, then Matt Greene becomes expendable. Just writing that made me nauseous because I love Greener. But if I have to look at this logically and set aside all emotion, I don’t think Greene resigns and one of two things happen – either he retires or another team signs him.

Smilers get it all

Dwight King had a breakout regular season. 77 games, 15 goals, 15 assists, + 16. Add to that 3 goals, 11 assists and +5 in the playoffs and you have damn respectable numbers for a third line left wing.

Will Dwight King be back? No brainer. Of course. He does so many little things (winning board battles being one of them) that Sutter and Lombardi covet that I cannot imagine Kinger playing elsewhere. Besides, what would we do without that dynamic smile? King is an RFA. He made $750K last season. He is due for a raise. He is only 24 years old. I think King gets signed to a 2-3 year contract at around $1.5M per season. Dean Lombardi will want to sign him longer but I don’t see King’s agent going for it.

First, he should know his client has more value in the open market. He can easily get $2M to $2.5 per year for 3-5 years…hell, Toronto Maple Leafs would sign him to a 6 year, $30M contract but stupid shouldn’t be the standard for negotiations. And I think King will want to be a UFA by age 26 or 27 where he will maximize his next contract. If Lombardi wants to lock him up longer, he will have to increase the dollars.

Still hasn’t grown on me but, what the hell, I will write it for Surly’s sake…Gabitar?

Marian Gaborik. This one is a piece of cake. Seriously. Not crazy. 3-4 years, $5.3 to 5.8M per season. That’s it. Marian has found a home but his injury history has to be considered when evaluating his next contract and balanced with his incredible chemistry with Anze Kopitar. He wants to be here. We want him to be here. It’s a marriage that makes sense for team and player.

Richie. Rick. Mike. Fuck islands, dry or otherwise

Mike Richards. I have read and heard it all. Buyout. Trade. This. That. Before the Blackhawks series, I was asking questions. After the Blackhawks series and the Stanley Cup Final, I don’t want to see Mike go anywhere.

He must come to camp in better shape. He must have a better regular season and be more consistent. But what player at the center position can play with any line, and any linemate, make everyone around him better, play on the powerplay, kill penalties, be trusted all 200 feet, pick pockets like he does and see the ice so well. You know why Clifford started to come into his own? Partly Mike Richards. Richie is like a player-coach out there and I didn’t fully appreciate his contribution until I started keying in on him commencing in game 6 of the Chicago series and the Cup Final.

I refuse to give credibility to reports of any ongoing substance abuse issues. That was the same shit we heard coming out of Philly and, with all due respect, fuck Philadelphia. We don’t have a manic owner. We don’t let one of our stars go. I would be shocked if Dean Lombardi traded or bought out Mike Richards. First, buying him out makes zero sense. There will be 29 teams falling over themselves to pick him up. It will take the St. Louis Blues 1.5 seconds. Second, trade him and you better be ready to fill a serious hole and our serious hole is…not there. We just won the Stanley Mother Sutting Cup with this team. THIS team doesn’t need any fixing.

And…

That’s it.

You still with me?

I know your attention span is not what it was before we won. I will only forgive you because neither is mine. Pretty sure the wife has called my name several times while I have been writing this and it is only a matter of time before something comes flying at my head…on that note, GO KINGS!



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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51 replies

  1. 1) Willie Mitchell is a no-brainer – they got past Anaheim without him but once Chicago came calling, they needed him and got him back and that’s what helped them win – his injury last year was one of the main reasons they didn’t beat Chicago then – he’s the glue

    2) I don’t think Matt Greene comes back simply because of a numbers game – it’s a luxury to have him as a 7th d-man on certain nights but the fact is, with Robyn Regehr still under contract, Greener probably won’t be back + it’s time to see what Brayden McNabb can do eventually

    3) Dwight King doesn’t really get appreciated that often – sometimes he makes people rage because it just seems like he doesn’t fit but at the end of the day he does the little things that the Kings want him to do well and he’s one of those guys that just goes out and does his job with very little fan-fare – he’s affordable too and for someone who should score 15 goals in the regular season, you take that and run with it

    4) Marian Gaborik is dreamy – his success with Kopi + his love for playing in California makes it a no-brainer – Dean Lombardi would get pitchforked if he didn’t re-sign Gabby, quite frankly – Gabby knows what it’s like to win now, he got the taste and now he wants more of it – the money is not the main factor for him now

    5) I might be Mike Richards’ biggest fan, so you know how I feel – there’s no need to talk about buying him out or trading him – you don’t trade Mike Richards, end of story

  2. I agree with most of what you have said. But, I am not so sure on the Richards front. Face it, he played a 4th line roll. He doesn’t have it like he used to. 6 more years at 4.5 or 5.5M (I really don’t remember the exact number), is big money for a 4th line roll. Defensively, it would be hard to replace him. If he was a UFA and we needed to resign him, would you give him 6 years and roughly 5M per? I wouldn’t either.

  3. Biggest factor with Richards is not this year but the next 2-3 years. His deal runs for like 6 years. We will have to sign toffy, Pearson and oh Connie “stick”Williams in the next few years. Not to mention stoll. I would take stoll over Richards. Time to bring in Vey. I hate to say it…I love this team. Trade rags, keep Mitchell and greener, being in mcnabb to compete for #6 damn.

    • Why not wait a year and see? No matter how he performs I’m sure he’ll still have value a year from now, if we need the cap space then.

  4. Dry Island these nuts. Closet ass sucking hypocrites.

    • I hate self-loathing Philly media/fans stuck with that organ-eye-zation. Now that Moron Holgren is gone there is hope in Hexy. Still, I dislike Philly. All one has to do, in spite of all the hate of Mike Richards, is look up “Mike Richards” on youtube. Multitudes of tributes and endless versions of “the shift.” Hypocritical, self-loathing buttplugs. He signed basically for life because he wanted to be there. Carter, too. Evidently living in Philly sucks so bad, you become green with envy to the point that an icon. even St. Nick, is hated for getting the fuck out and having success. Boo Mike Richards, assholes. Just keep on uploading your tributes via pseudonym. Mike Richards retires a King. Show up at his IHHOF induction and gnash your teeth.

  5. 4th line isn’t always together. Richards minutes are in line with a second line center. Player coach is a perfect way to put it. He makes other players better. You can argue that it draws from Richards skill level, but we are the deepest team in the nhl at center hands down. It’s why we won the cup. Richards Lewis and Clifford gave NY fits. Regular season was disappointing for he and Brown, but as a wise friend of mine recently said, if Richards and Brown both have their worst career years and we still win the cup………. Imagine when they pull their heads out of their asses how good we’ll be. \X/

    • You know I’ve had to point that out to several people. This team was not very good. Really. We had several core players who had down years. Brown. Richards. Voynov. These are guys who are not normally that bad. And the reason we did succeed, our stars who excelled – Kopi, Doughty, Williams, Carter, etc. are not flukes. They are guys who have been consistent performers and are in or even just now hitting their prime years (Doughty only 24 – he wont peak until 27. What the fuck? Doughty playing better than he already does makes my head and pants explode). The Western teams will be even better next year. I may not matter. If the 2015 Kings have this same basic roster but with everyone going, they wipe the floor with this years team. That has got to scare the fuck out of the league – this team just basically won a cup – on an off year. The only thing that worries me is the age of our shutdown D, but we do have some kids. We just need to plan it out. Roll in one kid every year or two, let em get comfy before the next vet goes. Greene first this year. Mitchell in 1-2 (depending on his retirement choice). Regher in 3-4.

  6. We have finally reached a point in our organization where tough decisions regarding players we love will have to be made. If Dean can stay under the cap he would certainly bring everyone back, but that’s not the case anymore.

    We have to keep in mind going forward that Toffoli, Pearson, Williams, Stoll, Martinez and Muzzin will need to be addressed next year, so everything finalized this year will have to mesh with those numbers. Not to mention Kopitar’s contract extension that will be signed before its end in 2016-17.

    Gaborik, fits nicely with Kopitar without question, but part of fitting in also includes contract numbers. If I’m running the team, I’m offering max 3 years at 5.2-5.5. Not a penny more. On my team he would not make more than Carter. Gaborik, you can argue has been a disappointment in the last handful of years comparable to salary and expectations. With the Kings, he will not be asked to be the shinning star but a role player on a solid and proven Championship team. I max out at 5.5.

    There’s is not a player on the Kings, I respect more than Greene, but if I had to choose, I’m bringing back Mitchell for 2 years at similar numbers as last contract (3.5)(?). Mitchell’s game still has huge positive affects on our beloved team. If it didn’t insult Greene, I would consider bringing him back for a single year in the 2.8 range.

    Mike Richards is a tough call. I was a blue-collar athlete and a blue-collar coach and I absolutely love athletes like Richards. I’m similar to DL regarding loyalties to athletes (people) who give everything possible to accomplish organizational (similar) goals. The thoughts of moving Richards are emotionally painful, but if numbers had me making a choice, I would take Williams and Stoll (salary cap related) over Richards. I would take Muzzin and Martinez over Richards. I would take Toffoli and Pearson over Richards if money values were equal or similar.

    In a perfect world we keep everyone, but…

  7. Mitchell and Greene- Don’t forget that McNabb will be on the roster next year, he can’t go to the AHL and Dl gave up Fasching for a reason. AMart clearly showed he does not belong on the 3D pairing, his game really grew last half of the season and in the playoffs. With Regehr and McNabb as the 5/6, if you bring Mitchell back, where is AMart? It’s not fair to him to not play the minutes he’s earned. And Mitchell said in a recent interview he’s looking for a simliar deal to what he has now (2 year 7 mil) DL won’t and shouldn’t go there.

    King- don’t care one way or another, not a fan and I get the shortage of LW’s is the reason he’s there. Actually think that Nolan could have evolved into a better player (at least he knows how to hit and use his size) but wasn’t given the opps that King was, like so much top 6 minutes. But Nolan will be a good fit on a nother team.

    Gabby- Has fit in well and had a solid spring and great chemistry with Kopi. But having played onliy 1 complete season since he broke in in 2000, does’t bode well for a guy playing a physically demanding system in a very physical division and conference. And that puts him in a high risk/high reward area that DL is aware of . I think he’ll get 5.5 -6 x 3 years, maybe 4. But he won’t put in 82 next year.

    Richards – Will be back centering the 3rd line next year. (no he’s not a 4th line center, get over that. Whatever took him from 27 pts in 32 as a 2nd liner( with several weeks w/o Carter) from late December to April was the reason Sutter had to move him. But he as very solid in the playoffs, esp he played on the 2nd and 3rd , where he was much better, better wingers to interact with. He can’t play on the 4th line and that was pretty clear. And DL wouldn’t be that stupid, wasting a guy with MR’s vision/playmaking by putting him in a place where he can’t and won’t produce. That’s not an option. And the fact if Carter or Kopi gets hurt or when (not if) gabby gets hurt and forwards need to be shifted he can transition easily to the 2nd line C. You kidding yourself if you don’t realize how good he is in just about every area and how much Sutter leans on him when the heat is on, time and time again he goes to MR when the going gets tough. Huge part of the Kings sucess in the last 3 years it tied to him and esp the leadership he provides. They would miss him and DL knows that.
    Beyond next year depends on how much money they save this year on the CAP and how much revenue (projected to be 4Billion) the league gets next year. If they can stay under the 72 Million this years Cap is expected to hit (Per Chris Botta NHL) that 14 M should cover Gabby and King and leave a bit for next year, which they’ll need.

  8. With all the speculation of who needs to stay, who will stay & who will go the key is Mitchell. He’s voiced his opinion and what he wants. Now it’s up to DL. After the Mitchell domino falls (in our favor or not) that will determine the situation with Greene, Martinez etc. ect.
    These are the tough decisions that need to be made like Kingnation13 said. My head is all clouded with next years roster possibilities.

    Kings -2
    Ducks -1
    Sharks -hahahaha

    GMFKG!!!

  9. Kings news:

    1) Dave Molinari @MolinariPG · 1h

    Word circulating that Los Angeles has not — and likely will not — give other teams permission to talk to John Stevens about coaching jobs.

    Good. I hope that means they’ve promised him the coaching job when Sutter retires. Seamless transition for players to coach and system and a smart guy who is a LARGE part of this team’s success, esp D and PK the Kings strong suits. I liked him as a head coac hfor both the PHila PHantoms and the FLyers , where he was fired too soon (thanks ED). I’m guessing that means, perhaps, Sutter might have told Dean this will be his last year?

    2) Jeff Carter and longtime girlfiend Megan are engaged – congrats.

  10. I really don’t have much to offer! These are great comments! It will certainly be interesting to watch how things shake out in the coming weeks!

    Oh! I am really glad that they tied up Stevens! Yes, they must have given him more compensation of some sort to make sure he stays with LA!

    • I’m sure Stevens looked at the prospect of taking over this team who has already won two cups in three years & a bunch of players still waiting to hit their prime!
      GMFKG!!!

      • This team, from the way everyone on the team talks, is a wonderful team to be a part of. Some may have to go, but no one WANTS to leave!

        • Yea your right. The way they talk they have some great respect, comradery and love for one another. Seems like a real tight group in that locker room.

  11. Not reading responses, so if this sounds like some other responses, then I concede that there are others who feel and think the same way I do.

    Mitchell: Scuderi leaving was clearly a big loss with our defensive core for a big part of the year. The amount they offered a younger, and more reliable Scuderi was about 3 million give or take a few hundred thousand, but not enough to entice Scuds to be a little closer to home in a few years, instead of this year.
    You make Mitchell your #1 prize on defense. His overall value to the play of this team is higher than Matt Greene. Mitchell has more upside in terms of skill. He can make a great 1st pass, he can hang back and put shots on net, he can make guys blow snot bubbles and he can clear out the front of the net.
    Simply put Mitchell is the Yang to a guy like Slava’ Ying.

    Greene: Way too valuable on ice, in the dressing room and off the ice. Despite all of these intangibles, he has had significant injuries the past 3.5 seasons, injuries which have actually brought along Jake Muzzin and also led to AMART’s evolution. Sadly the clear loss of foot speed, and even with correct positioning, he just is too slow to really be a defenseman you carry, for the sake of carrying.He is a warrior but like many warriors eventually realize, its a young mans gig, and time for him to maybe step aside or move to another team and help them develop their young defensive corps. Greene brings experience and leadership which he should have no problem being picked up by some other team which are in need of his experience. I would not bring him back.

    Brayden McNabb was acquired for a reason, and in what I have read and heard about him, I have the understanding he is ready to play full time in the NHL. He will need to be signed since he is a RFA.

    As I also read, Jeff Schultz is also another veteran defenseman who might have played most of this season in the AHL, he is not an AHL defenseman and his size, especially his height and reach make him also another defenseman who can be signed for significantly less than what Matt Greene deserves.

    Forbort/Gravel/Miller/Ebert are not ready yet, so giving them another full year in the AHL is best for their development.

    Dwight King: He’s 6ft 4in 235 lbs of smile, but IMO he is way to big to not be physical. He is often a player who I don even notice is out there unless he makes the occasional pass, or scores a goal. I still don’t think he is gritty enough to play a much more physical role, which a guy his size should be playing. If he had Mike Richards guts, combined with his game, then I would have no problems with the guy, but he is just not physical enough, and goes missing for long periods of time. If he isn’t playing with higher skilled players like he did during the beginning of this season, he doesn’t score as many points, be it goals or assists. On this team he is a 3rd line wing, so that to me makes him expendable.

    Andy Andreoff can play both C or LW and knows his role. Andreoff is smaller, but is not one to shy away from dropping the mitts and cracking sculls. Andreoff should be just about ready to get a sniff in the NHL. His size and versatility make him very attractive. He’s not as tall as King, he didn’t score as much as Vey, but the fact that he can play both C or LW, has shown growth and improvement the past 2 seasons. If the Kings decide not to re-sign King they do have options. As Ned Braden said “It’s always nice to have options.”

    Gaborik: DL said he has been after this guy for a while now, and he also said that he would have not made the trade for him, if he didn’t feel Gaborik would be interested in resigning with the Kings, win or lose after this season. Its a business, Gabby has made some 60+ million I think over his career to date, not exactly chump change. He has played in some really good hockey markets, Minnesota, he has played in one of largest hockey markets in New York City and he has played in a pretty shitty hockey market in Columbus.

    He has now played in Hockey Nirvana. He has finally won a Stanley Cup, and he did this without being under the constant scrutiny that a sports town like NYC can be to a player who is expected to dominate. He now knows that he is still expected to produce, but its not as if the teams success is all up to him if they win or lose. Manhattan Beach/Hermosa Beach is a really nice place to live. No frozen white stuff or sub freezing temperatures in the winter in LA, but he can enjoy winter sports if his contract allows it, or if he decides to become best friends with Kelly Slater and become a Slovakian Beach Bum that to can be done in the winter.

    In the words of Ricky of Trailer Park Boys, it doesn’t take “rocket appliances” to figure this one out, and that is Gaborik can take a hometown discount and be making 6 million, and know the team is solid and built to continue to compete for years, while not having to be the guy! Gaborik can also decide to be a greedy prick like that Russian jerk off who used Brown as his own personal tour guide a few years ago, before he took the money, got into one cup final, didn’t do shit and then took his ego, and his wife and kids back to the USSR. I would hope Slovakia’s got Talent can’t be that enticing, but I haven’t seen Slovakian TV ever.

    Mike Richards: Regardless of what I feel, or how you feel, DL loves MR and JC loves MR, therefore LAK loves MR and MR stays with the Kings, is not a compliance buyout.

    RR is done after next season, which should be about the time Forbort or McNabb possibly Gravel are ready to take that next step. If the Kings give WM 2 more seasons, he can also help the young defensemen coming up.

    Regardless of how everyone feels, it should be an interesting off season with the entry draft, then free agency and possible trades.

    I know I’ll be at development camp to see what the future is starting to look like here in Los Angeles. Really excited to see how another year of playing in North America in the QMJHL have Zykov progressing. Really looking forward to seeing Ebert let one of his 100 mph slappers go during camp. Hope to see Forbort with more mean and snarl. Also really hoping to see the class of 2014′ draft.

    • I thoroughly enjoy the way you can put thoughts together! I don’t need to write anything! You said it all! I know some will disagree with you, but I usually don’t!

      Yes, it will be interesting to see what will happen. Just because we think one way, doesn’t mean that the management of the Kings are thinking the same way!

      Go Kings!!!

    • 👍 trailer park boys

  12. A lot of great perspective on this site. I love all these players and wish they could keep all of them next season. I think it’s incredible that ALL the forwards will be back! The d, though.
    Doughty-Muzzin
    Voynov-Mitchell
    Martinez-Regehr(last season)
    McNabb
    Unfortunately it’s Greene or Mitchell.

  13. Also this Richards buyout shit is fucking crap. Hello people! The argument of they got to sign Toffoli and Pearson down the line? Then buy him out after next year. 13 million will easily resign Gaborik, Mitchell, King. With change. Plus what if Richards is Richards next year? I’ll bet your ass he is!

  14. People don’t understand that the buyout was and is only good for last year’s off season and this season’s offseason. There is no buyout in 2015. So you can’t “see how Richards is next year” and buy him out next year. Its this year or else his contract goes to fruition. So if he underacheives again next year, you will be stuck with him for the next 6 years at 5.8 million per year. As valuable as he is and has been, its hard to justify almost 6 million a year. People are saying Gaborik is only worth 5.5 million. Is Richards then worth more?

    • I didn’t know that. If what you say is true, that certainly puts pressure on the DL to think seriously about moving Richards. I like Richards, like I like some of the other hard working players on the Kings, who make much less money than he does. But I don’t like him at such a high price. He hasn’t earned a salary that is that high. I know. I don’t get paid the big bucks to make that kind of decision. It goes back to what I said earlier. It WILL be interesting watching what DL is going to do in the weeks and months ahead of us. His decisions will be difficult. I hope he’s correct, whichever way he goes. The future success of the Kings will hinge on how correct those decisions will be!

    • Oh…I understand the rules of a buyout and how it effects the salary cap. There is nothing in there that it has to be done by a certain time during the length of the contract. It is very confusing! One problem with buying out Richards is that, I think, he has 6 more years on his contract. There is something in there that says buying out a player older than 26, you save 2/3rds of the contract against the cap BUT you still got to pay 1/3rd(against the cap) for the remainder of the contract X2. That’s near $2 mil for the next 12 years against the cap. It’s confusing as hell but I think it’s right.

      • What most people are confusing, Crownroyal included, is the difference between a Compliance Buyout and a Standard Buyout. The Compliance Buyout was a special provision in the new CBA where each team could buyout up to two players WITH NO CAP IMPLICATIONS. The Standard Buyout does count against the cap. Therefore if the Kings buyout Richards this season it cost cash but no cap. I they wait after this season then it counts partially against the cap for the next 10 years (including $4.2M in both ’18-’19 & ’19-’20). Therefore if the Kings need to decide:

        Will Richards rebound enough to justify a $5.75M cap hit for th next 6 years, or at least rebound enough to were another team would be willing to take on said cap hit. If not a buyout next season would only free up about $3M on average over 5 years while then costing $1.5M on average during the subsequent 5 years. In case I did not explain this very well here are some links:

        Compliance Buyout

        http://www.capgeek.com/faq/how-do-compliance-buyouts-work

        Standard Buyout

        http://www.capgeek.com/faq/how-do-buyouts-work

        Richard’s Cap Hit if boughtout in 2015

        http://www.capgeek.com/buyout-calculator/?player_id=741&buyout_y=2015&buyout_m=06&buyout_d=20

        • Yes, I was obviously talking about the CBA compliance buyout, which is only available until june 30, 2014. An in shape Richards may be worth 5.8 million per year. In my opinion, last year’s performance was not. However, Richards is only 29 and if he regains his flyer form, he would be preferable than stoll and williams. I am not willing to let peason, vey, toffoli muzzin, martinez walk and all those guys will be rfa’s or ufa’s in 2015 and kopitar in 2016

        • Ohhhhhh! I think I got it. Head spinning…when reading the buyout “rules” it’s a little complicated. Thanks fellas for clearing it up for me.

  15. Vey has to make the club or you lose him on waivers. Mcnabb has to make the club or uou lose him on waivers. That means one dman has to go and one forward has to go. Im thinking Greene is gone. If you don’t buyout Richards or trade him, the extra 5.5 million can go towards signing toffoli and Pearson next yr and kopitar the year after. Otherwise you keep Richards and you let Williams AND stoll go after next year or you lose Pearson or toffoli. It’s just numbers people. The cap doesn’t hurt us much next yr but in 2015 toffoli, Pearson jones, Martinez, muzzin, Clifford and Nolan are all young players that will be ufa’s or rfa’s along with stoll Williams and regher. Can’t keep everyone which is why there are no dynasties anymore

    • Richards, Williams and Stoll…..? Thats like almost half our core.

    • Idk. The Kings look pretty set up for next year and beyond. Some guys coming off the books, some guys getting raises, and some pretty fucking good young blood chomping at the bit to show what they got. Oh….the culture

  16. Richards will not be bought out according to Dillman.

    “The biggest thing in the meeting with Michael – the important thing – is that he realized he’s going to have to make some adjustments in his offseason training,” Lombardi told the LA Times today.

    I love Richards but being out of shape for a pro athlete, in my book, is the biggest sin. You’re a leader, You love playing here. Players and fans love having you. You play on a great team that provides a great atmosphere. Your mulligan has been used young, sir! We expect you to be ranked in the top 5 in regards to conditioning when you return for next season. Get’r done Mike!

  17. So DL states that Richards needs to get his training regimen together and train like a 29 yr old should rather than someone younger. Jon Rosen stated that Richards had a pretty solid start to the season with 17 points in 18 games (5goals, 12 assists).

    So he came to camp outta shape and then did well to start the season on will power alone? Something’s not right here. Remember when Richards was playing like dogshit? I would post on the insider that Richards needs to stop showing up drunk to games. Then I get an email from Jon basically saying “hey you gotta cut that crap out.” Does Richards have a legit drinking problem?

    DL may lead us to believe that he needs to “train” better in the off season. That he needed Richards to look him in the eyes and tell him. Sounds to me that maybe the guy does may have a legit drinking problem. I’m hoping that it isn’t the case. How much he drinks isn’t my business.

    Do players go through slumps? If course they do they’re not machines. So he played 4th line center. He was also moved around and played with carts and Pearson some shifts also. Plus the guy is money on the PK. Some of us speculate that maybe those concussions are catching up to him.

    What makes me nervous is that he’s got 6 more years at nearly 6 mil. No compliance buyout means were stuck with his salary and that’ll hurt. It’s a tough choice but I think DL made the right call. Now the shits all on Richards to perform like he can and I sure hope he does.

    • Not buying any of the drinking bullshit. Same garbage I heard come out of Philly. Let’s not be gossipy. It makes perfect sense to start strong and tail off when not in shape. Called lack of endurance and body breaking down early. Ever ran a marathon?

      • You are correct!

      • Never ran a marathon. That shit is pointless to me. There’s absolutely zero skill in it but I see your analogy here. Outta the gates feeling good and then hit the wall at mile 10. Richards is a top level professional though and he should be expected to come into the season in shape.

        Rumors may be rumors but they start from somewhere. Maybe it’s all bullshit what came outta philly or maybe there was some truth to it. I’m not trying to gossip but rather state a legit concern if he does. Having the GM sit you down and tell you to start training right is like telling a doctor that he needs to revisit human anatomy 101. Richards went to absolute dogshit for a while there and thank God he came back for the playoffs.

        Whatever it may be hopefully the guys on board, all in next season.

    • Yes, Hat Trick, Richards IS a very good player in every aspect of the game. He HAS had an off year, but in many ways, he has still been good up and down the ice. The big question is whether or not he will be able to get his mojo back. If he does, he’ll be well worth his hefty salary. If he doesn’t, he’ll still be a good player, but he’ll be getting paid more than $5 million to do a $2.5 million dollar job. Keeping Richards could be somewhat of a gamble, but I’m sure that DL and DS know what’s happening. And they’re betting on Richards.

    • Mike Richards doesn’t have a drinking problem. He didn’t have one in Philly either. What he did was what most 21 and 22 year old NHL stars who are single with $$$ do, he went out at night. That’s it. Because a trio of aging hack reporters who (as SEan ODonenll so aptly stated the year after he left Philly when asked about the Richards stuff) ‘unjustly skewered’ ‘ him because he called them out, he made the mistake of defending himself and Carter and it blew up in his face. They resented him for challenging their accusations and he paid for it, they never missed an opportunity to take cheap shots and him and carter. And were caught more than once lying and shrugged it off saying ‘I guess my ‘source’ was wrong’ The fact that people like you would be small and pathetic and repeat that crap only solidif3es what ODie said. I didn’t understand why you would say that the first time and haven’t understood why you keep saying it. He had poor 2nd half (27 ponts in the first 32 games most of which were w/o Carter due to a foot injury) on the 2nd line was a a good first half. He got an illness end of Dec. and because of his condit9ioning issues (and I’m glad DL said Richards was very candid about that, took a good look in the mirror and did the right thing) that illness lingered and every part of his game did as a result . He learned a lesson the hard way and it put a chip on his shoulder that he’ll bring to camp.
      But confusing post concussion syndrome the last half of his 1s Kings season and the conditioning issues this year with him ‘playing drunk’ is terribly uneducated and unintelligent on your part. Why would you invent that? how does repeating that over and over make you a better person? Why would you feel the need to repeat that without any viable proof at all? Would you like that if someone did that to do all the time

      • Yes, everyone knows that Richards has had some issues, but bringing up gossip about alcohol abuse isn’t something that should be done … unless someone has evidence to back up his assertions. Let’s all hope that Richards has a great 2014/2015 season!

        • Agree, stronger, fitter and monster year starting with the home opener 10/8 vs the Sharks.
          GKG

          • I can hardly wait! Right now, I’m watching the replays of the Kings/Hawks games on the NHL Channel. This is great!

      • Why? Because I’m a Kings fan you dumbshit that’s why! And when the guy is playing like he can give a rats ass about his team then I’ll be hard on the guy. Just because I made a comment of him playing drunk doesn’t mean I’m trying to be malicious. It actually came from slap shot when that guy came to the game wasted. I’ve played hockey with guys hammered. Richards played like shit. I don’t know what came outta philly cuz I’m not a philly fan nor was I a fan of Richards prior to him coming here.

        So for the way Richards played, are you going to turn a blind eye and say he’s ok and throw out every excuse in the book and then when it comes to other guys on the team you crucify them? I know you’re a big Richards fan. I know he can do no wrong in your eyes and that’s your problem. Look at mike Richards for how he plays the game and how he’s performing. Ok? The guys getting paid big bucks.

        Talk about post concussion syndrome hey maybe you got some inside info as to how bad it really is then now I’m even more concerned with him. You throw out every excuse for the guy…oh he was a young buck and the media slammed him. Maybe they did? Maybe they did it so it can get the fans fired up and them causing controversy. Reporters can be idiots. But let’s not have rose colored glasses for the sake of seeing things one way and not seeing things for how they are.

        Ah what’s the point if Richards scored on his own goal you would blame someone else other than Richards.

        • The problem with your comments isn’t that you are questioning his play it is that you are slandering the guy. Your libel has no factual basis. You’ve watched a movie and played beer league hockey where a guy showed up drunk. Seriously, an “anonymous source” would have more credence. As a Kings fan maybe you should try and give the guy a modicum of credit, and assume he takes his job more seriously than “some guy” you used to play with.

          • Being out of shape at this level, for this type “caliber” of player should be a given no? No? well shit maybe my expectations of the guy is too high. I will drop it down several notches to advanced beer leaguer/ex-college player.

            If I really was in it to slander the guy LAKI or any other Kings blog (no disrepect S&S) someone’s really going to take me seriously? Why not do it right and go to the LA Times?

          • Well you could try Fox, but you and I both know that they would probably call him Matt Rodgers.

          • LOL Yeah the probably would.

    • Wait Jon didn’t want libel on his blog? Then the libel must be fact! As others have said the Kings know Richie better than we ever could with former teammates in the locker room and front office. And, as you alluded to at the end in Dean we trust.

  18. Very Impressive list from the whiteboard in the Kings lockeroom- a champion’s mettle

    Philip Pritchard
    ‏@keeperofthecup Some stats from the locker room on the #stanleycupchampions @lakings @HockeyHallFame @NHL. Good reason why they won! pic.twitter.com/PpEHephotZ

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