The Los Angeles Kings placed Mike Richards on waivers Monday, as first reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Hearing Mike Richards of LA is on waivers today. Wow.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 26, 2015
The depth centre has seen his production drop off again this season — 15 points in 47 games — and Richards’ name had been bandied about in trade talks with multiple teams, including the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Richards still carries a salary cap hit of $5.75 million for five more seasons. If the forward does get sent down to AHL Manchester, it only saves the Kings $925,000 in salary cap relief.
The Kings could’ve used an amnesty buyout on the 29-year-old last summer but elected not to.
Richards has won two Stanley Cups in Los Angeles, but his salary has been a strain on the team’s cap. His ice time (13:41) ranks ninth among Kings forwards this season.
The other 29 teams have until noon Tuesday to claim Richards and his contract off waivers.
From what I've gathered, #LAKings were working on multiple deals to trade Richards over the weekend. Final one fell through late last night.
— The Mayor John Hoven (@mayorNHL) January 26, 2015
Richards scored 23 to 31 goals per season during a four-year stretch in Philadelphia. Since being traded to L.A. in 2011, the native of Kenora, Ont., has failed to score more than 18 in a season.
The Flyers signed Richards to a $69-million, 12-year contract before dealing him (and prospect Rob Bordson) to the Kings at the 2011 draft in exchange for Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and L.A.’s 2012 second-round pick.
The defending champion Kings exit the all-star break fighting for their playoff lives. L.A. (20-15-12) sits one point behind Calgary for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.
In other news, the New Jersey Devils placed Tim Sestito on waivers.
— Capitals Hill (@CapitalsHill) January 26, 2015