Report: Calgary talking Richards trade with L.A.

Hockey Central at Noon crew tells us why a Mike Richards for Dion Phaneuf trade fell through, and discuss how sad it is to see Richards’ overall fall from grace.

Perhaps Mike Richards’ American Hockey League stint will be briefer than you think.

Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving has discussed the possibility of acquiring the checking centre from the Los Angeles Kings, according to a report by Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun.

The Sun report surfaced late Tuesday, hours after Richards cleared waivers and was assigned to the Manchester Monarchs.

A two-time Stanley Cup champion, Richards carries a hefty salary cap hit of $5.75 million for the next five seasons.

While no team was willing to take on that contract Tuesday, a trading partner willing to shed its own bad commitment could still surface.

The Flames have plenty of cap space and president Brian Burke has gone on record saying the team is willing to spend, given the right opportunity.

“You can quote me on this. We are budgeted as a full cap team,” Burke told Sportsnet in December.

“The only reason we haven’t been a cap team so far is we haven’t seen the value. But the second we do, Brad Treliving is authorized to go right to the cap.”

The Kings would love to shed Richards’ salary and are in the hunt for blueline help with Slava Voynov suspended indefinitely.

While minutes-eaters Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie and Kris Russell are all playing on cap-friendly deals, the Flames also have defencemen Dennis Wideman ($5.25 million cap hit), Deryk Engelland ($2.917 million) and Ladislav Smid (3.5 million) locked up through 2016-17.

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