Los Angeles Kings: Mike Richards Trade a Long-Term Move, Not a Win-Now One

Even though it appears as if L.A. is mortgaging their future for a shorter but sweeter cup window, they have in fact done quite the opposite in trading Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn for Mike Richards.

To win a cup in the NHL, competitive as it is these days, takes a flawlessly constructed roster, one loaded with scoring power, dominant d-men, forward depth, defensive depth and goaltending. The Kings, quite frankly, were not close to that last year, and the sexy preseason cup pick that was the Kings got some premature praise.

Their playoff loss to the Sharks could be chalked up to Kopitar's absence for a Kings fan in denial, but they were thoroughly outmatched by San Jose and would have suffered losses to Vancouver, Detroit, and probably Chicago and Nashville as well.

The Kings' shortcomings, while not accurately charted by many fans, were well known to the team's brilliant front office. Realizing that they lacked scoring power and forward depth, they decided that they were in fact not just "one piece" away from legitimate cup contention like many thought they were.

Had L.A. kept Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn, they would have had superior forward depth to what they have now. Then, they likely would have gone out and signed a big free agent such as Brad Richards, thinking that he was the final piece.

But as next season's playoffs rolled around, the Kings would still find that they were lacking size on the wing and consistency from their third and fourth lines. Then they would be faced with the tough task of adding a couple more expensive pieces, and the 2011-12 season would essentially have been a waste.

But L.A. was too smart for this. They respect the time and effort it takes to build up Detroit, Boston, San Jose, Vancouver-like rosters, and how far away from this they truly were. 

So, rather than try to win it all this year and inevitably fail, L.A. moved forward depth for the second li...

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