Mike Richards and Simon Gagne: Why Kings Will Rise Up Western Standings

Last season the L.A. Kings had the potential to make a deep playoff run up until the late injury to Anze Kopitar. Since then, Lombardi, Robitaille and Hextall have made some great moves over the last week and a half to better the franchise in L.A.

Yes, L.A. gave up some youth in a recent trade of Simmonds and Schenn but picked up a key leader and two-way forward in Mike Richards and now signed free agent Simon Gagne. I think the Kings want to make a run for a Cup now rather than in a couple of years, hence giving up some youth for some already proven warriors.

I have to admit that there are plenty of ties to the Flyers' organization now, and I can see why it is an inviting spot for former Flyers to come play! Gagne and Richards could easily form one of the top second lines in the Pacific division or entire league for that matter.

Freeing up $6,250,000.00 in cap space by sending Ryan Smyth back to the familiar Oil Fields of Western Canada was definitely a great business decision for the Kings.

Mike Richards is more than just a 30 goal scorer. He has a defensive game but can also put the big ones in the net when needed. In fact, sometimes he prefers to score double shorthanded as well—just ask the Rangers. Richards is a leader (despite the recent criticisms of his Captancy in Philly) on the ice, and he is a guy you want out there whether it be in practice or a game situation.

Does he like to party like a Rock Star? Yes, on occasion I believe he does like to let loose but not like he once did on off nights with Lupul and Carter. Richard’s all around game is sometimes underrated in this league with so much young/raw talent these days. I think Richards could easily have a 30-40-70 point season.


Simon Gagne is another great guy to have around the arena. He is a two-time 40-goal scorer, but expect more like 22–35–57 out of him this season if he can mana...

About the Author