2011-12 Los Angeles Kings Player Evaluations: Mike Richards

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 11: Mike Richards #10 of the Los Angeles Kings holds up the Stanley Cup after the Kings defeated the New Jersey Devils 6-1 to win the Stanley Cup series 4-2 after Game Six of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on June 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Mike Richards

#10 / Center / Los Angeles Kings

5-11

199

Feb 11, 1985

Contract: $5,750,000 Cap Hit; UFA Summer 2020



GP G A P Points per 60 ZSAC/60 Quality of Competition PDO
11-12 74 18 26 44 1.55 (5th) -3.326 (11th) 0.909 (3rd) 1010 (2nd)

Rankings among Kings forwards who appeared in at least 40 games. 11 qualified.

Each stat header features a clickable link that takes you to a brief explanation.

Mike Richards was acquired by the Kings in exchange for Baryden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds and a 2nd round pick. The trade was a shocker of deal that immediately thrust high expectations on the Kings for the ensuing season.

Richards was productive from a goal scoring standpoint early on (despite of some alarming peripheral numbers), but was then slowed by a concussion. How did his underlying numbers shake out for the season as a whole?

Positives

Usage

Richards had arguably the most diffuclt job of any Kings forward this season. He faced the 3rd toughest competition and 5th most defensive zone starts of any Kings forward. In addition he was saddled with rotating cast of linemates early in the season that included the out of position Jarret Stoll and Andrei Loktionov--both natural centermen with little experience at wing.

Richards was unable to find stability until the Kings traded for Jeff Carter. This reunion with his longtime teammate resulted in a boost in his possession numbers:


Richards Before and After Jeff Carter


Shots Attempted % Shots Through % Shots on Net %
Richards before Carter .47% 45% 46%
Richards after Carter 54% 55% 53.5%



Still carrying a heavy load, Richards was finally able to get the puck going in the right direction once Carter arrived.



Negatives

Possession


Even though the Carter trade boosted his numbers, Richards had a disappointing season by his standards. He posted the worst possession numbers relative to his team in his entire career, while also benefitting from the most favorable zone starts.

Even though Richards had a difficult job with the kings, his job was even more difficult in his years with the Flyers yet he was able to post better numbers. in fact he finished last among Kings' forwards in adjusted possession numbers [see chart above under ZSAC/60].

Penalties


This season Richards took the most penalties of his career while also drawing the fewest. In the past, Richards' ability to draw penalties, while not taking many himself, was a hug asset to his game given that he was used in primarily defensive situations. He needs to get back to that in order to be at his most effective self.

Penalty Kill


Although Richards has developed the reputation (and rightly so) as an effective penalty killer, he struggled a bit in that department this season. Richards in fact gave up the most shots in his career as a penalty killer. In addition among the top 100 NHL forwards in penalty killing ice time, Richards finished 61st in the shot differential battle.

Power Play


Mike Richards saw significant time on the power play this season and was largely ineffective. Among the top 150 NHL forwards in power play ice time, Richards was 74th in shot differential and 146th in scoring.



JFTC Report Card Grade: C


The trade for Mike Richards brought on high expectaions for the teams' #2 centerman. Expectations that he wasn’t able to meet early in the season due to subpar play, injury and unstable linemates. The addition of Jeff Carter seemingly turned that around. Yet, for the amount the team invested both in terms of his salary and prospects traded, one would expect that Richards shouldn't be as reliant on his teammates in order to be able to drive play.

In terms of salary Richards earns close to the same amount as Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Ryan Getzlaf, and Bobby Ryan. Next year, Richards is going to need to have a full season of what he showed from March on in order to justify the expense.

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