This morning, the Los Angeles Kings skated at the Wells Fargo Center in advance of tonight's game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Reporters were looking forward to talking to former Flyers Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, but while Carter spoke with the media, Mike Richards did not.
Richards blows off reporters. Sneaks out while 20 reporters waited by his locker for 15 mins.— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) March 24, 2014
The Philadelphia beat, predictably, was not pleased.
Jeff Carter speaks to media about his return to Philly but Mike Richards does not. Unhappy Phila media corps— Helene Elliott (@helenenothelen) March 24, 2014
The good news is, we found some quotes from Mike Richards! As a result, I've written the article that Philadelphia reporters weren't be able to write. Sources for the quotes are at the bottom of the article.
Mike Richards Has Moved On
After today's morning skate, Mike Richards was ready to talk about hockey.
It's been almost three years since Mike Richards left the Flyers organization in a blockbuster summer trade, one that ended an era in Philadelphia and started a new one in Los Angeles. Since then, Richards has won a Stanley Cup with the Kings, but Philadelphia is riding high thanks to the offensive contributions of Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn. Richards isn't dwelling on the past, though.
"Nothing you can do about it now.... just move on." (1) One reporter asked if Richards was happy the trade had happened, and though he deflected that question, he mentioned that he was happy Jeff Carter had come along. "We have good chemistry. It's been there for a while and it seems that we have success when we play with each other." (2) When asked why the Philadelphia media seemed to have a negative perception of Richards and Carter, Richards simply answered, "It's ego more than anything... disappointment." (3)
The conversation soon moved to the Flyers. "They have some big guys, some skilled forwards, and solid defense," (4) explained Richards. He was impressed with Simmonds and Schenn, who moved the other way in that fateful deal, and highlighted their ability to score goals. "You can’t win in this league without scoring, it’s obvious." (5) Asked to explain further, he said, ""You need to score goals to win, that’s obvious." (6)
So do the Kings need Richards to chip in more on offense? Richards scored in the Kings' last game, and it was a welcome contribution from the struggling forward. But, as Richards emphasized, "it’s not easy to score goals. If it was, everyone would do it." (7) Richards was happy with the Kings' recent performances, though. "The focus is scoring goals without giving anything else up." (8) "We’ve shown flashes of playing well. We just have to maintain that." (9)
The player had spoken, and the Philadelphia media was happy. Meanwhile, Richards was simply looking forward to getting out on the ice. "It’s going to be a sprint to the finish, and it’s the most exciting time to play hockey." (10)
(1) This was about the off-the-netting goal in Detroit. January 18, via LA Kings Insider.
(2) This quote is indeed about Carter. March 6, via LA Kings Insider.
(3) This was Richards explaining why he was bummed to be left off of Team Canada. January 11, via LA Times.
(5) December 30, via LA Kings Insider.
(6) November 22, via LA Kings Insider.
(7) October 15, via LA Kings Insider.
(8) Richards on the team coming out of the Olympic break. February 24, via Frozen Royalty.
(9) This was in response to a question about preparing for the playoffs. February 24, via LA Kings Insider.
(10) Richards was looking forward to the stretch run. February 24, via Frozen Royalty.