Why I Officially Love the Mike Richards Trade
First, I want to offer my condolences to my girlfriend, Nicole. It’s never easy losing your first favorite King (Wayne Simmonds). You will learn to love again in time, I promise.
That said, I absolutely love this trade. Not because I like seeing my girlfriend upset, but because it’s a move that had to be done.
Mike Richards is now. Brayden Schenn is later. Maybe.
Richards is a proven scorer, we all know this. He is good for 60-70 points per season. In the right settings, he has been an 80 point player. He’s a beast on special teams, is a leader, and at 26 years of age, he is entering the prime of his career.
Schenn is an unproven, though likely, NHL star of the future. Note how I said “the future.” Schenn might be in the league next year. Then again, maybe not. He certainly isn’t going to outscore Richards next year. Or the year after that.
The Kings are brokering their possible future for a most likely present. Even if Schenn turns into the star that scouts were hoping he would be, there is no way we can know he would stay with the Kings for that future. He will be skating into his prime when players like Kopitar and Brown are seeing their King contracts expiring. Not saying they will be heading out, but there is always a possibility that one or both of them won’t be here.
The Kings need to deal for today. They have the team to make them a playoff contender. They need the players to make them a Cup contender. Schenn can’t offer a team that for a at least a couple of years. Richards can. Today.
Kopitar – Williams – Penner. Richards – Brown – Clifford. Lethal.
By all accounts, Ryan Smyth will be gone this weekend, which will certainly help with the cap situation (Smyth’s hit is 6.25 mil, Richards is 5.75).
Smyth is old hat. Could he be dangerous on that second line? You bet your sweet Aunt Bippy. But, the Kings don’t want a guy who doesn’t want to be there…especially for the money he is raking in.
Kyle Clifford is who I’m looking at as your 2nd line lefty, but we can’t really be sure what is going to happen with the Smyth deal or no deal. It isn’t far-fetched to think that Dean Lombardi is trying to score a left winger for Smyth (doesn’t necessarily have to be from the Oilers…love me a nice 3-way). AND, as was posted on CrownedRoyal.com earlier this week, there are a lot of lefties available on the market who could easily fill that role. Especially with Smyth off the books.
Ahhh, Simmer. Simmer, Simmer, Simmer. What could have been. I’m sad to see it end so quickly. We had some fun times, but recently they were more frustrating than fun. Slumps happen. But, when a situation like this presents itself, you’ve got to pull the trigger. I think we all expected Simmer to be dealt this offseason, so it isn’t a shock by any means. I hope Simmonds finds good fortune in Philly. He just couldn’t be counted on in LA. Ever.
We knew this day would come. With the emergence of KFC, it was inevitable. And, as sad as it is parting ways with Simmer, I would be even more heartbroken about seeing Clifford wearing orange next season.
The time is now. The Kings’ realistic window to win a Cup is the next 5 years. The team has to be aggressive if they want to reach that goal. Don’t be surprised to see another deal to cement that goal (cough*BERNIER FOR A WINGER*cough).
This deal just made too much sense not to make.
LA became a Stanley Cup threat today. Feels pretty damn good to be a Kings fan right now if you ask me.