There are many perks to winning a major sports championship. Parades through the city, diamond-filled rings, and raising banners are commonplace for teams who win it all in their respective sports. Mike Richards experienced all of those as a member of the LA Kings after winning two Stanley Cups in three seasons.
Earlier this week, he and his former teammates were afforded one more honor. With the Kings on an extended road trip, that included a stop in Washington D.C. on Monday, a return visit to the White House was on the agenda. Though he was recently sent to the AHL, Richards made a surprising decision when he opted not to attend the soiree.
Following the Monarchs game on Wednesday, Richards shared some thoughts with us after a three point performance in Manchester’s 4-1 win over Albany…
On how he assessed his play:
“I felt better tonight. A lot of it has to do with just being here longer and practicing, [and] getting to know everybody. It’s been more comfortable on the ice, I think.”
On if having a few days of practice helped his play:
“Just getting my legs under me and, like you said, getting used to playing with the same line mates, and get to know them all a little bit better. I thought we made some plays. Still, [we have] some things that to work on. I think Weal did a good job going to the wing. I know from past experiences that I’ve done that – it’s not always easy. He did a good job. We can still probably be a bit better, but I thought it went well. ”
On why he didn’t attend the White House visit:
“No real reason to be honest. I mean it’s not exactly around the corner. If it [was] down the street, I probably would have went. It was nothing personal, or anything against going with the team. I would have loved going with the team. I just think I probably shouldn’t be missing too many practices at this point and I’m trying to get my legs under me, and trying to learn new teammates. To take a day going to the White House would [mean I] missed a good practice, and I think I needed that.”
On if Jeff Carter has said anything to him during this process:
“Jeff and I always talk. I’ve known him since I think we were 16-years-old, and have gone through a lot together, especially with him coming to LA and [winning two] Cups. We’ve done a lot together, [like playing together at the] World Juniors. We bounce a lot of stuff of each other and we talk a lot, so we still do. There’s nothing really that changes. It’s ‘How’s it going?’ or ‘How’s your day?’ There’s nothing that he’s going to say that is going to change anything, and there’s nothing I’m going to say on his side. It is what it is. You build friends in hockey and that’s what we are.”
Richards waa named first star of tonight’s game. To see video highlights, line combos, and analysis, click here.
Also, be sure to check out Richards’ candid comments about being put on waivers here.
Special thanks to Spike Coffman for helping prepare this article.
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