The following article was originally posted on MayorsManor in October 2011. Since then, the Kings have won two Stanley Cups. In honor of the four year anniversary of the Mike Richards trade, we take a look back once again…
In the 40-plus year history of the Los Angeles Kings franchise, there have been some pretty big trades. Obviously, none bigger than a deal that went down in August 1988 with the Edmonton Oilers.
However, several moves since then have also created some earthquake like tremors within the LA hockey community. For example, just before the team relocated to their new arena downtown in 1999, they traded away prized prospect Olli Jokinen in a package with the Islanders to land Ziggy Palffy.
A few years later, the most controversial trade (by far) saw future Hall of Famer Rob Blake shipped out to the Colorado Avalanche.
Deals to acquire Roman Cechmanek (2003), Jeremy Roenick (2005), Jack Johnson (2006), Ryan Smyth (2009) and Dustin Penner (2011) were all viewed as big moves at the time they went down. [Ironically, the two trades on that list that worked out the worst for the Kings were both made with the Flyers.]
Yet, it’s been a long time since the Kings were involved in something that sent shockwaves throughout the NHL like this summer’s blockbuster deal to bring Philadelphia captain Mike Richards to LA in exchange for Wayne Simmonds and the No. 1 rated prospect in all of hockey, Brayden Schenn.
In a game that fans on both coasts immediately circled on their calendars moments after the schedule was realeased, the Kings will meet up with the Flyers later this afternoon for the only time this season. In advance of what should be a near-playoff like atmosphere, here is a look back at 10 of the most popular articles posted on MayorsManor surrounding the players involved in the trade:
“That’s all blown out of proportion. It’s one of those things where sometimes the media picks up some stuff and they make a big deal out of it. You know what happened – sometimes we’re not all best friends in the locker room. Every team is like that. When you get an older generation, like me, Chris Pronger, even Odie (Sean O’Donnell) coming in this year, you don’t agree with everything the young guys are doing today. It’s the same thing in the Kings locker room and it’s the same thing in Washington’s locker room. It just happened that it got blown out of proportion. It was nothing that big. Everybody got along pretty well as a team (in Philly). It’s just that Richie doesn’t say much, but what can you say? He’s just the kind of guy that when the puck drops, he’ll play for his team. But, he won’t come up and say anything to the media. You just can’t expect him to be in front of the TV all the time. He’s pretty quite and reserved. Sometimes that rubbed the media a little bit of the wrong way. When they see the opportunity to put him down a little bit, they do so.”
“I can’t put into words how loyal and honest and hardworking – there’s a lot of words I could use to describe him. … He was somebody who helped me out and guided me in the right direction sometimes when things were frustrating. When things aren’t going very well he just seems to have that sense of calmness about him, where no matter what’s going on he kinda puts things in perspective. He’s a guy who keeps everybody loose around the dressing room. He and I had a unique relationship and it’s something where I was pretty privileged to play with him for a year.”
“He’s a really quiet guy and he’s really shy. But, on the ice, he’s definitely the type of guy you want to have on your team. He’s going to take a check for you. If somebody gives you a cheap shot, he’s going to be the first one to go and respond on that. I had a chance to play with him for five years in Philadelphia. Even we he got to the league, he was 20 years old, I think – you could tell though that he was going to be that type of player. That’s the perfect model for the type of hockey I think we’re going to play here in the West. He’s a guy that I want to have on my team when the playoffs come. I’m glad that I’ll be able to play with him again.”
“I think it’s safe to say, we’ve hit it off pretty well so far,” said Mitchell
“Yeah, a little bit,” he continued. “I had no idea that he was into fishing as much as he is. So, when we had a little get away as a team recently (to Colorado), we spent a lot of time fishing there together, talking a lot about it. If Terry (Murray) ever gives us a day off, we’ll be organizing a fishing trip together, off the Channel Islands or out past Catalina. So, I’m looking forward to spending some time off the ice with him, for sure.”
“I’ve known Richie since we were about 15 years old and we played against each other in the OHL. I think we kind of have that mutual respect for each other. Not to make a snap judgment on what he’s done in Philly, but I think he’s had to deal with a lot more – B.S., I guess, than I have as a captain. So, he’s kind of been through that, having to dealing with stuff that isn’t really hockey related. Thankfully, we don’t have a lot of those issues here.”
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