The Los Angeles Kings traded forward Wayne Simmonds and top prospect Brayden Schenn to the Philadelphia Flyers for All-Star
center Mike Richards.
The Flyers also receive a second-round pick in the 2012 draft as part of the deal.
Simmonds will be missed. He did not put up big numbers, but he was a solid, gritty player. He was among the only consistently good players in an otherwise disappointing opening-round loss to the San Jose Sharks in this year’s playoffs.
He scored 30 points (14 G, 16 A) in 80 games last season.
Schenn was recently named the Kings’ No. 1 prospect by the site Hockey’sFuture.com.
With the Saskatoon Blades — the only team he spent significant time with — Schenn scored 53 points (21 G, 32 A) in 27 games.
No matter the value Simmonds offered or the potential Schenn held, the Kings are definitely getting a major-upgrade in Richards.
One of L.A.’s problems of late has been the lack of a potent offensive threat.
Richards helps to rectify that issue, especially when added to a lineup that has the likes of Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar.
He “has averaged 28 goals, 42 assists and 70 points over the last four seasons while playing in an average of 78 regular season games per year,” according to LAKings.com.
He is a two-time 30-goal scorer. But, Richards is not just a good scorer — he is adept at both ends of the ice.
He also knows what it takes to lead a team and be successful.
He was the Flyers’ captain for the past three years, including their 2010 trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.
In the 2009-10 playoffs, Richards recorded 23 points on seven goals and 16 assists in 23 games.
His age, 26, should also bode well as it means he brings a blend of youth and experience and should be entering the prime of his career.
Richards could potentially be helping the Kings for a long time as he is under contract through the 2019-20 season.