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NHL Los Angeles Kings

2013 NHL Playoffs: High-Priced Mike Richards Sidelined For Los Angeles Kings in Game 3 of Western Conference Finals

Mike Richards fights with Jonathan Toews

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

When first signed, Mike Richards was seen as an absolute play-maker who was supposed to be in a Philadelphia Flyers uniform for years to come. Well, Richards was sent from Philly to the Los Angeles Kings in 2011, and now the center is out-of-action in the team’s biggest game of the year thus far.

Richards is in the top-20 of highest paid NHL players for a reason, but the 28-year-old is now battling a severe concussion.

The Chicago Blackhawks have been able to take advantage of Richards’ absence as they also have a center worth noting. Jonathan Toews is a mastermind when it comes to making smart moves on the ice, and with Richards out it’s that much easier for the Hawks as a team to get a rhythm going.

Chicago defensemen Dave Bolland is to blame for Richards injury as the two were involved in a rather lopsided exchange at the end of Game 1 in the Windy City. Richards provided some hope to Kings faithful prior to Sunday night’s contest by taking part in pregame warm-ups. Kings coach Darryl Sutter didn’t sound optimistic by saying that Richards was “absolutely” out for the crucial Game 3 contest.

Looking around the NHL and professional sports in general, concussions are nothing to mess around with so the Kings could definitely have a lingering issue on their hands. One thing is for certain; Los Angeles fans better not sell their No. 10 jerseys anytime soon because Richards is under contract for another six seasons.