5 Teams That Could Target Mike Richards this Offseason

5 Teams That Could Target Mike Richards

Mike Richards Blackhawks
Jerry Lai- USA TODAY Sports

Mike Richards’ tenure with the LA Kings has had enough ups and downs to satisfy the plot of a Hollywood Blockbuster. Given his struggles in this postseason and the team’s final chance to exercise the amnesty clause, it is possible his time in LA is coming to a close. If the Kings do choose to send him packing, plenty of teams will be inquiring about his services. Given his thirst to win, Richards will be looking to join a contender.

5. Philadelphia Flyers

Mike Richards Flyers
Luc Leclerc- USA TODAY Sports

5. Philadelphia Flyers

Mike Richards Flyers
Luc Leclerc- USA TODAY Sports

Forgive and forget? Both parties will have to put aside their past differences (“Dry Island”, Richards’ uneasy relationship with the Philly media, the trade) and the Flyers have a logjam at forward, but there could be some mutual interest. The likelihood of this scenario happening was greatly reduced when the Flyers overpaid Vincent Lecavalier last summer to play a similar role to what Richards would be asked to do in his Philadelphia sequel. Having said that, signing a one year deal for short money and accepting a reduced role where it all began could lead to a career renaissance for Richards.

4. Toronto Maple Leafs

Mike Richards Maple Leafs
Robert Mackson- USA TODAY Sports

4. Toronto Maple Leafs

Mike Richards Maple Leafs
Robert Mackson- USA TODAY Sports

The Leafs would be higher up on this list, but after their disastrous signing of an Ontario native last summer, don’t fault them for being cautious. Even if his offense never returns to his numbers with the Flyers, Richards’ intangibles would make him worth the investment. He would bring his innate two-way game to a team that is atrocious defensively and his championship pedigree would be a game-changer for a team that needs to learn how to win.

3. Anaheim Ducks

MikeRichardsVsDucks
Robert Hanashiro- USA TODAY Sports

3. Anaheim Ducks

Mike Richards Ducks
Robert Hanashiro- USA TODAY Sports

While he’d have to move a few miles, Richards would get to stay in California. With Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu (likely) retiring this season, Richards would be a “round peg in a round hole” to replace what is being lost with the two Finns walking away. Besides, playing three times a year at Staples Center would be a great way for Richards to remind the Kings what they’re missing.

2. Columbus Blue Jackets

Mike Richards Blue Jackets
Jayne Kamin-Oncea - USA TODAY Sports

2. Columbus Blue Jackets

RichardsJackets
Jayne Kamin-Oncea - USA TODAY Sports

While his best friend and running mate Jeff Carter shot his way out of town and joined Richards in LA in 2012, times have changed. The Jackets are a young and exciting team that had an amazing series against the Pittsburgh Penguins this season. They’re scrappiness and youthful enthusiasm would make Richards’ tenacity and veteran leadership a valuable asset. Besides, it wouldn’t hurt to have another guy who can frustrate Sidney Crosby.

1. Detroit Red Wings

MikeRichards Red Wings
Rick Osentoski- USA TODAY Sports

1. Detroit Red Wings

Mike Richards Red Wings
Rick Osentoski- USA TODAY Sports

Mike Babcock coached Richards to an Olympic Gold Medal in 2010 and players with Richards’ defensive acumen always do well in the Red Wings organization. The Wings are a team in transition as the elder statesmen Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are gradually being phased out as youngsters such as Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar find themselves assuming bigger roles. Richards is almost right in between both “cores” and his presence would help keep Detroit a playoff team while the youth movement continues, in so many ways giving the Wings the best of both worlds.

Around the Web