When It Comes To Mike Richards, Loyalty Becomes A Double-Edged Sword For LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi

Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards (center, with Stanley Cup behind his right shoulder), shown here during the
the team’s 2012 Stanley Cup Championship rally at Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 14, 2012.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

 

LOS ANGELES — On June 28, as expected, the Los Angeles Kings placed veteran center Mike Richards on unconditional waivers. Once he clears waivers, the Kings will buy out his contract.

Although the buy out will give the Kings immediate salary cap relief, giving them an estimated $4.5 million extra to work with under the cap per capfriendly.com and generalfanager.com (Kings salary cap would be an estimated $61.8 million, down from $66.4 million), the buy out will be amortized over ten years, as far as the salary cap is concerned, with the Kings taking the following cap hits:

One Of The Most Lopsided Trades In NHL History Involved The LA Kings And Larry Murphy

LA KINGS HISTORY: Selecting defenseman Larry Murphy in the first round on the 1980 National Hockey League Entry Draft was a momentous occasion for the Los Angeles Kings. After all, they had a long history of trading away their first round picks and drafting poorly. But Murphy went on to become a star in the NHL, and a four-time Stanley Cup winner. The only problem, from a Kings perspective, was that, like so many others, Murphy went elsewhere to do it.

In the final installment of this series, Frozen Royalty spoke to Murphy about his time with the Kings, the friction with the coaching staff that started his problems with the team, and why he had to leave, a story that probably isn’t what you might expect.


Former LA Kings star defenseman Larry Murphy, shown here during the Kings Fantasy Camp on March 12, 2015, at the Toyota Sports Center
in El Segundo, California
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Defenseman Larry Murphy burst onto the scene with the Los Angeles Kings in the 1980-81 season, making a huge, immediate impact, scoring 16 goals and adding 60 assists for 76 points in 80 games in his rookie season—he finished second in the Calder Memorial Trophy (rookie of the year) to the legendary Peter Stastny that season.

Murphy scored 22 goals and tallied 44 assists for 66 points in the 1981-82 season, followed by 14 goals and 48 assists for 62 points in the 1982-83 season.

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LA Kings Blue Liner Jake Muzzin Is Starting To Look And Sound Like An NHL Veteran

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin

EL SEGUNDO AND LOS ANGELES, CA — Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past four months, you know that the Los Angeles Kings won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship last June.

The Kings spent this past summer enjoying the fruits of their labor, celebrating their second Stanley Cup win in the last three seasons, and like the rest of his teammates, defenseman Jake Muzzin got to spend a day with hockey’s version of the Holy Grail.

“This summer was an exciting one, that’s for sure,” said the 25-year-old, 6-3, 213-pound native of Woodstock, Ontario. “It was pretty busy. We had a lot going on. The day with the Cup was pretty special.”

“We did a lot,” added Muzzin. “I was a busy man that day. We brought it to both sides of the family, my Mom’s side and my Dad’s side. We had a parade through Woodstock, we had a key to the city ceremony, I signed [autographs for] the public for two-and-a-half hours or so, we had a reunion with the old team I played with in Woodstock, and we had a party that night.”

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LA Kings: Stanley Cup Is A “Rock Star” That Everybody Has To Celebrate, 2014 Edition-Video, Photos

LA Kings video coordinator Bill Gurney (left), along with his wife, Tina (right), with the Stanley Cup at their Westminster, California home
on September 28, 2014.
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

WESTMINSTER, CA — One of the great things about the Stanley Cup, perhaps the greatest thing, is that hockey’s version of the Holy Grail is shared. Players, coaches, trainers, equipment staff, team executives, owners—they all get to spend quality time with the Stanley Cup before the start of the next National Hockey League season.

What many may not be aware of is that many Stanley Cup-winning teams give some of their staff who fans never see or hear about their time with the Stanley Cup as well, and that includes the Los Angeles Kings.

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Dean Lombardi Says “It Ain’t Me.” But How Much Credit Does LA Kings GM Really Deserve For His Team’s Success?

COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS: Since the Los Angeles Kings won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship, their second Stanley Cup win in three seasons, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi has received a great deal of praise for his work to build the Kings into a championship team and a perennial Stanley Cup contender. But he claims that he is not responsible for that success. Rather, it’s the players, head coach, and ownership who should get all the credit.

In this multi-part series, Frozen Royalty will take a close look at Lombardi’s role in the Kings’ success, how much of his vision has become reality, and how true his statement, “…it ain’t me” really is.


Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Dawn Mounce/DG Photography]

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the Los Angeles Kings having won two Stanley Cup Championships in the last three seasons, it is easy to forget that it was not so long ago when the franchise was teetering on the edge of becoming totally irrelevant in Southern California.

On April 21, 2006, Kings Vice President, Communications and Broadcasting Mike Altieri opened a press conference at what was then the HealthSouth Training Center (now the Toyota Sports Center) in El Segundo, California by saying that the team was about to “…embark on a new era of Kings hockey in Los Angeles.”

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