Kings update: Mike Richards progressing; Ethan Moreau waived
There was a small measure of progress regarding Kings center Mike Richards, who has been out with a head injury since Dec. 1. He skated after the team’s practice on Friday for about eight minutes.
Richards met with a team doctor Thursday, and was permitted to move forward with his recovery program, according to Kings Coach Terry Murray. He is out with a suspected concussion even though the Kings have not used that terminology.
“The only thing I can say about him is that he's been given the green light to do more,” Murray said, following practice in El Segundo. “He’s on the ice today. He rode the bike harder today ... the off-ice workouts.
“Once you get through that part, the positive was seeing him going out on the ice. That’s a positive to me. Clearly, now the indication is that everything was good on the off-ice workout. So that’s the next step.”
Teammate and defenseman Willie Mitchell is all too familiar with the issues Richards has been facing, having been sidelined for a significant period because of post-concussion symptoms when he was with the Canucks. Richards has missed three games.
“I don’t talk to him [Richards] too much about it,” Mitchell said. “If everyone is asking him, ‘How are you doing? How are you doing? How are you doing?’ He’s going to be in a stressful state. He’s not going to get healthy.
“I kind of leave him be. I talked to him once about my experience and just said, ‘Be smart. Take your time. Don’t sit there and push it, right?’ Because you are seeing it with guys all around the league, guys that push it, there are recurrences to it.
“And first and foremost is his health. If he doesn’t have his health, he’s not going to be good to me, as a teammate or to the L.A. Kings. I don’t want to see any of my peers going through what he’s doing. I don’t wish that upon anyone. I’ve been there; it’s not fun. You worry about your life, your quality of life going on forward.”
With Mitchell coming off injured reserve, the Kings waived forward Ethan Moreau. Moreau, who was signed as a free agent in August, had four points in 28 games.
“We have to create an opening for [Mitchell] and had to make a hard decision,” Murray said.
“I needed a little bit more from him. He’s a great veteran guy. Look, he’s been a captain. ... He’s a high character guy. I think his leadership in the locker room, in a quiet way, was very effective. And he gave us everything he could.”
-- Lisa Dillman
Photo: Kings center Mike Richards takes a shot against against Florida last week. Credit: Jeff Gross / Getty Images