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Category: Mike Richards

Kings' Mike Richards taking it slow while recovering from injury

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Center Mike Richards, who suffered a head injury on Dec. 1 and hasn’t played since then, skated hard with the Kings’ extra players Saturday at Joe Louis Arena before the team's game against the Red Wings.

Richards hasn’t been cleared for contact but he was cleared to skate and try to maintain his physical condition. The key will be how he feels the rest of the day, which will signal whether he can continue to push himself.

Richards said he feels better, but he knows he must be patient.

“It’s still a process,” he said. “I think you can only go on how you feel. There’s never a timeline, which is the frustrating part of it. Whenever you feel ready to play you can play.”

He said he didn’t feel quite right but wasn’t sure if that was an offshoot of the injury.

“It’s hard to distinguish whether it’s taking two weeks off and going out there and skating or if it’s lingering effects but we’re going to take it slow,” he said. “We’re going to skate a couple times and see how I feel after that. I obviously hope to be back sooner than later…

“It’s really hard taking two weeks off from skating. You could ride the bike as many times as you want but it’s not the same as simulating a game or on-ice skating.

"It went pretty good out there. It felt all right. Just a couple of spots where I was a little bit dazed but that could just be not skating for two weeks too. Or jet lag. Or all of the above.”

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Kings update: Mike Richards progressing; Ethan Moreau waived

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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.”

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Photo: Kings center Mike Richards takes a shot against against Florida last week. Credit: Jeff Gross / Getty Images

News and notes from Kings' 2-0 victory over the Sharks

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Notes and quotes from the Kings’ 2-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center on Monday:

• The last time the Kings shut out the Sharks at home was March 23, 2002 (3-0).

• Jonathan Quick earned his 18th career shutout and fourth this season. He ranks second in Kings history in shutouts behind Rogie Vachon, who had 32.

• Quick played in his 200th career game Monday, all with the Kings. He’s the sixth goaltender in Kings history to play in 200 games.

• Mike Richards has goals in eight of the last 10 games (9-1--10) and has 18 points in the last 21 games (10-8--18). The Kings are 11-2-2 when Richards records a point.

• Simon Gagne has seven points in the last 10 games (3-4--7)

• Ethan Moreau scored for the first time since Oct. 9, 2010, at San Jose.

• The Kings are 5-2-1 in their last eight games

• The Kings are 6-1-2 vs. the Pacific Division

• The Kings have killed 18 straight penalties, dating back to Nov. 19 vs. Detroit

• The Kings are 9-1-1 when allowing two or fewer goals in a game

• The Kings are 9-2-3 when scoring first

•  Scott Parse is expected to travel to Nashville soon to have his hip evaluated by a specialist.  At that time, a decision is expected to be made whether to have surgery on his hip.  A surgical procedure could sideline Parse for approximately four months.

The Kings are scheduled to practice Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. at Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo and then visit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Kings Coach Terry Murray

On the game: “We had a good feel here tonight, there was good energy and emotion in the game and it got exciting at the end…. There was a real good response to the game against Chicago the other night, we needed to come out fast, we needed to come out with energy and set the tone, and I thought we did. There was a good carryover into the second period. I thought Quick did a tremendous job. That should have been a nice extra boost of energy to start the third period."

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Kings' Westgarth saddened by deaths of fellow enforcers

Westgarth_250 Emptying the digital recorder after Sunday’s Hockey Fest event held by the Kings at Staples Center....

The deaths of enforcers Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak since May have stunned the NHL and resonated especially deeply with Kings forward Kevin Westgarth.

Westgarth, who has three assists and 114 penalty minutes in 65 career NHL games, said he can “empathize with the various struggles and the roller coaster it can be” to be a tough guy and said he felt sorry for the families each player left behind.

“I’ve been extremely lucky. It’s just an incredible tragedy,” he said Sunday. “I’m in essentially the same role as those guys. It’s not hugely different.

“It kind of makes you look in the mirror. It’s awful. And it does hit a little closer to home and it’s just really confusing.”

Boogaard’s death was attributed to an accidental and toxic mix of alcohol and the painkiller oxycodone. His family donated his brain to a Boston University study on the effects of repeated brain trauma.

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Mike Richards: 'Dry Island' story was blown out of proportion

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Center Mike Richards, acquired by the Kings from the Flyers last month, responded Tuesday to a Philadelphia Daily News story that said his hard partying contributed to the team’s decision to trade him to Los Angeles and send Jeff Carter to Columbus.

Richards said the story, in which two unnamed Flyers were quoted, “couldn’t be further from the truth.” You can read the rest of it here.

Richards is in Los Angeles for a few days this week and is scheduled to meet with reporters Wednesday in El Segundo. First, he was interviewed on Tuesday by Kings TV host Heidi Androl, and acknowledged he’s still adjusting to the move West.

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Photo: Mike Richards celebrates a goal while playing with Philadelphia Flyers during a playoff game against the Montreal Canadiens in 2010. Credit: Eric Hartline / U.S. Presswire

Story questions partying habits of new King Mike Richards

Richards3 There’s an interesting piece in the Philadelphia Daily News that quotes two unnamed members of the Philadelphia Flyers about the hard-partying ways of center Mike Richards, who was traded to the Kings last month for Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds.

According to the unidentified Flyers, Richards and then-Flyers teammate Jeff Carter — who was later traded to Columbus — were exiled in part because they refused to sign their names on a board in the locker room and pledge to refrain from drinking for a month -- or, as they called it, the Dry Island.

Not every player on the team took that pledge, which is acknowledged by General Manager Paul Holmgren. But the partying habits of Richards and Carter were said to be of concern to those unidentified teammates and supposedly contributed to management's decision to trade them.

Here’s the original story and here’s another view, with some comments from Coach Peter Laviolette to a Philadelphia radio station.

Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi didn’t respond to a request for a comment on the Daily News story. Richards is scheduled to be in Los Angeles for an introductory news conference Wednesday, and it will be interesting to see how he responds to this.

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Photo: Kings forward Mike Richards while with the Philadelphia Flyers last season. Credit: Charles LeClaire / U.S. Presswire

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