Reports Link Mike Richards to Toronto

Mike Richards of the Los Angeles Kings was placed on waivers today at noon.  When he was first traded from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, rumors had Toronto among the teams trying to acquire him.  And since Richards has began to struggle in L.A., rumors have again begun to circulate that link the former all-star center to the Maple Leafs.

Richards’ struggles have only gotten worse this season, with the center playing on the fourth line most nights and only putting up 15 points in 47 games thus far.  And while ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports the Maple Leafs will not put in a claim on the Kenora, Ontario native, that doesn’t mean Toronto isn’t a possible landing spot.

Via TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Toronto is among the teams who have recently talked to the Kings about Richards, likely in hopes of dumping a bad contract in exchange for the maligned forward.  Richards of course has his own bad contract, carrying a 5.75M cap hit through 2020.  If he retires before the contract expires, because this was a front-loaded deal signed previous to the new CBA, his current team would face cap recapture penalties.

As our own Jeff Veillette explains, a deal surrounding Richards would likely only make sense if it involved David Clarkson.