LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – The Los Angeles Kings will not buy out center Mike Richards, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.
Richards, who has six years remaining in his 12-year, $69 million contract that he signed in 2007 with the Flyers, was traded to the Kings on June 23, 2011.
Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi made his decision with Richards after speaking with him during exit interviews after winning the 2014 Stanley Cup.
Lombardi said he trusts the 29-year-old will make the proper adjustments to improve his game for the coming season.
“The biggest thing in the meeting with Michael — the important thing — is that he realized he’s going to have to make some adjustments in his offseason training,” Lombardi told the newspaper. “He’s 29, in his prime. So, it’s not as though the drop-off should be related to age. But players need to realize when you start getting 27, 28, you can’t train, can’t prepare like you used to when you were 22 or 23.”
Richards is a four-time 20-goal scorer and had three goals and seven assists in the 2014 NHL Playoffs.