There’s been persistent rumors that the Caps are in the market for a center, ideally one capable of playing on the third line. PHWA member and founder of Mayor’s Manor John Hoven is reporting that the Caps are one of a few teams interested in Mike Richards, pending the outcome of his legal issues.
— The Mayor John Hoven (@mayorNHL) December 29, 2015
— The Mayor John Hoven (@mayorNHL) December 30, 2015
Richards legal troubles stem from him being found in possession of a controlled substance at the US-Canada border. The LA Kings responded to the incident by releasing Richards, attempting to take some sort of moral high road when really all they were trying to do was circumvent the salary cap.
Richards isn’t the same player he used to be. The last time we saw him playing hockey, the Kings had buried him in the AHL. Once a legit top-six center, I’m not convinced Richards offers the Caps anything worthwhile at this point.
In 2014-15, Richards appeared in 53 games, totaling five goals and 11 assists.
Here’s a look at his HERO chart:
This HERO chart doesn’t show Richards to be a disaster, but remember that this is a three-year span and Richards was on a steady decline during that tine.
His relative possession numbers haven’t been great since around 2010:
It should be noted that some of this can be attributed to playing for a great possession team like the Kings.
Richards rate production has also been in decline lately, as he posted a career-low 1.2 points per 60 in 2014-15.
Bringing Richards in would probably pose zero risk, as it’s hard to imagine him getting anything above the league minimum, But, given how drastically he’s declined in recent seasons, why bother?
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