I'm a little biased, but I like a great defensive and offensive player rather than just an outstanding offensive player. I've seen Kovalchuk leave his defense hanging while he's waiting for someone to pass the puck to him at the blue line. Plus that contract can create cap problems. So yeah, I go with Richards.
Richards because he's a much more complete player and esp on defense and that will take ayou a lot further in a playoff run. Richards best asset is his heart. More importanly, Richards is a born leader who plays 100% forthe crest on the front, Kovy plays for the name on the back. That makes a difference on a team and esp in a locker room. Richards makes Kopi a much better center by standing down the top lines so Kopi doesn't have to, and that gives him more freedom, more goals. That wouldn't happen with Kovy.
There is a reason Richards has won championships at every level he's ever played at (Memorial Cup -Capt, World Junior Gold -Captain, Calder Cup and Olympic Gold- only player in the NHL whose done that.) He also led his team to two ECF's and Stanley Cup final by the time he was 25.
I know some of you are high on Schenn but placing him at 20 as a rookie as the number 2 center? I've seen every game he's played so far from presseaon thru the injury and comparing him to Ricahrds at that age, not even close. Richards a far better all aroumnd player and muich more confident and a lot better defensively. From the first game he played with the PHatoms, he was strong on both sides of puck, great instincts and a strong skater, Schenn didn't show that when he was up here. Schenn was not impressive and very weak in his own end, not confident with the puck.
Given some time to develop the right way, playing 15-20 minutes in all game situations in the AHL, maybe he corrects that. But he wont' get on the Flyers this year, on the 4th line with s,mall minuites.
Once Kopi went down last season it exposed our lack of depth at center, having MR on our team does so much more overall for the Kings - for me, it is not close as I'll take MR everyday and twice on game days.
MR without question. to many intangibles. without him LA is still a one horse-one line team. with him LA has two world class legit centers the competition has to counter. pick your poison...pit your best against Kopi or Rick....hope the other doesn't kill you
I change my opinion. Not only do I prefer Richards on the Kings, but I prefer Richards and Parise. I'm hoping this is finally the year Lombardi says "the hell with it, I'm getting the player I want" and gets it done. He saw what it took to seal the deal with the Hossa, Kovalchuk and B. Richards contracts, its due time he followed suit. Although I do understand there may be a bit of a challenge with the CBA due to expire on September 15, 2012.
If the decision is between signing kovy in the offseason or the Richards trade then I choose kovy. Even though I love Richards and think he is more valuable than kovy, I would rather have kovy, schenn, Simmonds, and our 2nd over Richards.
But for the record, I would take Richards over kovy if it was straight up any day of the week
Last edited by jonrazor12: 11-27-2011 at 09:35 PM.