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King Richards the Lion Heart

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05-08-2012, 12:10 PM
  #1
deeshamrock
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King Richards the Lion Heart

For any fans of Mike Richards and the essesnce of a champion, this is a nice read on all that he gives and why his addition to the Kings was the missing piece

Side note- If the Kings reach the finals it will be Mike Richards second trip there in two years. That's says ALOT about him and why he's won championships at every level he's played.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/spo...wAllComments=y


King Richards the Lion Heart
by Gary Lawless


The Philadelphia Flyers must have momentarily forgotten who they are and what they stand for when they dealt Mike Richards to L.A. last summer.

They've been getting a reminder in these playoffs that even GM Paul Holmgren can't ignore, as the Kings have been steamrolling their highly-touted opposition en route to a semifinal berth.

The Flyers are about winning at all costs. No player in the NHL exemplifies that more than Mike Richards. Getting some cap room to sign an inconsistent goalie and pick up a couple of impressive but young forwards isn't equal value for the trade they made.

Richards was and is the best and most impactful player in the deal. Richards, so goes the gossip, was deemed too much of a bad boy for the Flyers. Right. Holmgren, who once punched NHL referee Andy Van Hellemond in the face, steers an organization that can claim two Stanley Cups earned with a value system that held spilling blood on par with scoring goals. Richards is a choirboy compared to Flyers legends Bobby Clarke and Reggie Leach, to name just two. Did Richards and Jeff Carter run the streets a bit? No doubt. But winning the Cup is always a "now" objective and Philly is not as close today as they were when Richards was their captain.

Regardless of any intangibles surrounding the deal, as a hockey trade the Kings get a win right now. Richards makes more impact than the combination of Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds.



Schenn and Simmonds are nice players and have some upside, but don't have what Richards has in the drive department. He's a piston where the other two are racing stripes. Nice to look at but not a requirement. If a team wants to win, they need a player like Richards, and he's given the Kings that element they were missing.

Kings assistant GM Ron Hextall, who never shied away from an altercation during his tenure in the Flyers' goal thinks L.A. got something extra in the deal.

"Off the top of my head, there are a handful of guys in the NHL like Mike," Hextall said. "He's special in terms of his competitiveness. You can't buy it. It's rare. Mike's competitiveness comes out for the right reasons. It doesn't come out because he got run or he got suckered or something happened to him. It comes for your hockey club. Guys that put the team clearly in front of themselves, everybody doesn't do that. It's a pretty special quality."

Richards has three goals and five assists in nine post-season games, and in a Game 3 win over the St. Louis Blues last week he recorded a Gordie Howe hat trick with a goal, an assist and a fight.

Richards can beat you in a number of ways. He's tough, he can provide offence and he can defend.

The notion of Richards living too far out on the edge for the Flyers' liking seems to be a bit of a stretch. Team Canada was OK with Richards when he helped them win gold in 2010. Same goes for our national junior team, which Richards captained to gold in 2005. Oh, and the Flyers organization loved Richards when he led their Philadelphia Phantoms to a Calder Cup as a 19-year-old right out of junior hockey.

The Flyers saw Richards as their next great captain and put down $69 million to make sure he was theirs for a long, long time.

Somewhere along the way, the Flyers changed their mind about Richards and his linemate Carter.

Last summer, in a classic throwing the baby out with the bathwater manoeuvre, they shipped both players out of town.

"We didn't know anything they (Flyers) didn't know," said Hextall, who along with L.A. GM Dean Lombardi spent years in the Philadelphia front office. "The Flyers know what they are doing and Paul Holmgren is very good at what he does. The part about Mike Richards' character... there's a young man acting like a young man and Mike isn't alone in that. That's the same for every young kid. You go through different stages and different times. Did he have some fun and get carried away? That's probably a better question for Mike. But with all the research we did we felt it was normal behavior for a young kid and that's where we left it. All the stuff in Philly, in our mind, was overblown."

Now Richards, and Carter to a lesser degree, have helped the Los Angeles Kings to the Western Conference Final. The Kings have done it in style, knocking out the No. 1 and 2 seeds in the conference and taking just nine games to do so.

"The reason we were so attracted to Mike Richards was his leadership and his professionalism. I think we all know the hockey player," said Hextall. "That was the one thing we thought we needed injected into this organization and he's brought it. Mike, they way he plays, demands respect. People want to follow him. He's done a great job."

The Kings have Richards and are closing in on a Cup. The Flyers don't and could be done as early as Wednesday.

You do the math.

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05-08-2012, 12:50 PM
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jml87
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Just forgetting the cup for a second, this is also Richards 3rd conference final in 5 years. A leader isn't about being some smooth talking, big mouth drill sergeant like Pronger. It's about what you do in the locker room and what you say to your teammates on the bench. It's about carrying your team when they need it and rallying them when they are down. And it's all about what you do on the ice and leading by example. Guys like Richards, Quick, Kopitar, Brown, etc., they get that.

I look at the Flyers and I see a bunch of little kids dumbfounded why their 'score lots of goals' system isn't working against the Devils. They look like deer in the headlights and I see blame being passed around instead of rallying around each other. I see guys losing it on the ice because things aren't going their way and taking stupid penalties. And I see a coach that tries to solve everything by just yelling louder.

The Kings may not be pretty, they may not be superstars, and they may not be charismatic, but right now they are winning. Because they are a team with a great leadership that detests losing and humble to the point that they would rather break their own leg than say a good word about how they personally played. They understand that everyone has off days and when one guy is having a rough time, another guy steps up.

That is what great leadership is all about.

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05-08-2012, 02:18 PM
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Great Read Thanks for sharing!

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05-08-2012, 02:23 PM
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whoa, easy on Pronger. If you're saying leaders get teams far in playoffs, then Pronger is your man. While he's not a likable person, the guy can play hockey. I may need to check this up, but I think that for every team that traded for Pronger, he's led them to the SCF the following year. Pronger may very well be the most dominant defender in NHL history.

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05-08-2012, 03:16 PM
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Cool article but the title is more corny than the toilets on day 2 of the LA County Fair.

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05-08-2012, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingPurpleDinosaur View Post
whoa, easy on Pronger. If you're saying leaders get teams far in playoffs, then Pronger is your man. While he's not a likable person, the guy can play hockey. I may need to check this up, but I think that for every team that traded for Pronger, he's led them to the SCF the following year. Pronger may very well be the most dominant defender in NHL history.
All true but if you look at his list of suspensions and fines he is also one of the dirtiest players in league history too. Easy to dislike a guy like that.

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05-08-2012, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingPurpleDinosaur View Post
whoa, easy on Pronger. If you're saying leaders get teams far in playoffs, then Pronger is your man. While he's not a likable person, the guy can play hockey. I may need to check this up, but I think that for every team that traded for Pronger, he's led them to the SCF the following year. Pronger may very well be the most dominant defender in NHL history.
I should rephrase that. I don't mean that Pronger isn't a good leader, just simply that he isn't the only type of leader. I've seen a lot of people who think that if you aren't yelling and calling out your teammates that you aren't a good leader. Being quiet and leading by example does not always mean you are a bad leader.

That said I do not like Pronger. I feel like he brings issues wherever he goes and he has to be THE guy in the locker room instead of a joint leadership. He gets results but he's also a dick and despite those results, he's been traded four times over his career.

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05-08-2012, 03:56 PM
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05-08-2012, 04:14 PM
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A bunch of Flyer fans in today's GDT are trying to convince themselves that Richards has had little impact in the series. One guy called him a passenger.

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05-08-2012, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsWoof View Post
A bunch of Flyer fans in today's GDT are trying to convince themselves that Richards has had little impact in the series. One guy called him a passenger.
Ha. Talk about rationalizing something through orange black colored glasses to make himself feel better. No chance Richards has been a passenger. Brownie is driving the tank, Quick is commanding and Richards is manning the .50 cal.

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05-08-2012, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Reaper45 View Post
Ha. Talk about rationalizing something through orange black colored glasses to make himself feel better. No chance Richards has been a passenger. Brownie is driving the tank, Quick is commanding and Richards is manning the .50 cal.
Perfectly put, the goal 31 seconds in, the feathered pass to doughty, going after the guy who ran penner ,wish everyone was such a passenger

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05-08-2012, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by MsWoof View Post
A bunch of Flyer fans in today's GDT are trying to convince themselves that Richards has had little impact in the series. One guy called him a passenger.
People on the east coast do not watch the games. On this board, people love hockey but the people who don't watch all the games seem to think that all the success of the Kings in the playoffs has been because of Quick. While it may be true that Quick carried them a lot in the regular season, now they are playing as a complete team and there are many guys contributing. Quick has been great, but I've seen maybe one game in the playoffs that he had to steal for the Kings to win.

But if they were for the Richards trade in Philly and they thought of him as this coasting, drunk, terrible leader that the media made him out to be, I highly doubt that they will ever admit they were wrong, even if Richards won 10 cups with the Kings. They will always have some excuse.

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05-08-2012, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by yankeeking View Post
Perfectly put, the goal 31 seconds in, the feathered pass to doughty, going after the guy who ran penner ,wish everyone was such a passenger
Game 1 of the Van series, which as Doughty said gave them confidence was the game he manhandled the nucks too.

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05-08-2012, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by MsWoof View Post
A bunch of Flyer fans in today's GDT are trying to convince themselves that Richards has had little impact in the series. One guy called him a passenger.
There's 2 schools of thought on that trade. Some of us hated it while others liked it.
When it happened I posted on the NHL Kings board I thought they'd added the missing piece to a talented crew.
I've watched all LA playoff games & Richie's play hasn't surprised me. Anyone calling him a passenger hasn't been paying attention (or is still trying to justify the trade).
The Kings are doing it the hard way but they took out the #1 & 2 seeds in the west in 9 games. Now they face the #3 but Sutter & the on ice leaders won't let them get complacent.

I'll still be cheering for the Flyers but my gut tells me LA will get the parade. Biggest question is if Brown hands the SC to Richards or Quick.

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05-08-2012, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Flyerfan52 View Post
There's 2 schools of thought on that trade. Some of us hated it while others liked it.
When it happened I posted on the NHL Kings board I thought they'd added the missing piece to a talented crew.
I've watched all LA playoff games & Richie's play hasn't surprised me. Anyone calling him a passenger hasn't been paying attention (or is still trying to justify the trade).
The Kings are doing it the hard way but they took out the #1 & 2 seeds in the west in 9 games. Now they face the #3 but Sutter & the on ice leaders won't let them get complacent.

I'll still be cheering for the Flyers but my gut tells me LA will get the parade. Biggest question is if Brown hands the SC to Richards or Quick.
He would hand it to Quick as they have been teammates longer and in order for that dream to actually happen it is likely that Quick will have to be the conn smythe.

I ahve always loved to watch Richards play, however I still am not sold on the trade, but feel it was probbaly a very fair deal. Man ahs Schenn looked good at times though. considering this is his first year in the league and the injury problems he is going to ba amazing.

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05-08-2012, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by deeshamrock View Post
Side note- If the Kings reach the finals it will be Mike Richards second trip there in two years. That's says ALOT about him and why he's won championships at every level he's played.

...

You do the math.
You could do the math also, and realize that Mike wasn't there last year.

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05-08-2012, 07:30 PM
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deeshamrock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deeshamrock
Side note- If the Kings reach the finals it will be Mike Richards second trip there in two years. That's says ALOT about him and why he's won championships at every level he's played.

...

You do the math.
Quote:
You could do the math also, and realize that Mike wasn't there last year.
I guess that depends on what you consider math skills. 24 months = 2 years.

12 months = 1 year.

June 2010 to June 2012 is TWO YEARS

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05-08-2012, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by MsWoof View Post
A bunch of Flyer fans in today's GDT are trying to convince themselves that Richards has had little impact in the series. One guy called him a passenger.
This is why I've given up on talking to Flyers fans, and I've lived in Philadelphia my entire life.

Anyone catch the "Marty" chants after the Flyers first goal?

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05-08-2012, 10:52 PM
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THanks for posting. Bet flyers really missed him today lol

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05-08-2012, 10:59 PM
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THanks for posting. Bet flyers really missed him today lol
They did, but no one will admit it. Even as he's raising the cup over his head people here will call him a loser and a dog.

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05-08-2012, 11:03 PM
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They did, but no one will admit it. Even as he's raising the cup over his head people here will call him a loser and a dog.
Richards is a terrible leader! He didn't commit to dry island!

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05-08-2012, 11:06 PM
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You could do the math also, and realize that Mike wasn't there last year.
It's 2 years.

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05-09-2012, 02:12 PM
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Pretty flimsy article if you ask me. It made numerous inaccurate assumptions about the Flyers' motivation to trade Richards, their "struggles" in the playoffs and what they will receive in the end with a mature Schenn and Simmonds.

The trade was good for both sides but instead of leaving it at that this guy squandered paragraphs and paragraphs he could have spent focusing on Richards, the Kings and actual news from these playoffs. Like Hexy said, the Kings didn't know anything the Flyers didn't know. You think it's NEWS to Holmgren that he performed well in the playoffs or that he played competitively or whatever? Obviously all of that was taken into consideration.

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05-09-2012, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by MsWoof View Post
A bunch of Flyer fans in today's GDT are trying to convince themselves that Richards has had little impact in the series. One guy called him a passenger.
That's foolish but it's just as foolish to think the Flyers didn't get great return. Schenn was good in these playoffs, one of their better forwards. He hasn't even played a full season in the NHL yet. Simmonds doubled his goal production from last year. They hardly gave Richards away. They also didn't do it for cap reasons, look at their numbers, if they wanted to keep Richards and Carter, they could have.

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05-09-2012, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jml87 View Post
People on the east coast do not watch the games. On this board, people love hockey but the people who don't watch all the games seem to think that all the success of the Kings in the playoffs has been because of Quick. While it may be true that Quick carried them a lot in the regular season, now they are playing as a complete team and there are many guys contributing. Quick has been great, but I've seen maybe one game in the playoffs that he had to steal for the Kings to win.

But if they were for the Richards trade in Philly and they thought of him as this coasting, drunk, terrible leader that the media made him out to be, I highly doubt that they will ever admit they were wrong, even if Richards won 10 cups with the Kings. They will always have some excuse.
I'm a Flyers fan, but Richards is still my favorite player.
I don't think the Flyers need to find excuses for that trade, despite getting ousted in the second round (which btw would have been considered a success before the season) this was still a great trade for the Flyers. As it was for the Kings.

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