Indications are that center
It hasn't happened since he was traded to the
Richards, 29, has won two Stanley Cups with the Kings. But in the last 20 games, Kings Coach Darryl Sutter has been reducing his ice time, and Richards played a season-low 9 minutes 7 seconds in the Kings' 4-3 loss to the
The next morning, rookie center Andy Andreoff took Richards' spot on the fourth line at practice. Richards and
The demotion would be a tough blow for a proud player such as Richards, especially coming against the
Richards has five goals and 14 points this season, putting him on a 10-goal, 28-point pace. He spoke about his decreased minutes after practice Friday.
"That's no fun. That's no good," said Richards, who has one goal in the last 18 games. "I still obviously think I can play a lot more minutes. But, at the same time, you play what you're put in the position of.
"I'm not going to cause a scene or do anything to take the focus away from everything. You come to the rink every day and play hockey."
Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi, who is known for his loyalty, could have used a compliance buyout on Richards in the summer but opted not to do so. The salary-cap hit the Kings took because of Richards' contract is $5.75 million per season, and his deal runs through 2019-20.
Richards was asked if he found himself almost waiting for something good to happen.
"You come here, you work, you get ready for a hockey game, like any other year or any other time," he said. "That's about all you can do."
KINGS VS. WINNIPEG
When: 7 p.m. PST Saturday.
On the air: TV:
Etc: Former Ducks center