The Kings, who have been receiving scant production from their rookie centers, recalled veteran center Mike Richards from their American Hockey League affiliate in Manchester, N.H.
Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi told The Times after Saturday's loss to the Canucks that Richards would join the Kings in New Jersey, where L.A. starts a five-game trip Monday night. The organization made the recall official Sunday.
Richards got the news, via a phone call from Kings Assistant GM Rob Blake on Saturday, and was excited to rejoin his teammates at practice.
"It's like being back with your family again," Richards said in a telephone interview.
He said it was "discouraging" to be sent down, initially.
"But they've got a good group of guys in Manchester, which made it easier," Richards said. "I think the biggest thing is the not knowing. I'm not very good at that, with anything, not knowing where I'm going to be or what is next. That was the hardest part for me -- when it was going to happen or if it was going to happen."
Richards recorded 14 points in 16 games with the Monarchs after he was sent to the AHL following the All-Star break after clearing waivers. But he had not been in Manchester, of late, instead training locally in the Southern California.
"I told you we were probably going to bring him back at some point," Lombardi said in a telephone interview on Sunday. "Obviously with Stollie [Jarret Stoll] out too ... we wanted to do some things. We went through the process.
"I think it was always the thought we were going to bring him back at some point. Why not? You at least want to make all the tools available to the team right now. We're obviously up against it.
"It's up to [Kings Coach] Darryl [Sutter] how to use them. He's available. You have your 13 forwards because we were at 12, anyway."
Lombardi said that Richards got to New Jersey on Saturday night and that he would be practicing with the team Sunday.