May 29, 2012, 10:00 PM EDT
You didn’t need to be an insider to tell that Mike Richards – and particularly Jeff Carter – didn’t take kindly to being traded from the Philadelphia Flyers. (Carter’s dismay was the most obvious; he took days to comment on what would end up being a short stay with the Columbus Blue Jackets.)
While sports are a “business,” it’s understandable that the two were upset. Both signed lengthy contracts under the assumption that they’d stick with the team that drafted them for possibly the rest of their careers. Now they’re back together with the Los Angeles Kings and with their new team already in the Stanley Cup finals, the questions are naturally cropping up.
Richards didn’t deny that the trades burned them both, as he told Stephen Whyno.
“We were pretty mad. I’m not going to lie,” Richards said. “It’s something that I’ve never had before. I’ve never been traded; Jeff’s never been traded. For us to be traded at the same time, I think was a lot of venting to each other.”
Their former head coach and current Kings assistant John Stevens echoed the sentiment of many people in the organization when he praises the addition of Carter, whose presence seemingly rounded out the Los Angeles offense. Stevens said “you can check off a lot of things on your list when you add Jeff Carter to your team.”
Then again, Carter and Richards made it this far not too long ago, as they represented the Flyers in the 2010 Stanley Cup finals. The fact that they were traded soon after that lengthy run shows Richards that they need to make good on this reunion.
“It’s frustrating at first, but I couldn’t be happier now,” Richards said. “We get that second opportunity. Now we definitely have to take advantage of it.”
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