The biggest news of the day throughout the hockey world was the Los Angeles Kings placing forward Mike Richards (and his $5.75 million cap hit) on waivers, presumably for the purpose of ridding themselves of his contract or burying it in the minors.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie had an interesting bit of background on the Kings’ move:
TOR/CGY believed to be teams talking recently to LA about Richards trade. Guessing Leafs/Flames were trying to move their bad contracts.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 26, 2015
The Flames have just over $14 million in cap space available, so it’s not like they can’t afford to eat some bad deals. And the ones they’d probably try to move – expensive guys in depth roles like David Jones ($4 million), Dennis Wideman ($5.25 million), Ladislav Smid ($3.5 million) or Deryk Engelland ($2.9 million) – are probably guys that other teams wouldn’t want, or wouldn’t throw in with a prospect or pick to sweeten the pot.
Told that neither Leafs nor Flames have interest in Mike Richards. Big ticket and long term scaring people off.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) January 26, 2015
My guess is that both sides kicked tires, but both had reasons to not do a deal. If you look at Calgary’s salary structure, they probably didn’t want to add another expensive depth guy, particularly when they have cheap kids coming up that could (a) help them win games or (b) give them cap flexibility by being cheap. And would the Kings really want another bad deal on their books?