The Kings started two days’ worth of exit meetings today, and for at least one player, the meeting is bound to go better than it did last year. A year ago, Brad Richardson wasn’t shy about telling Terry Murray, in his exit interview, that he felt he wasn’t being used properly and that he thought he could contribute more. Richardson was injured for part of last season and finished with zero goals and five assists in 31 games. Well, this season Richardson got more of a chance to prove himself, and he did. I would consider Richardson the Kings’ most-improved player, after a season in which he had 11 goals and 16 assists in 81 games but, perhaps more importantly, was the most consistent Kings player in terms of bringing energy and grit. Reporters joked with Richardson that this year’s exit meeting would probably have a bit of a lighter tone…
RICHARDSON: “Yeah, I think so. I don’t know if it could get much worse than last year’s. I think, for the most part, it was a pretty successful year for myself, personally. I’m happy with it, so we’ll go into those meetings and I’m sure there will be a little lighter attitude this year, hopefully.”
Question: Where do you think the expectation level for this team will be next season?
RICHARDSON: “We haven’t gotten into those details, but we kind of broke through this year and had that year, and now it’s going to be expected that we’re going to be a good team. That’s what we want to put on ourselves. We all kind of see our potential and know where we can get, so I’m sure that will all be discussed. Me personally, I know I can still get to the next level, and I’m looking forward to having the summer to work on that, to get stronger and come back and be ready.”
Question: You had a lot of different roles this season. Is there any one that you preferred more than the other?
RICHARDSON: “Well, if I could pick a role, I’d pick the first line. (laughs) That might be the most enjoyable. I was kind of lucky. I started on the fourth line and I got moved into different roles. That was obviously a lot of fun and a great treat. I’d say, I play a lot with Simmer. I don’t know how many games we played together, and I thought we played pretty well together, but I can’t really say what was more enjoyable. I enjoy playing every role. Obviously you always want to try to expand your role as much as you can. If I could pick a spot, it would probably be on the left side with Kopi or whoever.”