Last night, shortly after the Kings announced their trade for Jeff Carter, Mike Richards posted on Twitter, “Reunited and it feels so good…… Excited to be back playing with carts #needaroommate’’ Richards and Carter have quite a shared history. They were both drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round in 2003 (Carter at No. 11, Richards at No. 24). They were teammates for the first time in 2005, during the Philadelphia Phantoms’ run to the AHL championship, and then were teammates for the next six seasons with the Flyers. Last summer, they were traded on the same day — Richards to the Kings, Carter to the Flyers — in a major shake-up. Now, eight months later, they are teammates again and likely will be linemates, with Carter playing on Richards’ right wing. Here’s what Richards said today about once again being teammates with his close friend…
RICHARDS: “Jeff and I have played together, and we have had success together before. He’s a good player and he’s easy to play with, so it won’t take us long to get that chemistry back. … He’s playing well right now. I watched the last couple of his games. He had a hat trick against San Jose the other night, and he’s playing well right now. He had a little bit of injuries earlier in the year, but he’s back right now. He’s said he’s healthy and excited to get started. He’s a motivated kid, coming in here, so it will be good.’’
Question: Did you have an idea, before the trade happened, that it might happen?
RICHARDS: “No. I was asked (by Kings management) about Jeff yesterday morning a little bit, and what type of guy he is off the ice. That’s the only time I heard about it.’’
Question: Do you think Jeff can get that high-level scoring back?
RICHARDS: “I guess we’ll never know until we start playing and start getting adjusted. That’s the bad thing about hockey. I’ve been through it, with a trade, and that’s the tough part, but at the same time, we need goal scoring and hopefully we can do it.’’
Question: How did you feel when you heard about the trade?
RICHARDS: “We’re excited. It’s something that obviously we didn’t expect, when we got traded in the summer, but it’s nice to have him back. He’s a good hockey player and obviously a good friend, and hopefully we can have success together on the ice.’’
Question: What was your conversation with him like last night?
RICHARDS: “It was just through text messages. He was busy and had a lot going on, but he was excited and I was excited. It will be nice when he gets here tonight and plays tomorrow.’’