Last June, in one of the more shocking developments of the NHL offseason, the Philadelphia Flyers traded team captain Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings, in a multi player deal that included right wing Wayne Simmonds.
After six noteworthy years in Philly, where he averaged 24 goals and 38 assists per season, the man known for his spirited nature, both on and off the ice, was about to get a fresh start on the complete other side of the country.
During his first season with the Kings, Richards tallied 18 goals and 26 assists in 74 regular season games.
Richards has taken up residence in the seaside enclave of Manhattan Beach, located in LA County’s South Bay, a short drive south of Los Angeles International Airport. Many LA based athletes, including Blake Griffin, Maria Sharapova and Landon Donovan, call Manhattan Beach home.
Many Kings and Lakers also choose to reside in the beach community because of its very close proximity to the Toyota Sports Center (TSC), the shared practice facility located in the bordering city of El Segundo.
Richards’ adjustment to the more laidback LA lifestyle was well chronicled in an episode of “NHL 36” from earlier this season. Richards has been particularly taken by the level of anonymity offered to professional hockey players, when living in an area that is home to so many famous people.
Tuesday, one day prior to Vancouver’s 3-1 Game 4 victory at Staples Center, Richards and his newly furnished beard, signed some signatures while walking towards his SUV, in the parking lot of the TSC.
Per the above iFolloSports.com original video, Richards looked right at home in Southern California, sporting a baseball cap and flip-flops, as he got ready for the 10 minute drive back to his beachfront abode.
In addition, here is iFolloSports.com original video of the Canucks off day practice from inside the TSC, including a look at the team’s efforts to more successfully move the puck out of the corners and defensive zone.