Flyers announce $8M buyout for Mike Richards

Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall announced on Thursday that the team has agreed to acquire defenseman Mike Richards from the Los Angeles Kings for a conditional draft pick in 2018. 

“Mike is a very talented defenseman that can help our team on both ends of the ice,” Hextalls stated in a statement.

“We believe he will contribute immediately and will be a valuable addition to our organization.”

Richards, 31, will be in Philadelphia for the start of training camp.

He had spent the previous four seasons with the Kings, where he scored 26 goals and 45 assists for 76 points in 82 games.

He has one more season remaining on his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

The Flyers will also retain the rights to forward Brian Elliott.

The move is expected to be finalized by Wednesday.

Richards, who is averaging 14:10 of ice time per game with the Los Angels of Anaheim, has six goals and 21 points in 55 career games with the Anaheim Ducks.

The defenseman is coming off a season in which he was named the NHL’s Sixth Man of the Year after posting career highs in goals (17) and points (43).

Richards, who has also spent time with the New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins, was selected in the third round (109th overall) in the 2004 NHL Draft by the Anaheim Angels.

He played in his first NHL game on Nov. 1, 2009, when he scored his first career goal and assisted on a goal by defenseman Justin Williams.

Richards was traded to the Los Angles on July 4, 2010, before his contract was purchased by the Kings on March 31, 2011.

He spent the next two seasons with Anaheim before joining the Flyers on July 29, 2012.

The Kings acquired Richards in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers in the 2012 NHL Draft.

Richards signed a four-year, $23.5 million contract extension in the summer of 2016 and has one goal and nine points in 47 career NHL games with Los Angeles.