Richards adjusting, earning respect

Since trade by the Flyers, Kings center's overall game has continued to evolve

Updated: May 22, 2014, 2:03 PM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

CHICAGO -- So, where is the line between evolution and decline?

Decline, if you're an NHL player -- especially one who plays with the tenacity Los Angeles Kings forward Mike Richards displays -- is inevitable. Evolution, the relevancy or ability to contribute on a meaningful basis, is not.

Perhaps Richards has examined the line and wondered where he might stand. But the evidence points in one direction for Richards, a former first-round pick and captain of the Philadelphia Flyers, ...

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