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Richards spent the last three seasons as team captain. He scored 133 goals and had 349 points in 453 games since making his debut with the Flyers in 2005.

He had no desire to leave and was “shocked” when he learned of the deal. Richards needed time to regroup and couldn’t fully come to terms with the trade until he made his first visit to Los Angeles.

Richards had grown up with Carter in the organization, and the best friends and late-night running buddies often about winning Philadelphia’s first Stanley Cup since 1975.

“It’s going to be mixed feelings, I think, for him,” Flyers forward Danny Briere said. “I don’t think he’ll ever forget the good times he had here. But at the same time, he’s moving on and I’m sure he wants to start something special in LA as well.”

Richards’ transition was eased by some familiar faces on the Kings. He was reunited with former teammate Simon Gagne, and coaches John Stevens and Terry Murray. Stevens was a head coach in Philadelphia, and now an assistant in LA, while Murray was an assistant in Richards’ era and now the head coach.

Gagne felt uneasy when he made his first return to Philadelphia last year after he was traded to Tampa Bay.

“On my side last year, it took me a while to realize I wasn’t playing for the Flyers and that I was with Tampa Bay. Wearing that jersey was definitely weird,” Gagne said. “Then, walking across to the locker room on the other side was definitely one of the toughest days in my career. It’s not going to be easier for Mike. We’ll try to help him with that but he’s strong enough mentally to get through it. Other than that, it will be fun for him to go back and see some friends.”

Richards has one goal in the first three games of a whirlwind start of the season for the Kings. They opened in Europe for an exhibition and played their first two regular-season games in Stockholm and Berlin before playing two games on the East Coast on the way back to California.

They return for their home opener Oct. 18.

“It’s been here, there, everywhere with planes, trains and automobiles,” Richards said. “It’s been good though, to get away with the guys and be welcomed into their tight-knit group.”

On Saturday, he’ll be welcomed back to Philadelphia.