One of the stars of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, the 29-year-old center was put on waivers in January by Los Angeles after struggling for much of the past two-and-a-half seasons. He cleared waivers and was assigned to Manchester the Kings' minor league franchise.
The 10-year NHL veteran had five goals and 10 assists for the Kings this season before being demoted. With Manchester, he scored three goals and logged 14 assists over 16 games.
Kings general manager Dean Lombardi hinted earlier this month Richards could return to the team soon. The comments were among the first signals of a reversal in the team's attitude toward Richards.
Los Angeles considered buying out Richards' contract last year, which likely would have resulted in his release from the team.
A recent Los Angeles Times report indicated the team was concerned specifically with Richards' training regimen while assigned to Manchester.
The Kings could use Richards help down the final stretch of the NHL season. Los Angeles is 34-23-14, and sits four points behind the final wild-card team, the Winnepeg Jets.