Richards has just five goals and 10 assists in 47 games as his production has dropped dramatically from his time with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Now 29 years old, Richards is at best a role player for the defending Stanley Cup champions.
The Kings attempted to trade Richards and his albatross contract before ultimately putting him on waivers.
Richards has five years left at a salary-cap hit of US$5.75 million.
The Flyers originally signed Richards to a $69-million, 12-year contract before trading him to the Kings at the 2011 draft for Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn.
Richards is due a total of $22 million from 2015-16 through 2019-20, and that money and cap hit make it unlikely he is claimed.
The Kings missed an opportunity to use a compliance buyout on Richards over the summer.
The Kenora, Ont., native became the first hockey player to win Olympic gold, world-junior gold, the Memorial Cup and Stanley Cup.
Richards was part of the 2010 Canadian Olympic team that won gold in Vancouver.
In 704 career NHL games, Richards has 133 goals and 216 assists.
His career high in points was 80, back in 2008-09 with the Flyers.