The Washington Capitals announced this afternoon the signing Mike Richards, former Los Angeles King (and team-mate of Justin Williams). The deal is for $1 million for one year.
Contract Termination in Los Angeles
On June 29, 2015, the Los Angeles Kings announced that they had terminated Mike Richards for being in violation of his contract, “for a material breach of the requirements” of his Standard Player’s Contract. The National Hockey League Players’ Association filed a grievance on August 10 disputing the termination which was settled on October 9, 2015 thereby making Richards an unrestricted free agent.
On August 27th, 2015, Mike Richards was formally charged with possession of a controlled substance while entering Canada, the Manitoba RCMP. The charges stemmed from a June 17 incident during which Canada Border Services Agency officers at Emerson, Manitoba, intercepted drugs at the U.S. border. Richards was arrested and later released. The RCMP did not identify the type of drugs that led to the arrest, but uncovered documents revealed it to be Oxycodone.
As per Isabelle Khurshudyan, Mike Richards has a court date for Jan. 28 for being charged with possession of a controlled substance. MacLellan said they had legal people involved and feel comfortable with Richards’s situation. As per General Fanager, Richards (WSH) will make $500,000 this season, given today is day 93 of the 186 day schedule. Might be slightly less if added to roster.
As per Sports Illustrated, The free-agent center has been skating with his former junior team, the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League, presumably to work himself into shape for a comeback. Los Angeles Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi was interviewed about the Capitals signing Richards.
Capitals Press Release:
The Washington Capitals have agreed to terms with center Mike Richards on a one-year, $1 million pro-rated contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Richards met with the NHL earlier today and has been given clearance to immediately resume his NHL career.
Richards, 30, has registered 482 points (179 goals, 303 assists) and 577 penalty minutes in 710 career NHL games with Philadelphia and Los Angeles. The 5’11”, 196-pound center ranks second in the NHL among active skaters in career shorthanded goals (28), trailing Marian Hossa (30). Richards played in 53 games with the Kings last season, earning 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) and 30 penalty minutes. He earned his 300th NHL assist on Dec. 12, 2014 at Montreal and played in his 700th NHL games on Jan. 12, 2015 against Toronto.
Richards won a Stanley Cup with Los Angeles in 2012 and 2014 and has recorded 87 points (26 goals, 61 assists) and 91 penalty minutes in 124 career playoff games. He ranks 16th in the NHL among active skaters in playoff games played, points and assists. Richards played in his 100th career postseason game on April 20, 2014 at San Jose and led the Kings in assists (9) during the 2013 playoffs. During the 2012 postseason, he ranked fourth in the NHL in assists (11) and captured his first of two Stanley Cups. Richards scored his first career playoff goal on a penalty shot on April 15, 2008 against Washington, becoming the second player in NHL history to score his first playoff goal on a penalty shot (Wayne Connelly, 1968).