Richards Charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance

This hasn’t been the best off-season for NHL players running afoul of the law. With that said, some coaches, owners and GM’s are glad training camp is right around the corner. To date, there have been seven players either charged, investigated, or arrested with a crime. Not nearly the headlines Gary Bettman wishes to see, but at least he’s not dealing with the problems Roger Goodell has.

Free agent Mike Richards had charges of possession of a controlled substance brought upon him today, following a June 17 incident where he was stopped by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) at the Emerson point of entry. Emerson is the border crossing connecting Manitoba with North Dakota.

The RCMP did not disclose the substance Richards was found with, but ESPN’s Scott Burnside reported the substance was OxyContin. Richards was investigated, arrested and eventually released by the RCMP.

Richards, 30, was charged in relation to the incident on Tuesday and is scheduled to appear in Emerson Provincial Court on Sept. 10.

After learning about the incident, the Los Angeles Kings terminated his contract June 29. He was the third member of the Kings to be charged with a crime and the second charged with possession of a controlled substance this summer.

The Kings cited a “a material breach of the requirements of his Standard Player’s Contract” when they terminated Richards’ contract. Burnside’s story went on to say that Richards was potential trade bait at the NHL Entry Draft, but teams the Kings were discussing trades with called it off when learning of his arrest.

Richards could have been a difficult trade piece, considering he had five years left on a 12-year contract. The NHLPA filed a grievance on his behalf August 10, but a hearing date has not been set.

Last season, Richards had his worse year statistically as a professional in 2014-15. In 53 games with the Kings, he scored five goals along with 11 assists. His goal production peaked in 2009-10 with 31 goals with Philadelphia but has slowly dropped each year since then. The 2010 Olympian also appeared in 16 regular season games with Manchester of the AHL, where he went scored three goals and 14 points.

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