Per Capitals Today, Richards met with the NHL earlier on Wednesday and was given clearance to resume his career. According to Lyle Richardson of the Hockey News, Richards is awaiting trial later this month for allegedly attempting to enter Canada with Oxycodone last June.
TSN's Rick Westhead presumes that his charges won't affect his ability to cross the United States border into Canada if the Capitals have to play a road game there.
Richards has recorded 133 goals and 216 assists in his career, which includes a pair of Stanley Cup championships with the Kings in 2012 and 2014.
A gritty center who can provide depth to the bottom two lines, the former Philadelphia Flyer and King is also a nice asset to have on the penalty kill. Richards trails only Marian Hossa for the active career lead in short-handed goals with 28.
His acquisition will help the Capitals fill the void left by Jay Beagle, who is out six weeks after undergoing hand surgery on Saturday, per Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post.
It'll give the Capitals an opportunity to return Marcus Johansson to the fourth line and bump Zach Sill, a center who's played in just four games this year, out of the lineup.
Richards' winning pedigree will also add value to this acquisition for the Capitals, who lead the NHL with 61 points this season. For a team that looks poised to make a lot of noise in the playoffs, Richards' presence, whether he's on the ice or not after Beagle returns, will help a roster that is void of Stanley Cup experience.
Stats courtesy of Hockey-Reference.com.