NHLPA, NHL Reach Contract Settlement Between Mike Richards, Kings

Daniel Kramer@dkramer_Featured ColumnistOctober 10, 2015

Los Angeles Kings' Mike Richards looks on during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, in Philadelphia. The Flyers won 3-2 in overtime. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

The NHL Players' Association announced in a press release Friday that it has reached a settlement with the NHL regarding former Los Angeles Kings forward Mike Richards' terminated contract.

Richards is now an unrestricted free agent.

Richards’ contract was terminated June 29 for what the team called a “material breach,” according to Josh Cooper of Yahoo Sports. Richards was allegedly stopped when crossing the United States-Canada border June 17 and later charged by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for possession of a controlled substance, according to Cooper.

The Kings issued a statement Friday via the team's official website: "The Los Angeles Kings have reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties. We will not be commenting further on the terms."

Richards was at risk of losing all of the $22 million remaining on his contract, had the dispute reached an arbitrator, according to Chris Peters of CBS Sports. Instead, Richards will receive an undisclosed amount of money that will count toward the Kings' salary cap through 2031, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman

As an unrestricted free agent, Richards can look for a new team, though Cooper indicated that “it’s unclear if a team would want to take a chance on the 30-year-old Richards, especially due to his declining production and now his association with prescription drugs.”

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