Mike Richards' Drug Charges Stayed by Judge: Latest Details and Reaction

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2016

FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2016, file photo, Washington Capitals center Mike Richards plays against the Nashville Predators in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Nashville, Tenn. Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi thought he found his
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

The drug charges brought against Washington Capitals forward Mike Richards were stayed by a judge in Manitoba, Canada, court Wednesday.  

According to CBC News, the charges can be revisited within the next year, although that doesn't often happen.

The 31-year-old center was initially charged with possession of a controlled substancein August following an incident that saw Richards get detained at the Canadian border in June due to the alleged possession of the narcotic Oxycodone.

Following the incident, the Los Angeles Kings terminated the five years and $22 million remaining on his contract. The two parties ultimately reached terms on a settlement.

The Kenora, Ontario, Canada, native signed a one-year deal with the Caps in January, and he has one goal in 15 games for the NHL's top team.

After netting his first marker Monday night, head coach Barry Trotz discussed Richards' importance to the organization, per Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post: "Anytime you come to a team, I know you want to start getting a couple goals or assists or something. ... He's seeing how much we value him. I think he also sees how much his teammates value him. He's proud, so he wanted to get on the board. There's no question."

The former All-Star won a pair of Stanley Cups during his time with the Kings, as well as an Olympic gold medal as part of Team Canada in 2010.

Richards racked up 62 or more points in every season from 2007-08 through 2010-11 while with the Philadelphia Flyers, but his production dropped off significantly following a trade to the Kings.

While the past couple of years have been extremely difficult for Richards both on and off the ice, things finally seem to be coming together for him in both regards.

Now that the drug charges are no longer a concern—at least for now—he has a golden opportunity to focus on hockey and attempt to capture his third Stanley Cup.

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