Richards, whose skills have markedly declined since he helped lead the Kings to the
The Kings, after placing Richards on waivers Sunday with the presumed intention of buying out his contract, instead took the dramatic step Monday of terminating the contract, citing a "material breach of the requirements of his standard player's contract." Their statement did not specify their reasons.
OxyContin — also known as oxycodone — is a narcotic pain reliever prescribed for moderate to severe long-term pain. According to the Sun, someone who crosses the border with OxyContin pills without a prescription would risk having them seized and could be charged with possession under the criminal code's Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, or with smuggling under the Canada Customs Act.
Richards was held in Emerson, Canada, about an hour south of Winnipeg.
The contract was to have five seasons left with an annual salary cap hit of $5.75 million. A buyout would have minimized the salary cap hit but would have kept him on the Kings' books through the 2024-25 season.
Richards' name has been removed from the roster posted on the Kings' website and from the section listing players' statistics for last season. He had five goals and 16 points and a minus-10 defensive rating in 53 games, as well as three goals and 14 points in 16 games with the Kings' farm team in Manchester, N.H.
A Kings spokesman on Tuesday again declined comment on Richards' situation. A spokeswoman for the Canadian Border Services Agency last weekend turned down a request by
The NHL Players' Assn. is expected to challenge the termination, which could trigger a heated battle. In a statement released Monday, the union said it was reviewing facts related to the matter and would talk to Richards to determine its course of action.