Kings terminate Mike Richards' contract, cite 'material breach' by player

The Kings announced Monday they have terminated the contract of center Mike Richards, one day after placing him on unconditional waivers.

Their three-paragraph release was short on specifics.

"The Los Angeles Kings today have exercised the team’s right to terminate the contract of Mike Richards for a material breach of the requirements of his Standard Player’s Contract," the team said in a statement. "We are not prepared to provide any more detail or to discuss the underlying grounds for the contract termination at this time.”

The NHL Players' Assn. released a statement regarding the termination of Richards' contract: "We are in the process of reviewing the facts and circumstances of this matter and will discuss the situation with the player in order to determine the appropriate course of action."

Bill Daly, the NHL's deputy commissioner, declined to comment on the move. 

Richards cleared waivers on Monday morning. The team had tried to trade him in recent weeks but was unable to find a trading partner. He had five years and $22 million left on his contract — the one he signed when he was with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Times columnist Helene Elliott contributed to this report.

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12:50 p.m.: This story has been updated with a statement from the NHL Players' Assn.

This story was first published at 12:01 p.m.

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