As expected, the NHL Players Assn. has taken the next step on behalf of Mike Richards, contesting his contract termination by the Los Angeles Kings.
The association faced a deadline of late August as it had 60 days from the termination to file a grievance. What is expected to be a heated battle was sparked when the Kings, on June 29, opted to terminate the contract of Richards, rather than buy him out, citing a "material breach of the requirements of his standard player's contract."
An independent arbitrator is to hear the matter. The union, which announced its move via Twitter on Monday, did not provide any additional details.
The contract termination came after Richards was held at a border crossing in Manitoba, Canada, for several hours on June 17. He was alleged to have been found with OxyContin pills, according to sources cited by the Winnipeg Sun.