Center Mike Richards, who won two Stanley Cup with the Kings, will be resuming his NHL career with the Washington Capitals, having signed a one-year, $1-million (pro-rated) contact.
Richards still has a court date looming in Canada in connection with his arrest at the border in Emerson, Manitoba, in June. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance and his next scheduled hearing is Jan. 28.
Before the deal with the Capitals was announced Wednesday, Richards met with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Bill Daly, the league’s deputy commissioner. Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan told Mike Vogel of the team’s website that the team felt “comfortable” that the pending legal situation for Richards will “not be an issue.”
Lombardi had more to say about Richards during a conference call Wednesday afternoon. The Kings made a three-player trade with the Philadelphia Flyers, acquiring defenseman Luke Schenn and forward Vinny Lecavalier.
“I think now that everything’s out in the open and the team can work with him without things being hidden, I think he’s got a great shot,” Lombardi said. “There’s nothing being hidden anymore.”
Richards will be joining former Kings teammate Justin Williams, who signed with the Capitals as a free agent July 1. Lombardi praised Williams as “a winner” and spoke about the impact Richards had on the Kings’ first Stanley Cup championship -- in particular, in the opening round against Vancouver.
“I think he’s got a great chance, and I’ll be pulling for him now that hopefully he gets through all those issues.”