<span class="vcard">Mike Halford</span>

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17:  Mike Richards #10 of the Washington Capitals looks on during a stoppage in play against the New York Rangers in the third period at Verizon Center on January 17, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Richards’ possession trial adjourned to late February

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Mike Richards’ legal battle will go on longer than expected.

Richards, who signed with the Caps earlier this month and has appeared in three games, had his trial for possession of a controlled substance adjourned to Feb. 25 — after it had already been adjourned to Jan. 28.

More from CP 24:

Toronto-based lawyer David M. Humphrey said in an email to The Associated Press that government officials asked to push back Richards’ court date because it is awaiting the results of an investigation that was requested by the defense.

Richards is facing charges from an incident last June at a Manitoba border crossing, in which he was alleged to have brought oxycodone from the U.S. into Canada.

That incident led his former team, Los Angeles, to terminate his contract for a “material breach.” The Kings announced in late October they’d reached a settlement with Richards, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Richards, 30, inked a one-year, $1 million deal with the Caps on Jan. 6.

Despres (concussion) back for Ducks after missing last 42 games

at SAP Center on October 10, 2015 in San Jose, California.
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Busy day in Anaheim.

After the Ducks waived d-man Adam Clendening, then learned veteran forward Shawn Horcoff was suspended 20 games for PEDs, the club confirmed that blueliner Simon Despres would draw back into the lineup tonight for the first time since suffering a concussion in October.

“First of all, to have him back, when he’s at his best he was very solid for us,” Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau said, per ESPN. “He’s a big, strong-bodied guy. He can play lots of minutes. What I’m expecting from him today is just a simple game, get his feet wet and do the right things and not try to over do things on his first night.

“If we get that we’ll be very happy.”

The Ducks have been high on Despres since acquiring him from Pittsburgh last season, and inked him to a five-year, $18.5 million extension right at the beginning of this year.

Despres,who missed the last 42 games, is skating on a pairing with Sami Vatanen in advance of tonight’s game in Boston.

After seven-game absence, Scheifele back for reeling Jets

Winnipeg will get a crucial part of its lineup back in the last game before the All-Star break, as Mark Scheifele returns for the first time since Jan. 7.

Scheifele, who’s missed the last seven games with a lower-body ailment, was scoring at a pretty solid clip prior to getting hurt — 12 goals and 23 points in 37 games (his 12 goals are still tied for fourth on the team).

It’s been a forgettable season in Winnipeg thus far, but there is hope the former seventh overall pick (2011) can provide a spark in his return. The Jets are currently riding a three-game losing streak and will need to dramatically turn around their campaign if they have any hope of getting back into the playoff picture.

To make room for Scheifele’s return, Winnipeg put Mathieu Perreault on IR.

Related: Report: Jets, Ladd break off contract talks

Craig Adams calls it a career

Carolina Hurricanes v Pittsburgh Penguins
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Longtime NHL forward Craig Adams made his retirement official on Tuesday, formally announcing that his playing career had come to a close after 14 seasons in the league.

The only player in league history to be born in Brunei — his father was working on the island of Borneo — Adams, 37, distinguished himself as a versatile, defensive-oriented forward that won two Stanley cups: One with Carolina in 2006, and another with the Penguins in ’09.

More, from the NHLPA:

“I consider myself very lucky to have been able to live out my dream of playing in the NHL. I would like to thank all the management and coaches who took a chance on me and gave me an opportunity to play a role for their teams. Thank you to the trainers and equipment staff who I had the pleasure of working with along the way, they were always too good to me,” [said Adams]. “The opportunity to compete with and against the best players in the world every day was an honour that I never took for granted. I am grateful for my teammates and the friendships I have made over the years.

“Thanks for the good times, the laughs and the memories. I would also like to express my gratitude to the fans across the NHL. Without the fans the winning, and losing, would not mean nearly as much.”

A history major at Harvard, Adams spent four years playing for the Crimson before joining Carolina during the 2000-01 campaign. He spent seven seasons with the ‘Canes and another seven with Pittsburgh, but also played parts of two seasons with Chicago.

All told, Adams appeared in 951 regular-season and 106 playoff games.

Goalie nods: Colorado’s current situation is… complex, to put it mildly

Patrick Roy
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So, here’s what’s happening with the Avs ahead of tonight’s game in San Jose:

Semyon Varlamov is not with the team, but rather in Colorado reportedly dealing with the civil lawsuit brought against him by his former girlfriend. Per the Denver Post, the Avs have confirmed Varlamov didn’t travel with the club to San Jose.

— Head coach Patrick Roy previously announced that Calvin Pickard would start against the Sharks, but Pickard didn’t participate at the morning skate. Per Terry Frei, Pickard has fallen ill and stayed at the team hotel (the illness is apparently running through the team, as Mikhail Grigorenko and Erik Johnson also stayed away.)

— The club’s usual backup, Reto Berra, is still out injured.

— That meant one of the two goalies on the ice this morning was 23-year-old Roman Will, an undrafted free agent out of the Czech Republic that was recently recalled from AHL San Antonio. Will has gone 6-5-2 with a .895 save percentage and 3.38 GAA for the Rampage this season.

— The other goalie at the morning skate?

Patrick Roy.

Obviously, it’s going to be either Pickard or Will in net tonight. If it’s the latter, it’ll be his NHL debut.

Martin Jones will be in for the Sharks.

Elsewhere…

Frederik Andersen will make his first start since Jan. 15 when the Ducks take on the B’s in Boston. No word yet on who Claude Julien will have in goal. Tuukka Rask was in for yesterday’s 3-2 win over the Flyers.

— Marquee matchup in Pittsburgh as Marc-Andre Fleury and the Penguins host Cory Schneider and the Devils.

— The in-form Eddie Lack (won three of his last five starts, with a .923 save percentage) will host Corey Crawford and the ‘Hawks tonight in Carolina. Crawford is coming off a shutout of the Blues on Sunday.

Ben Scrivens takes over for the struggling Mike Condon in the second of a back-to-back against Columbus. The Jackets haven’t announced their starter yet.

Robin Lehner takes on his old club as the Sabres visit Ottawa. The guy Lehner backed up for most of his time with the Sens, Craig Anderson, will be in the other goal.

James Reimer versus Roberto Luongo as the Leafs visit Florida.

Louis Domingue, who’s emerged as one of the best stories in goal this season, looks to continue his run of solid play in Winnipeg. The Jets will counter with their own stellar rookie goalie, Connor Hellebuyck.

Ryan Miller starts again for Vancouver after allowing four goals on 29 shots in Saturday’s loss in Pittsburgh. Visiting Nashville hasn’t named a starter yet.