A lawyer appeared in court on Mike Richards’ behalf on Thursday, and the ultimate result is that his case has been remanded to Dec. 8, according to the Winnipeg Free Press.
No plea was entered regarding charges of possession of a controlled substance (oxycodone).
The incident happened at the Emerson Border Crossing as Richards was entering Canada on June 17, while the arrest itself happened on Aug. 25.
The Los Angeles Kings terminated his contract on June 29, citing a “material breach.” The NHLPA filed a grievance on the 30-year-old forward’s behalf, though a date hasn’t yet been set for that to come to a conclusion.
Much like the cases of Patrick Kane, Ryan O'Reilly and Slava Voynov, there are still things to clarify. Richards’ situation is different in at least one way, however, as he currently isn’t technically under an NHL contract.
PHT will provide updates regarding Richards whenever they may come.
There are always going to be solid unrestricted free agents that have trouble finding a contract that lives up to expectations, but even in that context this year feels different, according to one longtime agent.
“It’s tough,” the agent told the Columbus Dispatch. “There are plenty of teams interested in adding a player, but they don’t have (salary cap) room. It’s just not there.
“So either they’re trying to make moves to accomodate that, or they’re waiting for the market to adjust. There’s plenty of time. It’s the middle of July. But it’s been really difficult for a lot of guys this summer.”
Thirteen teams have less than $5 million in remaining cap space, according to General Fanager. That number doesn’t include the New York Rangers, which still needs to re-sign RFA Derek Stepan, or the Los Angeles Kings, which might be in limbo as they wait to see how the contract situations with Slava Voynov and Mike Richards play out. So it’s not hard to argue that half the league has little to no cap space remaining. Of course, that doesn’t even start to factor in teams that are expected to stay significantly below the ceiling due to their own internal budgets, rebuilding strategy, or both.
Meanwhile, there are 22 UFAs remaining that came with a cap hit of at least $3 million last season.
There are of course going to be more noteworthy signings, but for teams that have space and the flexibility to add salary, this is a potentially great opportunity to improve their squad at a reduced price. We also might see more salary dumping trades before the 2015-16 campaign starts.
Related: There are some interesting players left on the UFA market
With Kings defenseman Slava Voynov taking a plea deal in relation to his to domestic assault charges, one of the questions raised was how it would impact his indefinite suspension from the NHL.
According to Rich Hammond of The Orange County Register, Voynov remains suspended.
“Nothing changes with regard to his status vis-a-vis the NHL. No timetables for next steps,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told Hammond. “I imagine we will hear from the Player’s camp and the PA when they are ready to engage.”
The league suspended Voynov in October after he was arrested for domestic assault.
Given how the L.A. Kings handled the Mike Richards situation, it’ll be interesting to see how the club reacts to Thursday’s developments in the Voynov case.
The Kings released the following statement:
“We believe the legal system has effectively resolved this matter and the punishment is fair and just. Any act of domestic violence is unacceptable. As an organization, the prevention of domestic violence and the education of our players and employees is of paramount importance. We will continue to actively develop and implement a strategy to deliver this message. We remain steadfast in our support of the National Hockey League as they now begin their own investigative process. Until that is complete we will withhold further comment.”
The 25-year-old has appeared in 190 games over four seasons with the Kings scoring 18 goals and 81 points while averaging 21:15 in ice time. He played just six games during the 2014-15 season prior to his arrest.
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov will spend 90 days in jail and receive three years of probation after accepting a plea deal in relation to domestic assault charges.
On Thursday, Voynov entered a no contest plea to a misdemeanor count of corporal injury to a spouse — his wife, Martina Varlamova, who declined to make a victim impact statement.
Per the OC Register, Voynov is to surrender no later than July 14 for jail time.
Today’s development nullifies Voynov’s felony domestic violence trial, which was to begin next week. In October, the Kings d-man was charged after an incident as his Redondo Beach house, with prosecutors alleging Voynov choked and hit Varlamova, and pushed her into a TV.
This doesn’t figure to be the end of the Voynov saga, though, as several questions remain:
— Will the Kings seek to void his contract, like they did with the Mike Richards deal?
— Is Voynov facing the possibility of deportation to his native Russia?
— Will the NHL lift his indefinite suspension?
More to follow…
After an earlier report from ESPN cited that Richards is part of an “ongoing investigation” by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, further details have come to light, according to TMZ.
NHL officials have been notified that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigation into ex-L.A. Kings player Mike Richards involves the prescription drug oxycodone … multiple sources tell TMZ Sports.
Our sources say Richards was stopped while crossing from the United States into Canada on June 17th … and we’re told he was questioned about oxycodone pills, a powerful painkiller.
Richards hasn’t been charged with a crime and Canadian officials aren’t commenting due to privacy laws. Additionally, the Los Angeles Kings haven’t offered any details on the situation, although they have terminated his contract due to a “material breach.”
Prior to his contract being terminated, Los Angeles was in trade negotiations with the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. When Kings GM Dean Lombardi became aware of the situation though, he brought those talks to an end.
“He came right over to me,” Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli told ESPN. “He pulled me aside and said, ‘Hey, Pete, this is going to come out. I had no idea. This is important you know so that talks [don’t go any] further.’”
The NHLPA issued a statement that they “are in the process of reviewing the facts” before they determine their course of action.