NHL defends Mike Richards settlement as CBA compliant

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The Los Angeles Kings will be incurring a cap hit related to their announced settlement with Mike Richards, but some rival team executives have anonymously questioned if this all represents a loophole in the CBA, according to ESPN.

After all, while the financial terms of the settlement aren’t known, the Kings might have saved cap space overall by terminating his NHL Standard Players Contract and then resolving the grievance with the NHLPA rather than simply buying him out.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly countered the claims of cap circumvention by stating that the CBA allows for a settlement of a grievance and outlines how it be factored into a team’s salary cap. Additionally, he noted that the league has been following the situation closely.

“The League actively monitored each stage of this dispute from the time of the initial contract termination to the point at which the case was settled, during which time we were in frequent contact with both the Club and the NHLPA,” Daly said. “If the settlement was simply a disguised way to get favorable cap treatment, we certainly would have considered it to be a circumvention and acted accordingly. But this wasn’t that. Far from it. There is absolutely zero concern that anything that transpired here could in any way be considered a ‘circumvention’ of the CBA. Anyone who believes to the contrary is clearly not privy to the facts.”

Related: Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’