Report: Richards part of police investigation


More details are coming to light in the Mike Richards situation.

One day after his contract was terminated by the Kings, ESPN reported Richards is part of an “ongoing investigation” by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.


A spokesperson for the RCMP in Manitoba told ESPN that, as of Tuesday, no charges have been brought against Richards but declined to comment further.

The source said that Canadian Border Services is also involved in the investigation, but a spokesperson declined comment, citing Canadian privacy laws.

It’s the latest in what’s been a whirlwind 24 hours.

Yesterday, the Kings dumped Richards’ contract on the grounds of a “material breach.” Shortly thereafter, reports surfaced of an alleged incident involving Richards trying to cross the border from the U.S. into Canada.

Later, the NHLPA released a statement confirming a review the situation, while still determining what course of action it would take.

Before all that happened, of course, Los Angeles was in talks with the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames in an attempt to move Richards’ contract — but once Kings GM Dean Lombardi became aware of the situation, he suspended those talks.

“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.'”

Flames GM Brad Treliving confirmed that he had a similar conversation with Lombardi.

Terminating Richards’ contract comes with more overall cap relief than a buyout, but as previously reported, it appears that it doesn’t completely rid Richards from their books. It’s believed that the Kings will be charged with a cap recapture penalty of $1.32 million annually for the next five seasons.

NHLPA reviewing Richards situation, determining course of action


The Los Angeles Kings decision to terminate the remainder of Mike Richards’ contract rather than buy it out may have sparked a battle between the league and union, but the NHLPA isn’t ready to commit to anything yet.

“We are in the process of reviewing the facts and circumstances of this matter and will discuss the situation with the player in order to determine the appropriate course of action,” the players’ association said in a statement, per the Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott.

As previously noted Richards is now a free agent in the eyes of the NHL and the Kings are free of any buyout penalty. However, many expect the NHLPA to ultimately dispute that position. It can take months of even years for grievances to be settled, but an expedited hearing might lead to a resolution in a matter of days or weeks, per Bob McKenzie.

It’s also worth noting that even if it’s ruled that the Kings were allowed to terminate Richards’ contract, he might not be entirely off the books.

By contrast, a buyout would have cost the Kings roughly $14.7 million in total cap space over 10 seasons. At its peak, the Kings would have been saddled with a $4.2 million annual cap penalty for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 campaigns.

What’s next for Mike Richards and the Kings?


The Los Angeles Kings’ decision to terminate – rather than buy out – Mike Richards’ contract is startling. It’s also a lot to wrap your head around, even without knowing how Richards allegedly “breached” his contract.

The situation generated a lot of interesting observations and speculation on Twitter, so consider this post an early look at what might happen next.

Considering the lack of specifics at hand, let’s focus more on the hockey implications rather than pondering legalities in too much depth.

Los Angeles’ cap situation

Richards’ $5.75 million cap hit is a huge concern, and one wonders about the sort of loopholes that might be exposed here. TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston report that the Kings may operate as if the cap restriction has been lifted:

Simon Feenix brings up an interesting question on Twitter, too: what about the Kings’ attempts to trade Richards? Could that get into a fuzzy area, too?

Richards is a free agent, though a grievance may come

Obviously, the 30-year-old forward is likely to file a grievance through the NHLPA, though McKenzie rightly notes that it would be tough to get a resolution before free agency kicks off on Wednesday:

Richards can sign a free agent deal elsewhere, yet this situation is far from over. It might not go well for him in the long run, though.


There have been some interesting questions surfacing regarding how this situation may set a precedent or two – maybe an ugly one, too – for future buyout and cap situations.


Time will tell on a number of these issues, whether we find out the particulars of the contract breach or not. Regardless, hockey fans might have their eyes on the screen if Richards plays against the Kings in 2015-16.

Bypassing a buyout? Kings terminate Richards’ contract for ‘material breach’


Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi isn’t shy about making some big gambles, but the franchise still raised some eyebrows regarding Mike Richards’ contract.

Instead of announcing a buyout as expected, the team terminated his contract, as this statement reveals:

“The Los Angeles Kings today have exercised the team’s right to terminate the contract of Mike Richards for a material breach of the requirements of his Standard Player’s Contract. We are not prepared to provide any more detail or to discuss the underlying grounds for the contract termination at this time.”

Obviously, they’re not sharing any additional information, yet it implies that they’re attempting to circumvent the hefty buyout fee involved with getting rid of Richards.

We’ll see if additional details emerge, yet it’s especially interesting considering the loyalty-leaning comments from Lombardi regarding why he kept Richards in the first place.

And here we were, thinking that the most interesting part of this situation would involve Richards as a free agent …

For more on the fallout and salary cap implications, click here.

Buyouts loom as Richards, Parenteau and Fistric clear unconditional waivers


Significant buyouts appear to be mere formalities after Mike Richards (Los Angeles Kings), P.A. Parenteau (Montreal Canadiens) and Mark Fistric (Anaheim Ducks) cleared unconditional waivers on Monday. That word comes from a variety of sources, including TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Using CapFriendly’s buyout calculator, here’s how each buyout is expected to impact their respective teams:

Richards for the Kings: $1.22 million cap hit for each season through 2024-25; his two-thirds buyout will total $14.667 million.

Parenteau for the Canadiens: The total buyout cost is $2.667 million, with a cap hit of $1.33 million for 2015-16 and 2016-17.

The Canadiens already made the Parenteau buyout official. Here is GM Marc Bergevin’s statement:

“I would like to thank Pierre-Alexandre for his time as a Montreal Canadien and wish him the best with his career,” Bergevin said. “It was a difficult decision to make, but we feel it gives us more flexibility as we continue to improve our club and provide our young prospects with an opportunity to earn a spot on our roster.”

Here is Parenteau’s statement:

Fistric for the Ducks: Total buyout cost: $1.8 million; cap hit of $516K for 2015-16, $217K for 2016-17, 450K for 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Note: cap hits are rounded up when appropriate.


Once we digest what this means for the three teams, the obvious follow-up question is quite enticing: what kind of interest will Richards, Parenteau and Fistric drum up on the free agent market?