• Charges Announced For Ex-King Richards

    News: Mike Richards was formally charged with possession of a controlled substance while entering Canada stemming from a June 17 border stop by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Manitoba, Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports reports.
    Analysis: The Kings determined the incident gave them just cause to release Mike Richards for a "material breach" of his 12-year contract, a decision that prompted the NHL Players Association to file a grievance. The nature of the border stop likely won't affect the outcome of that legal battle, as both the NHLPA and the Kings were aware of the circumstances surrounding the incident. Currently a free agent, Richards is able to sign with any team while the grievance remains underway, but his steep decline in performance over the last few seasons coupled with this ongoing dispute probably has few organizations interested in his services.
  • Report: Border Stop Why Kings Terminated Richards

    News: Mike Richards had his contract terminated by the Kings on Monday after he was allegedly stopped by police June 17 and questioned about illegal presciption drugs near a Canadian border crossing, according to a report from TMZ Sports.
    Analysis: Mike Richards reportedly wasn't charged with a crime during the police stop, but was asked about the prescription painkiller Oxycodone. It's not clear from the report if Richards was even carrying the drug in question at the time, though the Kings evidently determined from the evidence that the incident represented a "material breach" of the forward's contract with the team. The Kings were thought to be pursuing a buyout of the remainder of Richards' 12-year, $69 million contract, so the timing of the report will likely lead the NHLPA to investigate the situation closely. Regardless of the outcome, Richards is officially an unrestricted free agent and will be free to sign with any team.
  • Kings Release Richards On Breach Of Contract

    News: The Kings have terminated Mike Richards' deal for a "material breach of the requirements of his Standard Player's Contract."
    Analysis: The Kings' statement on the Mike Richards situation read as follows: "We are not prepared to provide any more detail or to discuss the underlying grounds for the contract termination at this time." Richards -- who cleared waivers Monday morning -- was believed to be a buy out candidate by the Kings, but if it's determined that the forward did indeed breach his contract, the team would be in line to gain substantial financial relief. In any case, Richards is now on track to become an unrestricted free agent, and will be free to shop his services elsewhere.
  • Kings' Richards Placed On Waivers

    News: Mike Richards was placed on unconditional waivers by the Kings on Sunday, James Mirtle of The Globe and Mail reports.
    Analysis: It is assumed that once Mike Richards clears waivers, he will be bought out by the Kings. The move will result in a big hit to the Kings' salary cap, Richards' deal lasted though the 2021-22 season and is expected to cost the team $14.67 million over the next 10 years. Though no organization is likely to put in a claim on Richards at his current cap hit, he should still generate some interest around the league once he clears waivers. Richards provided just five goals and 11 assists in 53 games with Los Angeles in 2014-15, but he's only 30 and is a few years removed from a 60-point campaign.
  • Richards Returns In Kings Win

    News: Mike Richards logged 11:41 of ice time Monday in his first game since being recalled from the AHL.
    Analysis: Mike Richards figures to slot into a checking role with the Kings when he's in the lineup and doesn't figure to make much of an impact as a result.
  • Kings Recall Richards

    News: Mike Richards was recalled from AHL Manchester on Sunday, Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times reports.
    Analysis: Mike Richards accumulated 14 points in 16 games with AHL Manchester, earning a recall with the Kings. He will provide depth among the forward ranks while Jarret Stoll sits with a suspected concussion. It's unclear how long his run with the team will last, but a strong performance could make the decision tougher.
  • Kings' Richards Clears Waivers

    News: Mike Richards cleared waivers on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reports.
    Analysis: In the absence of a trade, Mike Richards -- who carries a salary cap hit of $5.75 million for the next five seasons -- will report to AHL Manchester on Wednesday to work on his game.
  • Kings Waive Richards

    News: The Kings have placed Mike Richards on waivers, TSN.ca reports.
    Analysis: Other NHL teams have 24 hours in which to place a claim on Mike Richards, who carries a salary cap hit of $5.75 million for the next five seasons. Per the report, if Richards -- who has recorded 15 points in 47 games for the Kings to date -- goes unclaimed, he would then be assigned to AHL Manchester.
  • Richards Struggling For Kings

    News: Mike Richards has just four assists and no goals in his last 17 games.
    Analysis: Mike Richards had a modest four goals in the first 23 games this season but has seen his production dry up as his shooting percentage has normalized and his ice time has dropped.
  • Kings' Richards Bags Fourth Goal

    News: Mike Richards tallied his first game-winning goal of the season in Wednesday's victory over the Wild.
    Analysis: Mike Richards only has a modest four goals in 23 games on the season, but even that level of production might be a little unsustainable. He's currently sitting on a 15.4 shooting percentage for the season, over four points above his career mark. The former 80-point scorer has seen his production essentially get cut in half since joining Los Angeles three seasons ago, and his point totals may only dip further in 2014-15.