NHL RUMORS: Mike Richards Terminated By LA Kings Due To Off-The-Ice Incident At Border Crossing?
By Cal Setar firstname.lastname@example.org | Jun 30, 2015 10:26 AM EDT
More details have potentially emerged regarding the purported incident which got Mike Richards’ contract with the Los Angeles Kings terminated.
First, ESPN reported on Monday that Richards’ contract was torn up by the Kings – who cited a “material breach” of the conduct language in his deal – due to an off-the-ice incident. An off-the-ice incident which, interestingly, the team reportedly learned of while in the process of attempting to trade the former first-round pick during the 2015 NHL Draft.
“Several sources told ESPN.com the Kings were made aware of the situation Friday, approximately an hour after the first round of the 2015 NHL draft had begun,” reads ESPN’s report.
“The team was already in the process of trying to trade him — discussions were in place with both the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames — but Kings general manager Dean Lombardi immediately informed both teams upon learning about the situation that he had no prior knowledge of the incident and halted those talks, according to a source.”
Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli confirmed that Lombardi made a beeline for the Edmonton draft table after learning of the Richards news.
“He came right over to me,” Chiarelli said, per 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.'”
Now, another report has emerged which may add a little clarity to just why Richards, already expected to be bought out by LA after Lombardi placed him on unconditional waivers, was instead unceremoniously jettisoned.
TSN and NHL Insider Pierre LeBrun appeared on an episode of TSN 690’s Melnick in the Afternoon show in Montreal and discussed the Richards snafu. The following exchange, transcribed by Yahoo Sports, highlights the Richards situation and adds another potential detail to the story.
Melnick: “Somebody in the know is telling me something happened with Mike Richards at a border crossing.”
Pierre: “Correct … I’m not going to talk about it until it’s made public. I have a pretty good idea of what’s happened.”
Melnick: “So the information I have, you can confirm that?”
Pierre: “Your information is probably pretty accurate.”
At this point, nothing has been confirmed so this is still just hearsay.
The Kings statement announcing Richards’ termination was concise, making clear only that a “material breach of the requirements of his Standard Player’s Contract” had led to Richards’ dismissal and that the organization was “not prepared to provide any more detail or to discuss the underlying grounds for the contract termination at this time.”
The NHLPA has also issued a statement indicating that they’ll consult with Richards, who had five years remaining on his 12-year, $69 million deal, before pursuing any particular recourse.