Former Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards has been charged with possession of a controlled substance by the RCMP.
According to a release from Manitoba RCMP, Richards was stopped at the border June 17 while crossing back into Canada and was formally charged with possession of a controlled substance Tuesday. Richards, 30, is scheduled to appear in court in Emerson, Man., on Sept. 10.
According to TSN's Rick Westhead, "if prosecutors proceed summarily, Richards faces a maximum $1,000 fine or up to six months in prison. If prosecutors proceed by indictment, he faces up to seven years in prison."
The alleged incident at the border led to the termination of Richards’ contract by the Los Angeles Kings. At the time of termination, Richards had five years remaining on a 12-year, $69 million contract he had signed with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2007. The termination came one day after Richards had been placed on waivers for what appeared to be buyout purposes.
When terminating Richards’ contract, the Kings cited a “material breach” by Richards. The NHLPA, through spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon, said they were, “in the process of reviewing the facts and circumstances of (the) matter,” and would determine what steps to take after gathering information. The NHLPA filed a grievance on Richards’ behalf on Aug. 10.
When Richards will have his hearing regarding the contract termination is yet to be determined, but it was reported by Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston that the NHLPA has asked for the hearing to be expedited.
Richards is currently an unrestricted free agent.
In 710 career games, Richards has scored 179 goals and 482 points. He’s a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings. Richards’ contract termination came after one of the worst seasons of Richards’ career, as he managed five goals and 16 points in 53 contests in 2014-15. In January, Richards was demoted to the AHL and played 16 games for the Manchester Monarchs.