WINNIPEG – Mike Richards, the Stanley Cup-winning centre who was fired by the Los Angeles Kings in June, has been charged with possession of a controlled substance.
Richards, 30, was arrested June 17 after Canada Border Services Agency officers at Emerson, Man., intercepted drugs at the U.S. border at about 2 p.m., a news release from the RCMP says. Emerson is about 100 kilometres south of Winnipeg, on the North Dakota border.
Richards, who is from Kenora, Ont., was charged Tuesday with possession of a controlled substance. He is due to appear in Emerson provincial court on Sept. 10.
Richards was found in possession of Oxycodone, a prescription pain killer, according to court documents. RCMP wouldn’t say how border guards allegedly discovered the drugs, saying the information will come out in court.
The Kings terminated Richards on June 29, saying he was in violation of his $69-million, 12-year contract.
While Richards was with the Kings for their Stanley Cup wins in 2012 and 2014, last season he was sent down to the minors and the Kings had shown interest in getting out of the lengthy contract.
Richards started his NHL career with the Philadelphia Flyers, where he had 34 points in his rookie year in 2005-06 and was named captain before the 2008-08 season. He was traded to the Kings in June 2011. He was part of Canada’s gold-medal-winning team at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and had two World Junior Hockey Championship gold medals.
Richards had five years and US$22 million left on his 12-year contract before the Kings terminated it after speculation that they would buy it out.
The NHL Players’ Association has filed a grievance on behalf of Richards against the Kings, contesting his termination. A date to hear the grievance has not been set, the NHLPA said.
— With files from The Canadian Press