Mike Richards charged with possession of a controlled substance

Jared Clinton
Mike Richards is headed to free agency after a buyout by the Los Angeles Kings. (Getty Images)

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. Read more

Kings improve defense by landing Christian Ehrhoff on one-year, $1.5 million deal

Jared Clinton
Christian Ehrhoff (Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Take one of the big names off the board, as the Los Angeles Kings have agreed to terms with defenseman Christian Ehrhoff.

The Orange County Register’s Rich Hammond reported Ehrhoff’s deal is a one-year pact worth $1.5 million, which leaves the Kings with nearly $5 million in cap space.

Ehrhoff is coming off of a three-goal, 14-point season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, though he missed more than 30 games due to concussion issues. While his health is a concern, Ehrhoff hadn’t missed much time in the past two seasons. Read more

Rumor Roundup: What’s the future for top free agents-to-be Stamkos and Kopitar?

Anze Kopitar

With less than a month remaining until NHL training camps open, Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos and Los Angeles Kings pivot Anze Kopitar remain unsigned. The duo are eligible for unrestricted free agency next July.

ESPN.com’s Craig Custance reports there’s been only preliminary talks between the Kings and Kopitar, while negotiations have yet to being between Stamkos and the Lightning. Custance notes both players are eligible for big raises, with Chicago Blackhawks forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane (eight-years, $84-million each) likely seen as comparables. He also points out both clubs must carefully consider the impact those new contracts will have upon their respective salary-cap payrolls.

The Tampa Tribune’s Martin Fennelly believes Lightning fans shouldn’t panic over Stamkos’ contract situaiton, but notes his status could become an unwelcome distraction for the club the longer their captain remains unsigned. The same can also be said of Kopitar and the Kings. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Voynov could be brought back by Kings

Slava Voynov (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The status of defenseman Slava Voynov remains an issue for the Los Angeles Kings in the coming season. The 25-year-old is currently serving a 90-day jail sentence on a misdemeanour domestic violence charge. NBC Sports’ Jason Brough reports there’s local media pressure upon the Kings to part ways with Voynov.

Assuming the Kings decide to sever ties with the Russian-born Voynov, and if he isn’t deported or suspended by the NHL, Brough suggests they could terminate the defenseman’s contract or try to trade him.

Brough considers a trade unlikely, noting the PR consequences for any team acquiring Voynov right now. As for a contract termination, the Kings went that route in June with center Mike Richards following an incident at the Canada-US border. However, Richards hasn’t been charged with anything and the NHLPA recently filed a grievance over his contract dissolution. There’s no word yet as to when that hearing will be held. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Big names set to hit open market next season

Steven Stamkos (Photo by David E. Klutho /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

This summer’s pool of unrestricted free agent talent was the shallowest in recent memory, but next summer’s crop promises to be considerably deeper. Here’s a look at several NHL stars who could be available by July 1, 2016.

Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning. It’s assumed the Lightning will re-sign Stamkos, but it’s been over a month since his agent, Don Meehan, told TSN talks had yet to commence. Re-signing Stamkos could cost the Bolts over $10-million annually on an eight-year deal. If they can’t or won’t pay top dollar, another club will gladly do so next summer.

Both sides give the appearance a deal can be reached. However, the longer the Lightning captain is unsigned, the more speculation will grow over his future in Tampa Bay. Read more

NHLPA strikes back for Mike Richards, files grievance contesting contract termination

Jared Clinton
Mike Richards (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)

The NHLPA and Mike Richards aren’t going to go quietly when it comes to the veteran center’s terminated contract.

The Players Association announced Monday that they have filed a grievance on behalf of Richards regarding his contract with the Los Angeles Kings, which was terminated June 29. The terminated deal was a 12-year, $69 million contract Richards had signed in December 2007 as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Entering the off-season, it was expected that Richards, 30, would receive a buyout on the remaining five years and $22 million he was owed by the Kings. However, the termination saw it possible for Los Angeles to get out from under the $5.75 million cap hit and be subject to only a $1.32 million recapture penalty for the next five seasons.

The shocking contract termination came as the result of an alleged incident at the U.S.-Canada border. At the time, the Kings cited the deal being terminated on the grounds of a “material breach” by Richards. Read more

Jarret Stoll signs one-year deal with New York Rangers

Jared Clinton
Jarret Stoll

Jarret Stoll’s time is done in the City of Angels, and the veteran center is heading to the Big Apple.

According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Stoll and the New York Rangers have come to terms on a one-year deal worth $800,000, which is a far cry from the three-year, $9.75 million contract Stoll is coming off of with the Los Angeles Kings.

The 33-year-old center is coming off of a difficult off-season in which he was arrested and charged for alleged drug possession. The charges were dismissed and Stoll instead pleaded guilty to two reduced misdemeanor charges in late June. Read more

Kings’ Dean Lombardi named GM of Team USA’s World Cup squad

Ryan Kennedy
Dean Lombardi (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

The World Cup of Hockey is still a year away, but Team USA now has its management in place. Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi will serve as GM of the squad, with Philadelphia Flyers president Paul Holmgren as assistant GM, Calgary Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke as senior advisor and USA Hockey assistant executive director Jim Johansson as director of hockey operations.

In Lombardi, the Americans have a proven winner.

Read more