(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHL)
According to multiple reports, former Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards is under investigation following an alleged incident at the Canada-U.S. border on June 17. Richards’ contract was terminated by the Kings Monday following what the club called a “material breach.”
According to a report, an alleged incident at the Canada-U.S. border has Mike Richards under investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
TMZ Sports reported late Tuesday evening that now-former Los Angeles Kings center Richards, whose contract was terminated by the Kings for a “material breach” on Monday, was allegedly held up when crossing the border from the United States into Canada on June 17.
Following the TMZ report, the Winnipeg Sun’s Paul Friesen cited a source that told him the RCMP are investigating, “after a man was held in custody at the Emerson, Man., border crossing for at least four hours after allegedly trying to import OxyContin pills on June 17.”
It’s important to note, however, that no charges have been laid against Richards.
“We have not charged Mike Richards with anything,” RCMP spokesperson Tara Seel told the Winnipeg Sun. “In terms of an ongoing investigation, we cannot discuss who or who may not be investigated.”
According to Friesen, Seel would not confirm that Richards was even held or questioned. No official statement has yet been made by the Canadian Border Services.
The termination of Richards’ contract came as a shock as many believed the Kings were set to buyout the deal once the veteran pivot had gone on unconditional waivers. It has since been reported by ESPN that, before terminating the contract, Los Angeles had been working on trading Richards to Edmonton or Calgary, but Kings GM Dean Lombardi called the trades off once the team learned about the alleged breach of contract.
According to ESPN, the NHLPA, on behalf of Richards, has the right to file a grievance over the contract termination, but it hasn’t yet been decided whether or not they will pursue that avenue.
"We are in the process of reviewing the facts and circumstances of this matter, and will discuss the situation with the player in order to determine the appropriate course of action," NHLPA spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon said in a statement Monday.