NHL forward Mike Richards had his contract terminated by the Los Angeles Kings earlier this week, and all signs point to the 30-year-old veteran having been involved in an incident at the U.S.-Canada border. The issue may have been drug-related.
According to a report from the Winnipeg Sun, Richards was taken into custody at the Emerson, Man., border on June 17 for allegedly trying to bring OxyContin pills into the United States. He was reportedly held for four hours and an investigation is ongoing, though no charges have been filed.
“We have not charged Mike Richards with anything,” a Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesperson told the Sun on Tuesday. “In terms of an ongoing investigation, we cannot discuss who or who may not be investigated.”
Attempting to cross the border with prescription medication without proper documentation could result in illegal possession and/or smuggling charges.
The Sun adds that the Kings received word of the incident during the first round of the NHL draft on Friday and placed Richards on waivers two days later. Many feel that the team was being opportunistic, as they were likely looking to trade Richards or dump his contract.
Richards was traded from the Philadelphia Flyers to the Kings back in 2011 (he was unhappy with how he found out), and a report at the time indicated that the Flyers had grown tired of his love for partying.
If Richards is able to prove that he had a prescription for the OxyContin and is not charged, he could appeal the Kings’ decision to terminate his contract.