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Friday, July 19, 2019

Hockey

Mike Richards reportedly tried to bring OxyContin over border

Mike Richards

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.

Report: Mike Richards’ contract terminated over border incident

Mike Richards

The Los Angeles Kings on Monday terminated Mike Richards’ contract, a day after they placed him on waivers. The team was expected to buy him out of his 12-year deal, so this was an unexpected move. However, the move might not stand up if challenged by the NHLPA.

Though there are few details about what happened that led to the termination, there is some information. ESPN’s Katie Strang says an “off-the-ice incident” spurred the move. She also reports that the Kings were engaged in trade talks to deal Richards Friday before finding out about the incident, which scuttled their plans.

TSN legal analyst Eric Macramalla shed some light on the matter and said on TSN 1200’s “The Drive” in Ottawa that Richards was involved in an issue at the border.

NBC’s Pierre McGuire also confirmed something happened at a border crossing.

On TSN 690 in Montreal, McGuirre said he had a “broken heart” over what happened. When host Mitch Melnick said he heard it was something that happened at a border crossing, McGuire agreed and said that was “correct.”

“I’m not going to talk about it until it’s made public. I have a pretty good idea of what is happening,” McGuire said.

Richards, 30, was a two-time All-Star during his six seasons in Philly. He was traded to the Kings in 2011 and has failed to come close to matching his production with the Flyers. The Philly Daily News’ Dan Gross reported in 2011 that the Flyers were disappointed with Richards’ partying ways. Richards learned about the trade at the time by reading about it online.

Many believe the Kings would have a hard time winning an appeal if the termination decision were contested by Richards’ team.

Report: Dougie Hamilton is an ‘uppity kid,’ teammates don’t like him

Dougie-Hamilton

The Boston Bruins made a couple of surprising moves last week when they traded away fan favorite Milan Lucic and 22-year-old defenseman Dougie Hamilton. The latter was coming off an impressive season in which he showed an ability to move the puck and was effective on both ends of the ice.

So what gives?

The Bruins, who were not in good shape with the salary cap, didn’t want to pay Hamilton what he was worth. The team initially said it would match any offer for the restricted free agent, but that plan went out the window.

“We didn’t want to lose him,” a Bruins front office source reportedly told Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald. “We tried everything we could think of.”

However, an anonymous NHL assistant general manager told Harris that Hamilton had some character issues.

“It was surprising,” the front office executive said. “It’s obvious there’s something going on that we don’t know about. From what I’ve heard behind the scenes, his teammates don’t like him. I heard he’s a loner and sort of an uppity kid, and that his teammates don’t like him and it was unanimous.”

Ah, there it is. Bruins fans watch their team trade a player who is supposed to be the next big thing and receive relatively little in return, only to later hear that said player was becoming a problem off the ice. Where have we heard that before? Just ask this guy.

If the Bruins thought highly of Hamilton as a player, they would have found a way to keep him. Instead, they obviously felt he wasn’t a player they could build around. That’s fine, but there’s no need for smearing.

H/T Puck Daddy

Boston Bruins enter rebuilding mode, stockpile draft picks

The Boston Bruins on Friday traded away two of their top players and made it clear to the fans that there are big changes coming to the franchise.

Coming off a 96-point season that saw them miss the playoffs for the first time since 2007, the Bruins decided it was time to make some changes. They dealt defenseman Dougie Hamilton to the Flames for three draft picks, including the Nos. 15, 45 and 52 in the 2015 draft. Hamilton, who was the No. 9 overall pick in the 2011 draft, had 42 points for the Bruins last season, but he is set for a hefty pay increase.

Milan LucicAfter dealing Hamilton, the Bruins then traded fan favorite Milan Lucic to the Kings for No. 13 pick, as well as goalie Martin Jones and prospect Colin Miller. Lucic, a homegrown product who joined the Bruins in the 2007-08 season at 19 years old, was one of the top scorers for Boston the past eight seasons. He helped the B’s reach the Cup Finals twice, producing one win. He scored 12 goals during the Bruins’ two playoff runs that saw them reach the Stanley Cup Finals. The three-time All-Star only produced 44 points in 81 games last season, which probably left the Bruins feeling he was somewhat expendable.

As many of you know, Del and I are both Bruins fans and will really miss Lucic. He was a great player for the franchise.

The Bruins went from not having any first-round draft picks to having three consecutive ones. If you’re going to rebuild, that’s the way to do it.

Teuvo Teravainen: Female Blackhawks fans are ‘quite horny’

Teuvo-Teravainen

Teuvo Teravainen has learned a lot about Chicago Blackhawks fans since the team won the Stanley Cup earlier this month. Most notably, he has gotten very familiar with Chicago’s female fan population.

On Wednesday, the 20-year-old told reporters in his home country of Finland that female Blackhawks fans are a bit intrusive. Only, Teravainen phrased it more eloquently.

Teravainen scored two goals in the Stanley Cup Final, including the game-winner in Game 1. You can understand why the ladies might want to get up close and personal with him, but — as our boy Big Cat from Barstool Sports mentioned — it seems like something may have been lost in translation there.

Blackhawks fans have done some pretty ruthless things (here’s one of them), but this is the first we’ve heard from a player about overly-horny female fans.

Corey Crawford curses at Blackhawks parade (Video)

Corey Crawford Blackhawks

Corey Crawford did it again.

Just like the last time the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, Chicago’s goalie cursed at the team’s victory parade. Here he is dropping an F-bomb:

Looks like Crawford couldn’t help himself and went against what he said he was going to do.

“I’m going to try to be a little more professional,” Crawford said Wednesday of how he would conduct himself at the parade. “I owe it to all the mothers in the crowd.”

Yep, so much for that.

Crawford also cursed on live TV after winning the Stanley Cup against the Lightning.

Ben Bishop played through torn groin suffered in Game 2

Ben Bishop

Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals was a mess for the Tampa Bay Lightning goalies, and now we know why.

Ben Bishop revealed after his team lost to the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 in the series-ending Game 6 that he suffered a torn groin while trying to stop a Brad Richards shot in Game 2.

Backup goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy shuttled in for Bishop during the 4-3 Game 2 win, indicating something was wrong with the Lightning netminder. Despite the injury, Bishop stopped 38 of 40 shots in a 3-2 win in Game 3. But he was really feeling the injury afterwards.

Vasilevskiy started in goal for Game 4 and allowed two goals on 21 shots in the 2-1 loss. Bishop was back in net for Games 5 and 6 and allowed two goals in each game as the team dropped both contests to lose the series. Really, his biggest blunder of the series didn’t seem to have to do with injury.

Still, we give him a lot of credit for playing through a serious injury.

Bishop says that he won’t need surgery but just rest to heal. Good thing he has the entire offseason coming up.

Photo Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports