It's been a busy week for the Los Angeles Kings. The 2014 Stanley Cup Champions lost stars Justin Williams, Martin Jones and Andrej Sekera, but gained goalie Jhonas Enroth and rugged forward Milan Lucic in a trade with the Boston Bruins.
Williams signed a two-year deal with the Washington Capitals, Sekera a six-year deal with the Edmonton Oilers and Jones was packaged with draft picks to the Bruins for Lucic, but perhaps the biggest surprise of all was when the Kings terminated the contract of forward Mike Richards.
Earlier this week, the Kings were supposedly in talks to either trade Richards or buy him out of his contract when the bombshell fell. The Kings found a clause in Richards' contract that allowed them to terminate his contract for a "material breach of the requirements of his Standard Player's Contract."
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Days later, experts tried to speculate as to what the mysterious "material breach" was until news from Canada came out that Richards was under investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for illegal possession of OxyContin pills while trying to cross the U.S.-to-Canada border on June 17th.
The Kings forward was immediately detained by Canadian police and questioned at the border crossing which was located between North Dakota, Minnesota and Manitoba. Richards has not been officially charged with a crime yet, but the Kings believed it was enough for them to terminate Richard's contract.
Richards was supposed to make roughly $5.75 million this season and over the next five seasons under his current contract. Richards is expected to fight the contract termination with the help of the NHL Player's Union, but the Kings are staying steadfast in their decision.
"We are not prepared to provide any more detail or to discuss the underlying grounds for the contract termination," the team said in a statement.