Former Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards has formally been charged with possession of a controlled substance while entering Canada, the Manitoba RCMP announced on Thursday.
The charges arise from a June 17 incident during which Canada Border Services Agency officers at Emerson, Manitoba, intercepted drugs at the U.S. border. Richards was arrested and later released. The RCMP did not identify the type of drugs that led to the arrest, but uncovered documents revealed it to be Oxycodone..
Richards is scheduled to appear in court to answer to the charges on Sept. 10.
The Kings terminated Richards’ 12-year, $69-million contract on June 29 as a result of the alleged incident, making the 30-year-old an unrestricted free agent. That decision is in the process of being grieved by the NHLPA, but his future in the league is up in the air.
"We are aware of the legal situation relating to Mike Richards," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. "We will have no comment on the matter unless or until the situation warrants."
TSN legal analyst Eric Macramella said on Thursday that the arrest derailed a potential trade that would have sent the 30-year-old veteran to the Boston Bruins ahead of the NHL draft.
Richards is the second King to face drug charges during this off-season. Jarret Stoll pleaded guilty in June to two misdemeanors in order to resolve charges stemming from an April arrest at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. He initially had been charged with one felony count of possession of cocaine after admitting to a police officer that he had drugs in his possession.
Stoll, who became a free agent on July 1, signed a one-year deal with the New York Rangers on Aug. 10.
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