Washington Capitals forward Mike Richards will not be prosecuted on a charge of possession of a controlled substance in Manitoba.
According to court documents, prosecutors stayed the charge Wednesday morning. Attorney David Humphrey and agent Pat Morris said the prosecutors had investigated and decided to stay the charge that was the equivalent of a misdemeanor.
Richards was arrested June 17 at the Canadian border between North Dakota and Manitoba and was found to be in possession of a controlled substance. After the Los Angeles Kings terminated his contract last summer following the arrest, Richards resumed his playing career with the Capitals in January.
Humphrey and Morris said in a joint statement that Richards was ''gratified'' that prosecution was not warranted and that he ''is now entirely focused on his hockey career.''
Richards scored his first goal in his 15th game with the Capitals on Monday night, which turned out to be the winner against the Arizona Coyotes. The team has been pleased with the 31-year-old's contributions since signing him to a pro-rated $1 million, one-year deal.
Before his team's game Wednesday night against the Montreal Canadiens, coach Barry Trotz said he hopes the case against Richards being over helps his player on and off the ice.
''I think it's a big weight off his shoulders,'' Trotz said. ''I think it frees him mentally to concentrate on being the Mike Richards that we're starting to see on a regular basis here.''