Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Friedman: Kings learned of reason why Mike Richards’ contract was terminated last Friday

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reports that whatever happened that spurred the Los Angeles Kings to terminate Mike Richards' contract happened last Saturday:

Dean Lombardi showed up for Round 1 of the NHL Draft in a good mood. Los Angeles was the proud, new employer of Milan Lucic, with the GM excitedly discussing the various ways his lineup could utilize the power forward.

But something happened later that lacked complete context until the Kings terminated Mike Richards’ contract on Monday afternoon.

Midway through the opening round, the emotion changed at the team’s table. According to several sources, that was the moment the organization found out about something that occurred on or around June 17, further muddling Richards’ situation.

Lombardi was discussing possible trade scenarios with Calgary and Edmonton, so he got up to personally notify GMs Brad Treliving and Peter Chiarelli. From what I understand, no transaction was close, but this ended any chance of a move.

In their release, the Kings announced they “exercised the team’s right to terminate the contract of Mike Richards for a material breach of the requirements of his Standard Player’s Contract” and would not have any further comment.

In a brief filed to the NHL and the NHLPA, the team referenced Section 2(e) of the SPC, which states a player agrees “to conduct himself on and off the rink according to the highest standards of honesty, morality, fair play and sportsmanship, and to refrain from conduct detrimental to the best interest of the Club, the League or professional hockey generally.”

Friedman continues, discussing the means by which Richards can grieve the termination and the Kings' cap benefit...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dean+lombardi, los+angeles+kings, mike+richards

Comments

Chet's avatar

so…what the hell happened?

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 06/29/15 at 11:45 PM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

God, I hope he f*cked Lombardi’s wife.

Especially a team that still employs Voynov and Stoll… I really can’t wait to hear what Richards did.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 06/30/15 at 12:52 AM ET

Paul's avatar

The headline has been corrected, changed Saturday to Friday.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 06/30/15 at 06:51 AM ET

duhduhduh's avatar

Especially a team that still employs Voynov and Stoll… I really can’t wait to hear what Richards did.


I figured this nuclear option on Richards was done so they could utilize their buy out on Voynov.  Or is Voynov’s contract not eligible?

Posted by duhduhduh on 06/30/15 at 07:43 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I’m excited to see the fine the league gives the Kings for attempting whatever this is. 

Have we EVER seen a team site this contract section for means of termination?

Posted by TreKronor on 06/30/15 at 07:54 AM ET

phillyd's avatar

I believe the NHL suspended Voynov and you can’t buyout/release/put through waivers a suspended player. Stoll is a FA so they just won’t renew his contract.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 06/30/15 at 08:01 AM ET

nEgativezEro's avatar

I don’t think Voynov is a breach of contract until he’s officially found guilty. The charges are still just “alleged” until proven true. Stoll’s contract was up anyway, so there was nothing to buy out, though they could have potentially done so given the charges.

It’s hard to figure out why without the actual reasons, but I’m guessing the Kings had an out on Richards and decided to use it, without an actual buyout.

Posted by nEgativezEro on 06/30/15 at 08:31 AM ET

shazam88's avatar

I’m excited to see the fine the league gives the Kings for attempting whatever this is.

Have we EVER seen a team site this contract section for means of termination?

Posted by TreKronor on 06/30/15 at 08:54 AM ET

It’d presumably be harder for the “league” to fine the Kings than it would for the Kings to terminate Richards, not that the latter is likely to be easy. For one thing, by all accounts, the Kings ran this by the NHL before taking action, so while that doesn’t mean they were given a “100% all clear, go for it” notification, it shows that the process was open and methodical. The NHLPA and Richards can and will, fight this on various levels, but that’s another matter. Nobody can fine a team for acting in good faith (e.g. DL immediately canceled trade talks with Edm and Cal when he found out) and with full disclosure.

Obviously this is going to be a complicated matter and it will come down to the facts, plain and simple. And they’ll need to be pretty darn strong facts to hold up to a material breach.

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 06/30/15 at 09:04 AM ET

Avatar

Have we EVER seen a team site this contract section for means of termination?

No, but since it exists as an option, it’s hard to imagine that they didn’t look into it before making the decision, don’t you think?

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 06/30/15 at 10:04 AM ET

Yeah, I don’t think a fine will be the conclusion of this.  If Richards is able to appeal and wins then I would assume the Kings would have to keep him on the roster, pay him fully and keep his cap hit on the books.

Posted by Garth on 06/30/15 at 09:14 AM ET

Avatar

What I find most curious is that, if the “emotion” changed on Friday, does that mean they weren’t planning on buying him out before that?  Obviously, if they were discussing possible trades they would have had until today at noon to decide to buy him out, but I wonder if it would have happened.

Also, if the “something that occured” was enough to put the kibosh on any trade talks is must be serious.

Posted by Garth on 06/30/15 at 09:33 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I’m recalling the Slava-shows-up-for-practice situation.  I just don’t see this going away quietly or easily, unless it is TRULY something horrible.  The union will likely back their guy pretty much no matter what.

Posted by TreKronor on 06/30/15 at 10:12 AM ET

shazam88's avatar

Story seems to be on the verge of breaking. RCMP investigation, per Strang.

http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nhl/story/_/id/13173411/canadian-mounted-police-investigation-involves-mike-richards-source

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 06/30/15 at 10:20 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Story seems to be on the verge of breaking. RCMP investigation, per Strang.

Very nice.

Posted by TreKronor on 06/30/15 at 10:23 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Thanks shaz, put up a new post.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 06/30/15 at 10:24 AM ET

phillyd's avatar

That article also mentions Border Services as well.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 06/30/15 at 10:25 AM ET

Avatar

I think it’s possible that the “material breach” has much less to do with the nature of the border incident than the fact that Richards didn’t report the incident to the team. If LA knows nothing about the incident and goes about their business attempting to deal MR, when the news finally surfaces it’s big trouble all around. MR’s withholding of this info seriously undermines his team’s ability to conduct their business in good faith with other teams. Legally, this is a major faux pas, and after all the disappoint he’s caused the team it’s no wonder that DL would throw the book at him. Also, if this is in fact what the breach is about, then the NHLPA will be very hard pressed to defend MR.

Posted by JPKelly on 07/01/15 at 09:16 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com