Kukla's Korner

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On The Mike Richards Terminated Contract

from Eric Macramalla at Forbes,

... However, let’s assume the Kings terminated the Richards contract after learning he was arrested in connection with the unlawful possession of OxyContin.

If that’s the case, expect the Kings to have a tough time upholding the termination of the Richards contract in the event the NHLPA files a grievance....

Why the uphill battle for the Kings? The reason is the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse And Behavioral Health Program Policy.

This Drug Policy sets out specific drug treatment protocols that must be followed in the case of an arrest or conviction related to drugs. Since it was collectively bargained between the Union and the NHL, adhering to the Drug Policy is not optional for teams; it’s mandatory. For example, a team cannot simply elect to ignore the collectively bargained terms for the sake of convenience. The whole idea behind the Drug Policy is to get players the help they need. The focus of the Drug Policy is ultimately rehabilitative and not punitive.

Any departure from collectively bargained terms may be met with a grievance.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+richards



Getting popped by the local LEO’s with a spliff and a couple of rails, while leaving Clubland with your posse on a Saturday night, warrants enrollment in a substance abuse program.

Getting detained at an international border-crossing by a federal agency for the illegal possession and importation of a narcotic will get your work visa revoked.

The Canadian authorities may choose to dismiss charges, but the US border service may refuse him re-entry - He may never (as a Canadian citizen) be allowed back in United States. That’s just how it goes once you’re in the system and flagged as a no-go.

“A controlled substance violation causes the alien to be inadmissible to the United States under section 212(a)(2)(i)(II) of the INA.”

...Buh-bye NHL career.

Posted by icehound on 07/02/15 at 08:59 PM ET

pautna's avatar

I’m taking Macramalla’s perspective with a grain a salt. It lacks a certain credibility in that he comes to any “conclusion” without knowing all of the facts. His assumptions of what could happen based on incomplete information are by the laws of nature limited and inconclusive.

To icehound’s point, this potentially goes beyond simple possession and could also be an international trafficking issue, which could bolster a case for termination. From a non-emotional or strictly legal/contractual point of view and given all the circumstances involved, including his stature with the club and timing, e.g. the buyout window closing, why the hell would you buyout a player under federal investigation for potentially breaking international laws until the outcome is revealed?

In my opinion, the team of lawyers who work for the LA Kings and AEG determined it was worth potentially asking for forgiveness and settling later instead of permission to terminate after buying him out, which would have been next to impossible to obtain. As shrewd, or harsh or cold as that may be perceived, A LOT led up to this point and Mike Richards unfortunately has had a say in how he ended up in this position.

Personally, I’m still pulling for Mikey and hope he gets to play in the NHL again if that’s what he wants to do.

Posted by pautna on 07/03/15 at 12:56 AM ET

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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.

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