A child born this afternoon will be 16 years old when Mike Richards' contract comes off the Los Angeles Kings salary cap, the team announced today. OK, so they didn't exactly do it in those same words, but that's the effect of the settlement reached between the Kings, the NHL and the NHL Players' Association on Friday.
Terms of the settlement aren't public, but Sportsnet reports that the Kings' salary cap will be impacted until 2031. Presumably this will work sort of like a buyout, although we don't know the exact impact the Kings' cap will see.
Richards, who of course is former captain of the Philadelphia Flyers, is now an unrestricted free agent. In fact, the contract that's been voided by all of this is the big 12-year deal handed to him in 2007 by former Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. Ahh, legacies.
Here's what the Kings said in a statement:
The Los Angeles Kings have reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties. We will not be commenting further on the terms.
And here's what the NHLPA said:
The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) have reached a settlement agreement regarding Mike Richards’ standard player contract. The settlement amicably resolves the grievance filed by the NHLPA on August 10, 2015 in response to the Los Angeles Kings’ termination of Richards’ contract. Richards is an Unrestricted Free Agent.
Richards' contract was terminated by the Kings during the offseason after he was arrested for possession of a controlled substance -- later, we found out it was Oxycontin -- at the Canadian border. I personally thought this was absolute garbage given that the Kings had failed to discipline defenseman Slava Voynov in the year prior after he assaulted his girlfriend. But nevertheless, Richards lost his contract over possession of some pills.
The NHLPA filed a grievance against the league after the termination of this contract, and this settlement is the resolution to that grievance.