LA Kings settlement figures with former player Mike Richards revealed (updated)

UPDATE: A Kings spokesman on Friday confirmed the numbers are accurate.

The Kings will be paying Mike Richards for a very long time after agreeing to settle on his grievance case against the team earlier this month. Richards will be paid through 2031-32, according to figures released via Twitter on Thursday by the website Had the Kings simply bought out Richards of the remainder of his contract, they would have paid him only through 2024-25.

The Kings terminated his contract in June, citing a “material breach” in the wake of his arrest on the 17th of that month at a Canadian border crossing. He was charged by Canadian authorities in August with possession of a controlled substance, reportedly the prescription drug Oxycodone. The players union filed a grievance shortly thereafter and a settlement was announced last Friday.

According to the website, the Kings will face settlement and salary-cap recapture fees of $3.120 million this season and $1.570 million for the next four seasons. The figures dip to $700,000 for 2020-21, but never drop below the $400,000 payout in the final season of the settlement, in 2031-32.

Buying out Richards would have cost the Kings a salary-cap hit that would have been as high as $4.216,666 for 2018-19 and 2019-20. It would have been $1,216,666 for this season, the lowest figure for the term of the 10-year buyout.

LA Kings, Mike Richards reach agreement on his contract termination

The Kings reached a settlement agreement with former player Mike Richards on Friday on his grievance against the team in the wake of the club’s termination of his contract during the off-season. “The terms are agreeable to all parties,” the Kings said in a statement without releasing any details.

The NHL Players Association sent out a similar email to reporters.

The Kings severed ties with Richards in June, after he was arrested at a Canadian border crossing with a controlled substance, reportedly Oxycontin. The move enabled the Kings to cut an unproductive player who had five years and $22 million remaining on his contract. The NHLPA filed on a grievance on behalf of Richards, and a hearing was scheduled for this month.

Richards was a member of the Kings’ Stanley Cup teams in 2012 and ’14. He is currently a man without a team, an unsigned free agent. The Kings were expected to buy out Richards after he scored only five goals and 16 points in 53 games last season, both career lows. He also played 16 games in the minors, the first of his career for the 30-year-old former first-round draft pick.