Did Pierre McGuire out the reason why the Kings terminated the contract of Mike Richards for a “material breach” of his deal?
While the NHL on NBC Sports analyst didn’t get into the hard details on TSN 690’s Melnick in the Afternoon show in Montreal, McGuire indicated the incident that led to the Kingss decision happened at a border crossing. Here is the link and we’ve displayed the transcript below. The segment starts at around the 9:17 mark.
Melnick: “Somebody in the know is telling me something happened with Mike Richards at a border crossing.”
Pierre: “Correct … I’m not going to talk about it until it’s made public. I have a pretty good idea of what’s happened.”
Melnick: “So the information I have, you can confirm that?”
Pierre: “Your information is probably pretty accurate.”
Earlier, ESPN.com said it was because of an ‘off-the-ice incident’ the team was made aware of Friday.
Several sources told ESPN.com the Kings were made aware of the situation Friday, approximately an hour after the first round of the 2015 NHL draft had begun.
The Kings announced they put Richards on unconditional waivers Sunday. He cleared, and a regular buyout was expected. At the time it seemed like LA was acknowledging a mistake from the prior summer by not using a compliance buyout on Richards, who hadn’t notched more than 44 points in a season with the Kings since his trade to LA in 2011.
Then the team announced the termination of the deal.
According to ESPN, the Kings had to pull the plug on any potential trades with Edmonton or Calgary at the draft Friday night. Both teams were reportedly vying for Richards’ services.
“He came right over to me,” Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed to ESPN.com. “He pulled me aside and said, ‘Hey, Pete, this is going to come out. I had no idea. This is important you know so that talks [don’t go any] further.'”
It’s still unclear how Richards will proceed moving forward. We still don’t have all the specifics on why the Kings made this decision, which actually saves them a large portion of Richards’ salary cap hit for the remainder of his deal – though there will be a cap recapture penalty.
The NHLPA released a statement saying it will consult with Richards, who probably was not a fan of seeing his 12-year $69 million contract ended with five years remaining.
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