The Washington Capitals have signed former Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards to a pro-rated one-year, $1-million contract that will cost $500,000 against the salary cap.
Richards, a two-time Stanley Cup winner with Los Angeles, reached a financial settlement with the club after his contract was terminated, and was charged with the possession of a controlled substance by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police following an investigation stemming from his detention at a U.S.-Canada border crossing in June.
Speaking with Mike Vogel of Caps Today, Washington General Manager Brian MacLellan said that the Capitals had targeted Richards towards the end of the summer and said, “We’re going to see where he’s at physically and mentally and try to incorporate him into our lineup where we see he fits. | CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO
Along with Marian Gaborik and Justin Williams, Mike Richards is a career 7-0 in Game 7s.
During his Wednesday conference call, Lombardi was asked about Richards reaching an agreement with Washington.
“I think now that everything is out in the open and the team can work with him without things being hidden, I think he’s got a great shot. There’s nothing being hidden anymore,” he said. “So now, you look at Washington, we all know that Justin Williams is a winner. Certainly when Michael first got here, I’ve always talked about that series in Vancouver, when we won our first Cup, how he set the tempo. I think, given the breadth of what I learned after, and what he was going through, like I’ve always said, the frustrating thing was you weren’t allowed to know, and I think that this is a great opportunity for him. The biggest thing is you’ve got a good man there in Brian MacLellan, and it’s a strong organization, and now everybody knows the facts and can help instead of everybody worrying about how you can’t say anything. I think he’s got a great chance, and I’ll be pulling for him now. Hopefully he gets through all those issues, but I think he’s got a great chance when the team and people who are with him every day can now work with him and help him, instead of being kept in the dark.”
Richards’s signing does not affect Los Angeles’ salary cap commitment in the wake of the cap penalties resulting from his settlement with the club and his cap recapture.
2015-16: $3.12 million
2016-17: $1.57 million
2017-18: $1.57 million
2018-19: $1.57 million
2019-20: $1.57 million
Hearing that 5 teams had expressed interest in Mike Richards.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) January 6, 2016