On Wednesday, the Washington Capitals announced the signing of veteran center Mike Richards to a one-year deal. While Richards is a two-time Stanley Cup champion, the circumstances behind his move to Washington come out of sadness. In June, Richards was arrested at the Canadian border for transporting the opioid OxyCodone without a prescription. Shortly after, the Kings terminated his contract due to a “material breach.” He’s been out of a hockey since.
Friday, Richards practiced with the Capitals for the first time and was welcomed by Caps captain Alex Ovechkin in the most Ovi way possible. According to the Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan, the Russian machine crashed Richards’ press conference. Ovechkin stuck his phone into the scrum of reporters as if he was recording the interview.
“I’ve got to learn my Russian to talk to Ovi,” a laughing Richards joked.
“YEA!” Ovechkin yelled before departing.
Richards seemed genuinely touched by how he’s been received by his new teammates.
“It’s been overwhelming how good everyone’s been welcoming me here,” he said. “Just everything, from the 100 texts to everyone welcoming me back to the league. Everyone’s been unbelievable to be honest. I’m just trying to relax and be one of the guys.”
After practice, Barry Trotz announced that Richards will not play Saturday against the Rangers. Richards would like to get into the line-up sooner rather than later.
“I’ve had enough summer training,” he said.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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