Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images
When the Washington Capitals signed center Mike Richards to a one-year, $1 million deal in January, they did so under a cloud of uncertainty. Unlike the clouds that have enveloped the DC area in a big moist hug for the past two days, however, that particular cloud has lifted.
Citing court documents, the Associated Press (and, like, everyone else) reported that prosecutors representing “the Crown” stayed the charge against Richards for possession of a controlled substance. “Stayed the charge” is basically Canadian for dismissed the case, except they can be brought back if Richards commits a new offense within a year.
Richards had been stopped by Canadian police at the U.S. border during the 2015 offseason and accused of possessing oxycodone without a prescription. Richards’ former team, the Los Angeles Kings, used the charge as the basis for terminating his contract in June, which freed him up to sign with the Caps in January after reinstatement by the NHL.
According to CBC reporter Angela Johnston, Richards’ lawyers cited “fatal defects” in the Canadian government’s case as the basis for the stay. Their full statement read:
— Angela Johnston (@angjohnston) February 24, 2016
The good news for Richards comes during the same week he scored his first goal since returning to the NHL, and endeared himself to Caps fans by giving his game-used stick away to a young fan wearing Richards’ jersey number.
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