Mike Richards charged with drug possession, Hurricanes re-sign Elias Lindholm plus updates on Nicklas Backstrom, Patrick Berglund, Scott Gomez and more.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Former LA Kings center Mike Richards was charged yesterday with possession of a controlled substance (Oxycodone). The charges come following an RCMP investigation regarding an incident in June involving Richards at a Canadian border crossing. He is schedule to appear in Emerson Provincial Court on Sept. 10. The Kings subsequently terminated Richards’ contract, leading to the NHLPA filed a grievance on his behalf. No date for the grievance hearing has been set.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This won’t hurt the PA’s grievance case. As noted in the piece, the concern here for the PA isn’t the reason behind Richards’ termination, but the precedent it could set. The Kings have been accused of cherry picking here, as they haven’t terminated defenseman Slava Voynov’s contract after he was jailed 90 days for misdemeanor domestic violence. It’s believed the Kings prefer to retain Voynov because he’s of greater value to their roster than the declining Richards.
CSN MID-ATLANTIC: cited an interview Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom recently gave to a Swedish newspaper claiming he won’t be recovered from hip surgery in time for the start of this coming season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Depending upon how long Backstrom could be sidelined, Evgeny Kuznetsov could slide up into Backstrom’s spot on the first line and Andre Burakovsky could take over the second-line center role. They could also sign a free-agent center, though pickings are slim at this point.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes signed forward Elias Lindholm to a two-year contract extension worth $5.4 million. He’ll be paid $2.5 million in 2016-17 and $2.9 million in 2017-18.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A fair bridge deal for both sides. Lindholm is a promising young forward who tallied 17 goals and 39 points in 81 games in his sophomore campaign last season. Only 20 years old, Lindholm has a bright future with the Hurricanes.
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Blues center Patrik Berglund will undergo surgery on his right shoulder today. He’s expected to be sidelined for four months. The club announced they’ve invited center Scott Gomez to training camp on a tryout basis.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: The Bruins will open training camp on September 18.
NJ.COM: Staff changes continue for the New Jersey Devils, as they recently cut ties with longtime team physician Barry Fisher.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Former NHL player Sergei Gusev received a six-month ban from the Russian Hockey Federation for a breach of their anti-doping rules.