GMs “Screaming Bloody Murder” Over Richards Settlement

In Elliotte Friedman’s most recent installment of his “30 Thoughts” column, he reveals that GMs around the NHL aren’t super happy with how the settlement worked out between Mike Richards and the Los Angeles Kings.

Many of the details on the settlement are shrouded in mystery and, according to Friedman, “the exact salary cap repercussions have yet to be shared with the other teams.”

Friedman says that in private “other teams are screaming bloody murder and threatening to make an issue about it.” He also notes that Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly isn’t too worried, highlighting Article 50 in the CBA as the reason the league is allowing this settlement.

“In our view, the Kings had a ‘Bona Fide’ opportunity to win this grievance. In that case, they would have no cap hit at all. This way, there’s some penalty,” he told Friedman.

The current settlement is reported to have an impact on the Kings’ cap until the 2030-31 season with the first five years, when Richards would have remained on the cap, increasing from $1.2 million to $1.7 million to $4.2 million in 2018-19 and 2019-20. It then falls to $1.5 million for the next five seasons. After that the cap hit is the actual dollar amount the team is paying out to Richards, which is somewhere in the neighborhood of $550,000 per year. Though Friedman notes that “the year-to-year totals apparently vary.”

He also notes that agents and the NHLPA aren’t thrilled with the settlement, but the NHLPA got in writing “assurances the Richards grievance could not be used as precedent in any future cases.”

Richards is a free agent and, as an interesting aside in “30 Thoughts,” it’s noted that “there is interest” in signing him. Richards wasn’t a useless player and there was speculation at times that teams may be interested in his services. The big problem with trading to acquire Richards was the massive contract.

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