Kings to pay Mike Richards $10.5 million through 2031-32: Report

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 27: (L to R) Mike Richards and Kings President/ General Manager Dean Lombardi of the Los Angeles Kings pose for a picture during an introductory press conference for Richards on July 27, 2011 at the Toyota Sports Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Kings will have to pay a hefty burden this year for forward Mike Richards, but will be on less of the hook from a salary cap perspective through 2031-32.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported the following in regards to the salary cap hit on Richards.

The total payout is $10.5 million through the 2031-32 season, not 2030-31 as I originally reported. It is not evenly spread out over that time. The Kings chose to take the biggest hit this season. The first five years feature an additional $1.32 million cap recapture penalty on top of the salary paid. Here are the cap ramifications. Note: The 2015-16 total is the cap recapture plus a $1.8 million payout. The 2016-17 to 2019-20 totals are cap recapture plus a $250,000 payout.

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So the Kings will pay $3.12 million of salary cap hit this season according to Friedman. Then they’ll pay $1.57 million of cap hit each of the next four seasons from 2016-17 through 2019-20. They’ll then pay $700,000 the following year (2020-21) followed by $900,000 the next two seasons (2021-22 through 2022-23). The following two years (2023-24 through 2024-25) they’ll pay $700,000 each season then $600,000 the following four years (2026-27 through 2028-29).

The next two years (2029-30 through 2030-31) they will pay $500,000 and then $400,000 the final season.

If the Kings had bought out Richards instead of terminating his contract and settling, his cap hit would have been at $1.22 million for 2015-16, $1.72 million for 2016-17, $2.72 million for 2017-18, $4.22 million in 2018-19, and 2019-20, and then $1.47 million from 2020-21 through 2024-25. (Numbers via General Fanager)

Richards had five years left on a 12-year $69 million contract before the termination.

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Los Angeles terminated Richards’ contract on June 29 for what the Kings called a “material breach.”

The decision came after Richards was reportedly stopped while crossing the border from the United States into Canada on June 17 and was questioned about the prescription painkiller Oxycodone. Later the RCMP charged Richards for possession of a controlled substance.

The Kings and Richards settled last week. He is currently an unrestricted free agent.

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!