NHL free agent Mike Richards will fight a drug-related charge that he faces after being arrested at a Manitoba border crossing earlier this year, according to his lawyer.
"He intends to plead not guilty," David Humphrey, a Toronto-based lawyer representing the 30-year-old former L.A. Kings centre, told CBC News on Thursday. "The intention is to vigorously defend the charge."
Richards, a former L.A. Kings centre and two-time Stanley Cup champion from Kenora, Ont., has been charged with possessing a controlled substance.
In August, the RCMP charged Richards with possession of a controlled substance. He was originally arrested on June 17 and later released after the substance was found by border guards when he crossed into Canada from the United States at the Emerson port of entry.
He was formally charged on Aug. 25. Court documents confirm that the controlled substance in question was oxycodone.
A court hearing had been scheduled for Thursday in Emerson, but it was very brief and the matter was remanded to Dec. 8.
Humphrey said his team is waiting for more information from the Crown.
"We're still waiting for further disclosure, and any assessment of the case will be dependent on us first having complete disclosure from the Crown," Humphrey said, adding that he expects to receive full disclosure well before Dec. 8.