The Kings refused to say why they're terminating Richards' deal, which carries an annual salary cap hit of $5.75 million through 2020. Los Angeles placed Richards on waivers again over the weekend. The Kings were thought to be attempting a buyout of that deal that would lessen his cap hit by spreading it out through 2025. The club demoted Richards to the minors last season after the two-time Stanley Cup champion's play declined sharply.
It's a pricey move for the Kings, because Richards has five years left on a $69 million, 12-year contract that carries a $5.75 million annual salary cap hit. Richards' future in Los Angeles was already in question after the Kings demoted the 10-year NHL veteran to Manchester, their American Hockey League affiliate, in January.