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Mike Richards

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Los Angeles Kings

The Los Angeles Kings have terminated Richards' contract, claiming the forward committed a ''material breach'' of its terms. The Kings announced their newest tactic Monday in their attempt to get out from under Richards' enormous deal.

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.

A person familiar with the decision has told The Associated Press that the Los Angeles Kings placed veteran forward Mike Richards on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying out the remainder of his contract. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity on Sunday because the Kings have not announced the decision.

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.

Data provided by STATS LLC.

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