Washington Capitals centre Mike Richards will not appear in Manitoba Court on Thursday, as his trial on the charge of possession of a controlled substance has been adjourned to Feb. 25.

Toronto-based lawyer David M. Humphrey said in an email to The Associated Press that government officials asked to push back Richards' court date because it is awaiting the results of an investigation that was requested by the defence.

Richards was arrested when Canada Border Services Agency at the North Dakota-Canadian border caught him with a controlled substance crossing into Emerson, Manitoba, on June 17. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police charged Richards in August.

The Los Angeles Kings terminated the remaining five years and $22 million of Richards' contract over the summer, citing a "material breach" of that contract. After the NHL Players' Association filed a grievance, the Kings and Richards settled in mid-October.

Richards met with Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan and coach Barry Trotz in Toronto in November and had been skating with his junior team to stay in shape. The 30-year-old from Kenora, Ontario, signed a $1 million US, one-year deal with the Capitals in early January.

The Capitals signing Richards came only after he met with league officials, who gave him permission to resume his NHL career.

Richards has played in three games for Washington and has yet to register a point.