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Mike Richards’s court hearing adjourned to Feb. 25

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Washington Capitals center 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, according to David M. Humphrey, Richards’s attorney. The Associated Press first reported the news.

Humphrey said in an email that the adjournment was at the prosecutor’s instruction because the defense is awaiting the results of further investigation.

Richards was charged in August by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with possession of a controlled substance after allegedly trying to import OxyContin pills at the North Dakota-Canadian border in June. The Kings terminated his contract on June 29, and the players’ union filed a grievance on his behalf.

In October, the Kings and NHL Players’ Association reached a settlement in which Richards would receive about $10.5 million of the $22 million remaining on his contract. He signed a $1 million, one-year prorated deal with the Capitals earlier this month and has played in three games this season.

After Washington announced the signing of Richards, General Manager Brian MacLellan said he expected Richards to plead not guilty, and he anticipates “a favorable outcome from him in his case.”

Capitals Coach Barry Trotz had indicated that there was a possibility Richards could do a conditioning stint in the American Hockey League during the upcoming all-star break, even if it was just for practices. Trotz said it would be Richards’s decision, and on Wednesday, Richards said he wouldn’t be doing a stint in the AHL, as he has plans to spend the break in Florida.