Mike Richards, Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau, Mark Fistric clear waivers

ByPierre LeBrun ESPN logo
Monday, June 29, 2015

As the first buyout window closes in the NHL offseason, two-time Stanley Cup champion Mike Richards of the Los Angeles Kingswas among three veterans to clear waivers and become unrestricted free agents Monday.

Pierre-Alexandre Parenteauof the Montreal Canadiens and Mark Fistric of the Anaheim Ducks also were not picked up overnight after they were placed on unconditional waivers Sunday.

The deadline for the first buyout window is June 30.

The Kings tried all they could to trade Richards over the past few weeks, but couldn't find anyone to take on a contract which still has five years remaining with a $5.75 million cap hit. Same goes for Montreal's Parenteau, who has one year left on his contract at $4 million. Fistric, who has two years left on his deal in Anaheim, had a cap hit of $1.26 million.

For the Kings, that means Richards counts against their cap for the next 10 years. The cap charge will vary from year to year, but Richards would get $14.67 million over the next decade as his payout.

The Kings could have used a compliance buyout on him last summer -- the last window in the new CBA for teams to do so without a cap penalty -- but general manager Dean Lombardi, out of loyalty to Richards and believing that the veteran center would bounce back and raise his level of play, decided not to.

Parenteau will count $1.33 million against Montreal's cap for the next two years after the buyout, while Fistric will carry a small cap charge for the next four years for Anaheim at nearly $413,000 per season.

"I would like to thank the Montreal Canadiens, my teammates and especially the fans for their support while I fulfilled a lifelong dream of playing for my hometown team," Parenteau said in a statement Monday. "I'm looking forward to the next chapter of my hockey career and wish everyone in Montreal the best next season."

Meanwhile,Viktor Stalberg of Nashville and Cody Hodgson of Buffalo were put on unconditional waivers Monday for buyout purposes. They, too, will be bought out and become unrestricted free agents if they're not claimed by noon ET Tuesday.

The 25-year-old Hodgson, who had just 13 points last season after having 20 goals and 44 points the previous season, has four years and $19 million remaining on his contract, one of the last significant deals under former general manager Darcy Regier. The contract carries a $4.25 million salary cap hit.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.