The RCMP has charged Mike Richards, a centre and NHL unrestricted free agent originally from Kenora, Ont., with possession of a controlled substance.
RCMP in Manitoba confirmed the controlled substance was drugs, but wouldn't give the type.
The Los Angeles Kings terminated Richards's contract in late June for what they called "a material breach of the requirements" of his contract.
RCMP in Emerson have been investigating Richards, 30, since June 17, when they were notified that a controlled substance had been intercepted by the Canada Border Services Agency at the Manitoba town's port of entry.
He was formally charged on Aug. 25, and will appear in Emerson provincial court on Sept. 10.
The NHL Players' Association has filed a grievance on behalf of Richards against the Kings to contest the contract termination.
Richards, a two-time Stanley Cup champion, had a 12-year, $69-million US contract. He had five years, worth $22 million, remaining on it when it was terminated.