Arizona Coyotes release player who appeared to post video of white substance


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The Arizona Coyotes released forward Adam Ruzicka on Friday after a video appeared to show him with a white powdery substance.

The Coyotes said in a statement that he had been placed on unconditional waivers “for purposes of terminating his contract.”

The substance appeared on a plate next to a credit card. Toward the end of the video, Ruzicka was seen putting a vial in his mouth.

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Adam Ruzicka with Coyotes

Adam Ruzicka, #83 of the Arizona Coyotes, skates up ice against the Minnesota Wild at Mullett Arena on February 14, 2024, in Tempe, Arizona.  (Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

Ruzicka appeared in three games for the Coyotes after they picked him up from waivers on January 25.

The Calgary Flames, who selected him in the fourth round of the 2017 NHL Draft, released him last month after he had played 39 games with them this season.

Ruzicka has played in 117 NHL games since his debut in April 2021. He is in the second season of a two-year contract worth $1.525 million.

Adam Ruzicka on ice

Adam Ruzicka, #63 of the Arizona Coyotes, against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Amalie Arena on January 25, 2024, in Tampa, Florida.  (Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Ruzicka is the second player in the league this season to have his contract terminated, following Corey Perry with Chicago Blackhawks, after they said the veteran winger violated team workplace policy. The NHL Players’ Association asked for and was granted an extension of the window for Perry to file a grievance, and he’s back playing with Edmonton.

There is precedent for the NHL to punish players for off-ice conduct such as Ruzicka’s. Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov was suspended for three games in 2019 for “inappropriate conduct,” less than a month after he had been banned from playing for Russia for four years because of a positive test for cocaine.

Adam Ruzicka skating

Adam Ruzicka, #83 of the Arizona Coyotes, skates up ice against the Minnesota Wild at Mullett Arena on February 14, 2024, in Tempe, Arizona. (Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Kuznetsov faced allegations of drug use at the world championships that year after a video posted on social media showed him near a table with lines of white powder and American dollar bills.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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