Arizona Coyotes place forward Adam Ruzicka on unconditional waivers

Feb 23, 2024, 2:17 PM

The Arizona Coyotes placed forward Adam Ruzicka on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract, the team announced Friday.

Arizona adds it will not comment any further at this time.

The news of Ruzicka being placed on unconditional waivers comes after the forward posted an Instagram story showing a white substance appearing to be cocaine lined up on a plate next to a credit card. Ruzicka also showed off a vile of the substance.

Ruzicka is in the second season of a two-year contract worth $1.525 million. He has only been with the Coyotes for about a month since they claimed him off waivers from the Calgary Flames on Jan. 25.

The 24-year-old from Slovakia had no points in three games with Arizona after nine in 39 with Calgary. He has played in 117 NHL games since making his debut in April 2021.

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 three games in 2019 for “inappropriate conduct,” less than a month after he was banned from playing for Russia for four years because of a positive test for cocaine.

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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