Former Flames forward Adam Ruzicka set to have contract terminated with Coyotes after video surfaces of him near apparent drugs

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
4 months ago
Former Calgary Flames forward Adam Ruzicka’s contract with the Arizona Coyotes is set to be terminated hours after a video on social media of him near what appeared to be drugs surfaced.
The video, shared by Ruzicka on his own Instagram account, showed what appeared to be a white substance formed into a line on a plate with a credit card nearby. It also showed Ruzicka putting a vial of something into his mouth. The video was later shared on Twitter.
In a statement, the Coyotes said they placed Ruzicka on unconditional waivers for the purpose of having his contract terminated, but said they would “have no further comment at this time” about the termination. This is the second Coyote player to have his contract terminated following off-ice conduct, following Alex Galchenyuk’s termination last July.
The Flames selected the 24-year-old in the fourth round of the 2017 draft, and had appeared in 114 games with the team, scoring 14 goals and 40 points, over four seasons. He turned pro in 2019 after finishing up a three-year stint in the Ontario Hockey League with the Sarnia Sting and Sudbury Wolves. In late January, the Flames placed him on waivers and he subsequently joined the Coyotes.
Ruzicka was in the second year of a contract carrying an AAV of $762,500. He appeared in three games for the Coyotes, scoring no points.
There’s no word at the time of writing if Ruzicka will face supplemental discipline from the NHL in relation to the video, but players in the past have been suspended by the league after similar videos surfaced. In 2019, Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov was suspended three games by the league after a video showed him with white lines in front of him.
In 1990, then Edmonton Oilers netminder Grant Fuhr was infamously suspended for an entire year over prior drug usage, something that helped shape the league’s policies around illegal drugs moving forward. In 1996, the league implemented a Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health program, that remains in place to this day.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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