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Arizona Coyotes move to terminate Adam Ruzicka’s contract after social media video surfaces

The Arizona Coyotes have put forward Adam Ruzicka on unconditional waivers to terminate his contract.

The move comes after Ruzicka posted to social media a video of a himself with a white powder appearing to be cocaine and a credit card on a counter. The team announced Friday that Ruzicka was going on waivers for termination purposes and said it would have no further comment at this time.

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 has 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.

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