TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ryan Malone was charged Saturday with DUI and possession of cocaine after a traffic stop, police said.
An officer saw Malone’s SUV strike a curb after making a left turn from the centre lane early Saturday, said Tampa Police Lt. Paul Lusczynski. After being pulled over, Malone got out of his vehicle, and the officer smelled alcohol on his breath, Lusczynski said.
According to the police report, the officer also found 1.3 grams of cocaine in one of Malone’s pockets.
Malone refused to take field sobriety tests, but a breath test given at the jail recorded blood alcohol levels of 0.112 and 0.116 per cent, Lusczynski said. Florida law considers a driver impaired at 0.08.
Malone was released from the Hillsborough County jail on US$2,500 bond. Jail records didn’t show whether he had an attorney. Police impounded Malone’s SUV.
Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said Malone would not travel with the team for Tampa Bay’s final regular season game Sunday against the Washington Capitals. He declined further comment.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly released a statement Saturday afternoon.
“We are aware of the situation this morning involving Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Malone,” Daly said. “Under the terms of the collectively bargained joint NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program, Mr. Malone is subject to mandatory evaluation and, if deemed necessary by the program doctors, treatment pursuant to the terms of that program.
“His future playing status, both in the near term and during the playoffs, will be determined in accordance the terms of our SABH program.”
The Lightning are set to meet Montreal in the first round of the playoffs.
Malone has 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) and 67 penalty minutes in 57 games this season. He has 370 points (179-191) in 641 career NHL regular-season games with the Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins.
With files from The Canadian Press.