The impaired driving charges facing Ryan O’Reilly, 25, have been dropped and now the Buffalo Sabres center can put the entire experience behind him.
The London Free Press’ Jane Sims reported Monday that O’Reilly’s trial, which was slated to last two days, ended shortly after it began. Sims reported the Crown’s lone identification witness said she could not be certain who was behind the wheel of the vehicle that crashed into a Tim Horton’s coffee shop on July 9, 2015, north of London, Ont.
Less than 10 minutes after Sims reported that the witness said a “mystery driver” was behind the wheel of the truck that crashed through the Tim Horton's window, she added that the Crown had no more evidence and “no reasonable prospect of conviction,” which led to the charges against O’Reilly being dropped.
“The case against Mr. O’Reilly is completely over,” assistant Crown Attorney George Christakos told The Buffalo News’ Gene Warner.
According to Sims, O’Reilly made a brief statement in which he thanked the Sabres for their support and said “he was happy to put the ordeal behind him.” Had O’Reilly been found guilty, there was potential for him to be suspended by the NHL.
O’Reilly signed a seven-year, $52.5-million contract with the Sabres on July 3, 2015, one week after being acquired from the Colorado Avalanche in a blockbuster seven-player trade. It was 10 days after signing the deal with the Sabres that O’Reilly was charged by Ontario Provincial Police.
This past season, O’Reilly notched 21 goals and 60 points in 71 games while averaging 21:44 in ice time. His play as a two-way center made him a major asset for the Sabres, and he was an alternate captain for Buffalo during the 2015-16 campaign.
O’Reilly was chosen as the Sabres nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy, which is awarded to the player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.” The award was won by Florida Panthers 44-year-old veteran winger Jaromir Jagr.
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