Coyotes cut Adam Ruzicka after apparent cocaine video

Adam Ruzicka‘s contract is being terminated by the Arizona Coyotes after he cleared unconditional waivers Saturday.

The Coyotes had put Ruzicka on waivers Friday after he posted to his Instagram stories a video of himself with a white powder appearing to be cocaine and a credit card on a counter. The team said it would have no further comment at this time.

Ruzicka, 24, was in the second season of a two-year contract worth $1.525 million. He had been with the Coyotes for about a month since they claimed him off waivers from the Calgary Flames on Jan. 25.

The center from Slovakia had zero points in three games with Arizona after posting nine points in 39 games with Calgary. He has played in 117 career NHL games since making his debut in April 2021.

Ruzicka is the second NHL player this season to have his contract terminated, following Corey Perry with the Chicago Blackhawks after the team 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 has since joined the Edmonton Oilers.

The NHLPA has 60 days to file a grievance on Ruzicka’s behalf.

The NHL has punished players for off-ice conduct such as Ruzicka’s in the past. 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.

Earlier this month, Kuznetsov entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program, a joint venture of the league and union aimed at helping players with a variety of off-ice issues.

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