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Lightning's Ryan Malone arrested on DUI, cocaine charges

Lightning left wing Ryan Malone was arrested early Saturday in Tampa and charged with driving under the influence and cocaine possession.

Malone was released from Hillsborough County jail on $2,500 bond but did not travel with the team to Washington for today's regular-season finale with the Capitals.

General manager Steve Yzerman said in a statement that he was aware of the situation but could not comment further.

League deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement that Malone's playing status "in the near term and during the playoffs" will be determined after he has a mandatory evaluation in a substance abuse and behavioral health program run jointly by the NHL and the players association.

"It's obviously a very tough situation for him," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said of Malone. "People have made poor decisions before. Obviously, he wants that back, I assume. For me, personally, he's one of my close friends, a great teammate. You just support him in these situations."

Malone, 34, was driving a 2014 Chevrolet Suburban at 3:19 a.m. when he made a left turn onto W Platt Street from the center lane of S Armenia Avenue and struck a curb, a Tampa police report said.

An officer conducted a traffic stop and noted an odor of alcohol on Malone's breath. Malone refused a field sobriety test and was arrested for driving under the influence. A search revealed 1.3 grams of cocaine in his right back pocket, police said.

Malone submitted to a breath test at booking. His results were 0.112 and 0.116, police said. A blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent is the threshold at which Florida law presumes someone is unable to safely drive.

Malone, whose Suburban was impounded, also has seven traffic violations since June, including ones for speeding, failing to stop at a traffic signal and driving without proof of insurance. Tuesday he was cited for driving with a suspended license; he has an April 30 court date for that.

It has been a difficult season for Malone, who has five goals and 15 points in 57 games and was demoted to the fourth line. He has been a healthy scratch in three straight games and eight of Tampa Bay's past 19. He has one year left on his contract.

"You're not going to speculate on anything, but if he does need a hand or does need someone to talk to or needs some help, guys are going to be there, and he's going to get that," Stamkos said. "It's a tough situation to be in. We're all thinking of him."

Lightning's Ryan Malone arrested on DUI, cocaine charges

04/12/14 [Last modified: Saturday, April 12, 2014 10:01pm]
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