Friday, September 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Former Lightning Ryan Malone 'baffled' at cocaine find

TAMPA — When a Tampa police officer pulled a bag of cocaine out of Ryan Malone's back pocket during an April 11 DUI arrest, the then-Lightning wing appeared stunned.

"Oh my God," he told officer Andrew Visser.

Malone, 34, waived his Miranda rights and told Visser he didn't know where the 1.3 grams of cocaine came from, according to discovery documents the Tampa Bay Times received Tuesday through a public records request.

Malone told Visser he didn't believe the officer planted the drugs on him, according to the documents, but he was "baffled" because he was wearing the same jeans for three days.

"I asked where it came from," Visser wrote in his report. "And he said he was just shocked."

Malone, who is facing charges of DUI and cocaine possession, could work out a plea deal at his next court date, Aug. 19. Malone, riding with a female friend and his brother, was pulled over after he struck a curb on W Platt Street. Malone initially refused a field sobriety test but submitted to a blood alcohol test at booking (0.112 and 0.116); the state presumes impairment at 0.08.

Malone was bought out by the Lightning in June, making him an unrestricted free agent. Agent Mike Liut said a couple of teams have displayed interest in the 10-year veteran. "I think he'll land somewhere," Liut said. "It's just a matter of where and when."

Ticket talk: The team announced tickets are on sale for its three preseason home games: Sept. 23 vs. Nashville, Sept. 26 vs. Dallas and Oct. 4 vs. Florida. Go to tampabaylightning.com or call (800) 745-3000.

High praise: Left wing Jonathan Drouin and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy were ranked the No. 1 prospects in the league at their respective positions by espn.com. Drouin, the No. 3 overall pick in 2013, was the top-ranked skater. ESPN's Corey Pronman called Vasilevskiy "one of the best goalie prospects of the past 20 years." See tampabay.com/blogs/lightning for more.

Contact Joe Smith at [email protected]ay.com Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.

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