The first thing I saw when I logged on to a popular sports news website today was that an NHL player had been arrested very early this morning. Pretty big news, really, considering you don’t often hear of NHL players involved in legal troubles. When compared to the NFL and the NBA, hockey players tend to keep their noses pretty clean.
The NHLer in question is Tampa Bay left winger Ryan Malone.
He was arrested at around 5:40 this morning in Tampa, and charged with DUI and possession of cocaine. According to the Sherriff’s report, Malone struck a curb after turning left from the centre lane of the road he was on. Police pulled him over and smelled alcohol on his breath. The officer also found 1.3 grams of cocaine in his pocket. He refused to do field sobriety tests, but a breath test at jail showed him to have BAC levels of 0.112 and 0.116, over the limit of 0.08.
You, uh… You got something in your nose there…
Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has said that Malone will not be joining the team for their final regular season game against Washington tomorrow night, but declined to comment on the situation any further. Malone was released after posting $2500 bond.
Like I said, compared to other sports, hockey seems to have a fairly low arrest rate. Have a look at this breakdown of NFL players arrested, sorted by team, since 2000.
Yes, that’s right. Both the Bengals and the Vikings have had nearly an entire team roster arrested in the last 14 years.
And I can’t recall a hockey player being in the spotlight facing first degree murder charges… *cough cough* Aaron Hernandez…
The NBA is also notorious for player arrests. If my math is correct, according to a database of NBA arrests, there have been 331 in the history of the league. Keep in mind that these teams have 12-man rosters. You can find a list of players arrested, sorted by team, HERE.
Ryan Malone, however, is not the first hockey player to clash with the law.
This is not a comprehensive list, but some of the more interesting and embarrassing arrests of NHL players:
I can’t help but wonder if he looked this surprised when police pulled up alongside his boat last summer. He was arrested on August 31 for operating a motorboat while intoxicated, on Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota. While this isn’t overly embarrassing, what might be is the fact that at the time of his arrest, he weighed in at 286 pounds, 40 heavier than what he weighed at the end of the season.
ADespite having made millions in his hockey career, Nilan was arrested in 2009 for… shoplifting. The item he stole? A bathing suit.He reportedly entered the dressing room of a store with 3 bathing suits, and came out with 2. Security guards followed him out of the store, then stopped him and discovered that he was wearing a Tommy Bahama swimsuit under his clothes. “I just wanted to save a few bucks,” is what he told police.
Frank Beaton may not be a familiar name. He only played 25 games in the NHL, as well as 153 in the WHA, but has the distinction of being the only player ever to be arrested DURING a game. On February 19, 1978, during a game between the Cincinnati Stingers and Birmingham Bulls of the WHA, Cincinnati police nabbed Beaton in the Bulls’ dressing room after the first period concluded because of an assault he had committed in the city two years before. He had played for the Stingers at the time, and broke a gas station attendant’s cheek with a punch after the attendant spilled gas on his Corvette. Cincinnati ended up winning 4-3.
Kevin Stevens was named to 3 all-star teams during his career, but his arrest was likely the low point in his career. On January 23, 2000, Stevens was discovered with a prostitute and a nice stash of crack cocaine. He played for the Rangers at the time, and was celebrating a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues with a hooker and $500 worth of crack. Oddly enough, the arrest happened in Collinsville, Illinois, which is not really close to New York OR St. Louis. At the time, he was married with 2 kids and a third on the way.
Patrick Kane was arrested in 2009 in Buffalo for assaulting and robbing a cab driver over 20 cents in change. Kane and his cousin were in the cab, and paid the $14.80 fare with $15. They were certainly all but pleased when the cab driver didn’t have the 20 cents to make change (I doubt most cab drivers keep dimes handy). The men punched the cab driver in the face and head, grabbed his throat and broke his glasses, before grabbing the money they had just given him out of his hand and fleeing without paying. They were eventually apprehended around 5 AM.
Probie’s struggles with drug abuse were not really a secret, but his most embarrassing incident concerning them happened on March 3, 1989. He was arrested for crossing the Canada/USA border with 14.3 grams of cocaine. Agents stopped him after he crossed the border in a borrowed car that was filled with empty beer cans and liquor bottles. They became suspicious after finding a cocaine mill in his jacket pocket, which led to a strip search. It was then that agents uncovered the half ounce of coke in his undies. He was arrested and charged with importation of cocaine into the US.
Dino Ciccarelli was once arrested after a nasty on-ice hit to Luke Richardson, but that was not his most embarrassing arrest. The 600-goal scorer was arrested at his home in Minneapolis on November 25, 1987. He had been seen on his front porch by a female neighbour wearing only a sweater – no pants. He was arrested after police observed him naked outside of his house on a separate occasion, and charged him with indecent exposure. He was sentenced to one year probation and 50 hours community service.
Eddie the Eagle was arrested in 2000 in Dallas after a bizarre series of drunken events. He checked into an upscale hotel with a woman, who became frightened by his loud and belligerent behaviour and called hotel security. Guards escorted the woman to a taxi, and one confronted the goalie. Belfour slammed the guard against a wall, and put him into a headlock. The two grappled until police arrived, and were forced to use pepperspray on Belfour after he kicked two police officers in the chest. He continued to be uncooperative once in the squad car, kicking and spitting at officers after vomiting onto his own chest. He even offered the officers a billion dollars to not take him to jail. Despite the allure of a 10-figure payoff, the police dumped him in a holding cell for 6 hours until he was released on bond.
Who do you think the next NHLer to get arrested will be?
Many thanks to the Bleacher Report for the details in this blog.