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Tampa Bay Lightning

Ex-Bolt Ryan Malone pleads no contest to DUI


Published:   |   Updated: August 19, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Former Tampa Bay Lightning player Ryan Malone pleaded no contest Tuesday to driving under the influence and agreed to enter pretrial intervention program on a cocaine possession charge.

Malone was adjudicated guilty for DUI and then sentenced to 12 months probation, a Hillsborough County court spokesman said. He must attend DUI school and perform 50 hours of community service.

Should he complete the pretrial program, the drug charge would be dismissed.

Malone was arrested in Tampa on April 12 after a police officer saw him weaving in a 2014 Chevrolet Suburban on Platt Street, authorities said.

Malone, 34, of Tampa, refused to perform the field sobriety test after he was pulled over by the officer, authorities said. The officer searched Malone and found a small bag of cocaine in his right back pocket, according to the arrest report.

Malone’s blood-alcohol level was 0.116 and 0.112, police said. In Florida, the legal limit for driving is 0.08.

The Lightning bought out the remaining year of Malone’s seven-year, $31.5 million contract in June, freeing up $4.5 million against the NHL salary cap.

Malone was due $2.5 million. Instead, he will be paid $833,333 each of the next two seasons, which won’t count against the Bolts’ cap.

After being acquired from Pittsburgh in 2008, he appeared in 342 games with the Lightning, recording 92 goals and 201 points, including three goals and six points in 18 playoff games.

After being a top-line forward for most of his six seasons with Tampa Bay, Malone saw his role lessened in the second half of last season after he was slowed by an ankle fracture sustained Nov. 22 that kept him out of the lineup until Jan. 1.

In the final month of the season, Malone was healthy scratch eight times before his arrest and played fewer than 10 minutes eight of the 11 games he did play.

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