Ryan Malone not distraction for Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper told reporters Sunday that Ryan Malone's DUI and cocaine possession charges will not be a distraction heading into the playoffs.

Tampa Bay forward charged with DUI and possession of cocaine

Ryan Malone (12) has five goals, 10 assists and 15 points with 67 penalty minutes in 57 games for the Lightning this season. (Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper does not think left wing Ryan Malone's DUI and cocaine possession charges will be a distraction to the playoff-bound NHL team.

Cooper says Sunday that the Lightning are "really looking forward" to getting back Malone "at some point."

Malone did not travel with the team for its regular-season finale at the Washington Capitals on Sunday.

An officer saw Malone's SUV strike a curb after making a left turn from the centre lane early Saturday, Tampa Police Lt. Paul Lusczynski said.

After being pulled over, Malone got out of his vehicle, and the officer smelled alcohol on his breath, Lusczynski said.

According to the police report, the officer found 1.3 grams of cocaine in one of Malone's pockets.

Cooper says Malone "made a poor decision."


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