By: Shaelyn Winters
Edited By: Kylie Augis
The Arizona Coyotes franchise is typically a trending conversation piece within the hockey community. Routinely, these discussions revolve around the franchises’ expiration date in Arizona – especially with their utilization of Arizona State University’s Mullett Arena, which hosts the smallest crowd of any National Hockey League organization. If the dialogue surrounding the Coyotes was not already controversial enough – newly acquired centerman Alex Galchenyuk has shifted the conversation in a discouraging light. As told through the media, here is your unofficial timeline of Galchenyuk’s signing and release from the Coyotes organization over the last two weeks.
July 1, 2023: Alex Galchenyuk Signs with the Arizona Coyotes
Galchenyuk began his National Hockey League career with the Montreal Canadiens, having been drafted third overall in 2012. In his eleven years of playing experience, he has competed with seven teams, including his longest tenure of six seasons with the Canadiens. Following a trade from the Colorado Avalanche to the Nashville Predators, who did not offer Galchenyuk a contract, the Wisconsin-native became an unrestricted free agent. Having also competed with the organization in 2018-19 and 2021-22, his signing by the Coyotes on July 1 marked his third with the franchise. This, however, would be short-lived.
July 9: Galchenyuk is Arrested in Arizona
While it was not announced until July 13, Galchenyuk was arrested on July 9 in Arizona. It was initially reported by Katie Strang of The Athletic on Twitter. While it is merely speculation, many sources have reported the details of the police report, which included Galchenyuk’s alleged use of racial slurs and violent threats toward Scottsdale police officers who arrived on the scene to investigate his run-in with a sign.
LINK TO TWEET: https://twitter.com/SInow/status/1680034484136165379?s=20
July 13: The Coyotes Terminate Galchenyuk’s Contract
As previously mentioned, the widespread knowledge that Galchenyuk was arrested was not brought forward until July 13. Prior to this becoming public information, the Arizona Coyotes released a statement announcing the breach of Galchenyuk’s contract with the organization.
July 18: Galchenyuk Announces His Work with the NHLPA
Five days after the revoking of his contract with the Coyotes, Galchenyuk released a public apology professing the remorse and shame he feels regarding his behavior. He also announced his commitment to work with the National Hockey League Players Association program, an organization that assists players facing a variety of circumstances – including those external to the sport.
In his statement, Galchenyuk wrote: “Today, I am checking myself into the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. I am doing this to get the help I need and hope to never make a mistake like this again.” He also addressed letters to separate communities, including the Scottsdale Police Department and the Coyotes organization. In both declarations, he acknowledged the impact of his actions on the greater Arizona community and his inclination to receive the help he desires.
To the Coyotes organization and their fanbase, he acknowledged the necessity of being held accountable for his actions: “I let you all down and I am truly sorry. While this behavior after drinking alcohol is not representative of who I am, I do have to take responsibility for it. My actions have cost me my chance to do what I love, play professional hockey.”
There have certainly been various opinions floating around on social media. While a substantial number of Twitter users have emphasized disgust and disappointment with Galchenyuk’s alleged behavior, there have also been many who have expressed hope that the centerman receives the help he requires with the NHLPA. Irregardless of his alleged actions, if there are larger issues at play, it is vitally important that he