Former Coyotes Star Alex Galchenyuk Apologized After Arrest For Threatening Police Officers’ Lives
After his arrest on July 9, Alex Galchenyuk admitted on Tuesday that he will enter the NHL and NHLPA’s player assistance program.
This comes at the heels of the former Coyotes ice hockey center making death threats toward officers during his arrest in a hit-and-run incident, which led Arizona to cut ties after signing him only two weeks ago.
According to the police report, Galchenyuk told officers, “One phone call and you’re all dead, your whole family, your bloodline is dead,” citing his connections in Russia.
These threats were made after the 29-year-old crashed a car into a sign, with him making racial slurs towards a cop in training a few times while resisting to cooperate during the arrest, according to the report.
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Galchenyuk apologized for his “deeply disrespectful and despicable behavior,” as the former professional hockey veteran reached out to four Scottsdale police officers via a letter sent through a prosecutor. This was to express regret to those cops personally, saying he knows he has “a long road ahead of him.”
NHLPA executive director Marty Walsh told ESPN that the players association is still contemplating whether it will file a grievance on behalf of the troubled professional hockey star regarding his contract termination.
Galchenyuk was with his father during the arrest. and was cited with misdemeanor charges but was released. His dad, Alexander Galchenyuk Sr., runs his offseason program as a former professional hockey player from Russia.
In the letters to Scottsdale Police Department officers, Galchenyuk said they “did not deserve that outburst” and he was “sorry for the pain that it had caused.”
“My actions after drinking alcohol were not representative of who I am, but I must take responsibility for them and I hope to one day be able to show you that I am a better person than who you sadly encountered last week,” Galchenyuk wrote. “What all of you do, putting your lives on the line to protect and serve others, is nothing short of selfless and heroic. I appreciate and respect each of you and I want you to know I will work on myself every day with the goal of one day being able to make amends and to try to earn your forgiveness.”
The former third overall pick from the 2012 NHL Draft also apologized via letter separate from the cops, telling the fans, and the Coyotes organization, that his behavior was “deeply offensive, uncalled for, horrendous, embarrassing, disrespectful and just plain awful.”
“I am beyond embarrassed and disappointed with myself and I feel awful for everyone I have let down,” Galchenyuk wrote. “My family was counting on me to be better, the Coyotes and the amazing Coyotes fans deserve better and the brave police officers who risk their lives to keep us safe deserve better.”
It has been a tough year for the journeyman, as he was drafted by Montreal Canadiens (played there for six seasons) but since 2018, has played with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Colorado Avalanche. Galchenyuk signed a one-year, two-way deal with Arizona worth $775,000 on the opening day of unrestricted free agency on July 1.
It would have been his third stint with the Coyotes, as he played for them in 2018-19 (72 games) and 2021-22 (60 games). Now, Galchenyuk is a free agent – and hockey will have to take a backseat in his road to recovery.
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