Amid a flurry of depth signings, the Arizona Coyotes announced a one-year, two-way contract with forward Garret Ross, formerly of the Chicago Blackhawks organization. Ross was the 139th overall selection in the 2012 NHL Draft.
Ross followed up a very good 21 goal, 22 assist season with the AHL's Rockford IceHogs in 2014-15 with a seven goal, thirteen assist season this past year. He would likely continue that depth forward role in the AHL.
All of that seems to pale in comparison however next to the massive baggage Ross already brings with him. Though the Blackhawks will never admit the reason why Ross was not given a qualifying offer, he was temporarily benched in March after the organization learned that he was charged by the State of Illinois with one count of non-consensual dissemination of sexual images, or "revenge porn" colloquially.
The charge would ultimately be dropped by Illinois, but not because the state cleared him of wrongdoing. Rather, the prosecutor concluded that the incident occurred in Michigan, and was therefore outside of Illinois' jurisdiction.
Arizona's move is especially troubling in light of the NHL's ongoing controversies surrounding domestic violence and sexual abuse by its players, including Patrick Kane, Evander Kane, and Slava Voynov. So far, the Coyotes have not explained why they chose to bring in Ross, and what they think of the allegations in Illinois.
We will update this story as we learn more.