The Washington Capitals placed Brendan Leipsic on unconditional waivers Friday for purposes of terminating his contract after images of his messages in a private Instagram group chat circulated Wednesday night. Leipsic’s comments included misogynistic, vulgar, demeaning and profane language.

Those screen shots displayed conversations regarding multiple women, NHL players and their significant others. It also appeared in one of the images that Leipsic made an insulting comment about his linemates, and other images included references to illegal recreational drugs. The conversations also included Jack Rodewald, a player in the Florida Panthers’ system.

The Capitals, who deliberated the decision within all levels of the organization, from ownership to staff to players, announced the decision Friday. Leipsic is expected to clear unconditional waivers Saturday, after which the Capitals will terminate his contact.

Once the Capitals confirmed the images of Leipsic’s remarks were authentic, the organization no longer wanted to be associated with him.

On Wednesday night, shortly after the screen shots were circulating on social media, the Capitals released a statement to The Washington Post, stating the team was looking into the matter and it would be handling it internally.

Leipsic apologized shortly after the Capitals’ remarks, with a statement posted to Twitter. In his apology, Leipsic said that his friend’s Instagram account was hacked and an individual circulated images that “are representative of private conversations” he was a part of.

“I fully recognize how inappropriate and offensive these comments are and sincerely apologize to everyone for my actions,” Leipsic wrote. "I am committed to becoming a better person by taking time to determine how to move forward in an accountable, meaningful way. I am truly sorry.”

The NHL also released a statement Wednesday night, saying the league would address the matter with the Capitals and Leipsic: “The National Hockey League strongly condemns the misogynistic and reprehensible remarks made by players Brendan Leipsic and Jack Rodewald in a private group chat that has surfaced on social media. There is no place in our League for such statements, attitudes and behavior, no matter the forum.”

Leipsic, 25, was on his fifth team since 2015-16. The 5-foot-10, 182-pound forward signed a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Capitals in July. In 61 games with Washington, the Winnipeg native had three goals and eight assists and skated mainly on the fourth line. Before the NHL season was suspended March 12 because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Leipsic was a healthy scratch for seven straight games. His contract termination means he will immediately become an unrestricted free agent.

Leipsic debuted in 2016 with the Toronto Maple Leafs and spent time with the Vegas Golden Knights, Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings before signing with Washington.

Leipsic’s brother, Jeremy, who also was involved in the group chat that was leaked, was released from the University of Manitoba team Thursday, according to a statement from Athletic Director Gene Muller.

“Bison Sports was extremely disappointed to learn of the highly offensive comments made by a group of prominent hockey players in a private group chat that has emerged online," he wrote. "One of the athletes involved was a Bison Sports player on the 2019/2020 roster. We condemn these reprehensible remarks and attitudes, and express unequivocally that they have no place in sport or in our programs.

“Leadership, respect and integrity are core values of our Bison Sports community and as a result of this situation, we have taken the action to release the current student-athlete from the Bison program.”

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