Washington left wing Brendan Leipsic’s exposed online chat included insults to teammates, jokes about drugs, and disparaging comments about women. How can he survive in a locker room going forward? Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Washington Capitals winger Brendan Leipsic apologized Wednesday night after images of his “inappropriate and offensive” private messages were leaked on social media and could face punishment from the league.

Images of Leipsic’s private messages in an Instagram group chat, which have not been independently confirmed, include misogynistic and profane language.

Those images displayed conversations regarding women and NHL players. It also appeared in one of the images that Leipsic made an insulting comment about his linemates. The conversations included Jack Rodewald, a player in the Florida Panthers system.

“Yesterday my friend’s Instagram account was hacked and an individual circulated images that are representative of private conversations I was a part of,” Leipsic wrote in a statement he posted to Twitter. “I fully recognize how inappropriate and offensive these comments are and sincerely apologize to everyone for my actions.

“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 Capitals released a statement to The Washington Post shortly after the comments were circling on social media: “We are aware of the unacceptable and offensive comments made by Brendan Leipsic in a private conversation on social media. We will handle this matter internally.”

The NHL released a statement of its own shortly thereafter and indicated a punishment could be forthcoming.

“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,” the league’s statement read. “There is no place in our League for such statements, attitudes and behavior, no matter the forum. We will address this inexcusable conduct with the clubs and players involved.”

Leipsic deleted his Instagram shortly after the images were leaked.

The Winnipeg native, 25, is on his fifth team since 2015-16. The 5-foot-10, 182-pound forward signed a one-year, $700,000 contract in July. He debuted in 2016 with the Toronto Maple Leafs and then spent time with the Vegas Golden Knights, Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings before signing with Washington.

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