Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf has been fined $10,000 for directing an “inappropriately demeaning and disrespectful” slur toward a Nashville player during Game 4 of the Western Conference Final, the league announced Saturday. The fine is the maximum allowed under the current collective bargaining agreement.
“Getzlaf’s comment in Thursday’s game, particularly as directed to another individual on the ice, was inappropriately demeaning and disrespectful, and crossed the line into behavior that we deem unacceptable,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell.
“The type of language chosen and utilized in this instance will not be tolerated in the National Hockey League.”
The comments are a violation of an NHL policy which strictly prohibits “inappropriate and offensive” remarks and the use of obscene or abusive language or gestures. As pointed out by TSN’s Frank Seravalli, Getzlaf managed to avoid a suspension for his remarks, which wasn’t the case when Andrew Shaw was caught yelling a homophobic slur from the penalty box during last year’s playoffs.
Shaw received a $5,000 fine, but was also given a one-game suspension for his indiscretion. The statement released from Colin Campbell last April read:
“While Mr. Shaw was apologetic and remorseful for both the offensive comments and the inappropriate gesture directed at the on-ice officials, he must be held accountable for his actions. The emotion of the moment cannot and will not be a mitigating factor for the conduct that is expected of an NHL player.”
The NHL failed to disclose the exact remark Getzlaf is being fined for, leading to speculation over whether it was this slur captured on Thursday’s broadcast that prompted the league to take action. Several outlets have described the slur as an apparent homophobic remark, triggering criticism toward the NHL on social media that Getzlaf should have received the same one-game suspension as Shaw.
Getzlaf has eight goals in 15 games, and currently sits second in overall scoring with 18 points this postseason. The series shifts back to Anaheim for Game 5 on Saturday tied at two games apiece.
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