Florida Panthers forward Krys Barch has been suspended for one game, according to media reports. The league and the Panthers have yet to make an official comment, but according to George Richards of the Miami Herald, he was suspended for “insensitive remarks”. The initial incident occurred on December 31, 2011, when Barch allegedly used a racial slur towards Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban.
“Mr. Barch has admitted making the remark, but denies that the comment was racially motivated,” said Colin Campbell, Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations, in a statement. “While we accept Mr. Barch’s assertion, as a player in the National Hockey League, he must be held accountable for making a comment that, in the context in which it was made, and in light of the entirety of the circumstances, was offensive and unacceptable.”
According to reports, Barch asked Subban “if he slipped on a banana peel” when he was fighting with Erik Gudbranson.” He was told by the league it was an inappropriate comment but they did not believe it was a racial comment. If it was, he would have been suspended five to seven games.
“For my sake, my friend’s sake, my family’s sake, I never said anything that was racially driven. There wasn’t a slur. It’s nice that it’s over with now with everything coming out. At the same time, I feel bad for the team with what the guys have been through with the cloud hanging over it.”
Barch will serve his suspension tonight against the New York Rangers. He will make his return tomorrow against the New Jersey Devils.