NHL says Leafs’ Morgan Rielly didn’t use homophobic slur

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly didn’t use an anti-gay slur against an official during Monday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the NHL announced today.

Television cameras picked up what sounded like a slur with 1:51 left to play in the second period as Tampa Bay’s Yanni Gourde and Rielly skated into the Maple Leafs’ defensive zone on a dump in.

Players have been disciplined in the past for using homophobic slurs. In 2016, then-Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw was suspended one game and fined $5,000 US for using an anti-gay slur from the penalty box during a playoff game against the St. Louis Blues. He directed the “inappropriate gesture” to an on-ice official.

A year later, Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf was fined $10,000 for using an apparent homophobic slur in a playoff game against the Nashville Predators, a move that was heavily criticized as being too lenient.

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