In last Saturday night's game against the Montreal Canadiens, Krys Barch was ejected from the game after directing what was allegedly a "racial slur" at Montreal's P.K. Subban. There were no details of the specifics of Barch's comment at the time, but Barch was contrite after the game, claiming he never meant anything racial by his comments.
Following a discussion with NHL Vice President Colin Campbell on Thursday, Barch received mixed news: the league believed he hadn't meant his comment as a racial slur, but he was still suspended for one game for an "inflammatory comment".
So what was the nature of Barch's comment? George Richards from the Miami Herald has the details:
#FlaPanthers Krys Barch gets 1 game for asking PK Subban if he 'slipped on a banana peel' after going down in fight w/ Gudbranson
Richards went on to note that Barch was emotional in explaining he had meant nothing racial with his comment, and that he had called Subban to apologize and clarify.
Barch's comment was misguided and in poor taste, but it does appear that he is sincere in claiming he didn't mean anything derogatory by the comment. A one-game suspension seems fair, considering his comment did have racial undertones even if he didn't mean for it to be construed that way, and hopefully all parties can put this incident behind them.
As a result of the suspension, Barch was scratched from last night's game between the Panthers and Rangers. He will be eligible to play in Friday night's game against the Devils.
For more on this story, drop by SB Nation's blog on the Panthers, Litter Box Cats.