The way Wayne Simmonds saw it, he was protecting a star player.
Simmonds, who was caught by TV cameras yelling the gay slur “f—ing f—t” at Rangers pest Sean Avery during Monday’s exhibition game, met with Colin Campbell in the league office yesterday to discuss the matter.
“[Campbell] asked me a question, if I called him a gay slur, and I told him no,” Simmonds said.
Facing a possible $2,500 fine, the Flyers winger claimed he didn’t use the homophobic slur. The matter was reviewed and no fine or suspension will be levied against Simmonds.
“Since there are conflicting accounts of what transpired on the ice, we have been unable to substantiate with the necessary degree of certainty what was said and by whom,” said Campbell, adding that the NHL reserved the right to revisit the matter.
Simmonds and Avery had been jawing all night, but it came to a head when Avery threatened to “f—ing kill [Claude] Giroux.”
“It’s Sean Avery. He gets under everyone’s skin,” Simmonds said. “He’s probably had encounters with everyone.”
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) had specifically asked the NHL and Flyers to take action.