New York Rangers left wing Sean Avery claimed that Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds called him a homophobic slur during last night’s 5-3 exhibition loss at Wells Fargo Center.
Television cameras showed Simmonds shouting at Avery from across the ice after two were involved in a fight. Following the game, Avery confirmed that Simmonds called him a f–.
Avery said he “had no idea” why Simmonds used the slur. When told of what Avery had said, Simmonds grew agitated.
“He didn’t think he said anything? It’s Sean Avery. Come on,” Simmonds said. “Who knows what comes out of his mouth?”
The incident is the second in a week for Simmonds, who had a banana thrown at him from the stands while attempting a shot in a preseason game in London, Ont..
Simmonds acknowledged that he and Avery had exchanged words but would not divulge the details.
“We were going back and forth there for awhile. He said some things that I didn’t like and I guess I said some things that he didn’t like,” Simmonds said. “Things got said out there that aren’t necessarily going to be repeated to the media. I’m not going to say what he said.”
When pressed on the issue, Simmonds said he could not “recall” what Avery had said on the ice, before adding, “I’m not going to rat him out.”
John Tortorella told reporters he did not hear what was alleged to have been said, but did not think “Sean Avery is lying. I’ll let the league handle it. I did not hear it but I’m sure Sean Avery isn’t going to lie about it.”
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren and Flyers coach Peter Laviolette declined comment after the game, but said they had heard about the incident.
Follow Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.