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How should NHL deal with the Wayne Simmonds-Sean Avery situation?

September 27, 2011 |  1:50 pm

Question_275 Sean Avery of the New York Rangers was allegedly called a homophobic slur by Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers during a televised preseason NHL game Monday night. Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss how the league should respond to the alleged incident. Check back throughout the day for more responses and weigh in with a comment of your own.

Lisa Dillman, Los Angeles Times

Maybe my borderline addiction to all things "Law & Order" has something to do with what should happen in the Wayne Simmonds-Sean Avery incident.

First, some background:

Avery said the Flyers' Simmonds used a homophobic slur against him in Monday's Philadelphia Flyers-New York Rangers preseason game. Simmonds has denied doing so.

Colin Campbell, not Brendan Shanahan, will be fact-finding and administering possible justice from the NHL's side, and the upper limit of any fine likely appears to be $2,500. (Video could appear to support Avery's side but there is said to be no audio.)

Anyhow, this is where "Law & Order" comes in. If Campbell concludes that Simmonds did utter the slur, how about the kind of creative sentencing you see from some of the judges on the show? If the NHL can't approach what the NBA did in the cases of Kobe Bryant ($100,000 fine) or Joakim Noah ($50,000 fine) or even the $10,000 the NFL hit Joey Porter of the Steelers with back in 2006, there are other valuable methods of education.

Two suggestions: Simmonds and some of his Flyer teammates appear in tolerance advertisements to be shown before Flyer home games, and a week of Simmonds volunteering his afternoons at an outreach center for teenagers.

Education = tolerance.

We hope.

Harvey Fialkov, South Florida Sun Sentinel

While the enforcer role on hockey teams are going the way of VCRs, the instigator is still coveted. No one embodies that pesky, pain-in-the-derriere role more than the Rangers’ Sean Avery, a perennial top 10er in penalty minutes for and against.

It’s still unacceptable for the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds to use a homophobic slur against Avery during their trash-talking diatribe in Monday’s preseason game.

Especially considering that Simmonds, a black Novia Scotian, was the victim of a racial incident last week when a fan tossed a banana at him, and that Avery is a proponent of gay marriages.

In a world of YouTube, camera phones and political correctness, the old playground advice from your parents regarding bullies needs to be updated.

Hockey sticks and stones can break your bones, but names can certainly harm you.

The league should suspend Simmonds for two games and Avery for one, ­just for being Avery.


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Photo: Philadelphia Flyers' Wayne Simmonds, right, and New York Rangers' Ryan McDonagh collide in the third period of a preseason game Monday. Credit: Matt Slocum / Associated Press