Florida Panthers forward Krys Barch was suspended for a game by the NHL on Thursday in connection with an incident in the team's home game on Dec. 31 against Montreal.
Barch was banished from that contest against the Canadiens when, according to a report in the Miami Herald, one of the linesman heard him direct a racial slur towards Subban, who is black, in a scrum.
"Mr. Barch has admitted making the remark, but denies that the comment was racially motivated," Colin Campbell, senior executive vice-president of hockey operations, said in a statement. "While we accept Mr. Barch's assertion, as a player in the National Hockey League, he must be held accountable for making a comment that, in the context in which it was made, and in light of the entirety of the circumstances, was offensive and unacceptable."
According to the Herald report, Barch mocked Subban for falling to the ice in a fight with Florida's Erik Gudbranson, asking him if he had "slipped on a banana."
For his part, Subban said after the game he didn't hear what Barch said.
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Barch will miss Thursday's game against the New York Rangers.