Ducks captain Getzlaf fined for apparent homophobic slur

Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf (15) congratulates goalie John Gibson (36) after the Ducks beat the Nashville Predators in overtime in Game 4 of the Western Conference final in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Thursday, May 18, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. The Ducks won 3-2 to even the series 2-2. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf was fined $10,000 on Saturday for apparently using a homophobic slur during Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.

The NHL announced the fine several hours before Game 5 against the Nashville Predators. Getzlaf, the Ducks’ leading scorer in the postseason, avoided a suspension.

Getzlaf was captured by television cameras appearing to shout the inappropriate remark in frustration with an official after returning to Anaheim’s bench during overtime.

One year ago, Chicago forward Andrew Shaw was suspended for one game and fined $5,000 for directing a homophobic slur toward an official during a playoff game.

Getzlaf’s fine is the maximum allowable under the league’s collective bargaining agreement with the NHLPA.

“Getzlaf’s comment in Thursday’s game, particularly as directed to another individual on the ice, was inappropriately demeaning and disrespectful, and crossed the line into behavior that we deem unacceptable,” said Colin Campbell, the NHL’s senior executive vice president of hockey operations. “The type of language chosen and utilized in this instance will not be tolerated in the National Hockey League.”

Getzlaf has scored 18 points in 15 playoff games during one of the best postseasons of his NHL career. The 2007 Stanley Cup champion is the second-leading scorer in the current playoffs, trailing only Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin.

The veteran center will publicly address the fine after Game 5, the Ducks say. Nashville and Anaheim split the first two games of the Western Conference finals.