During the Toronto Marlies’ 5-0 victory over the Hershey Bears on Friday night, Washington Capitals prospect and Hershey defenseman Madison Bowey got himself slapped with a five minute major and a game misconduct for elbowing Marlies forward Kasperi Kapanen in the third period.
His reaction to that game ejection, though, looked like it may have involved a homophobic slur – so the AHL is investigating ahead of game six.
Kapanen was slow to get up after being elbowed, but was seen firing some words at Bowey. Bowey, in turn, was firing some words of his own back at the Finnish Toronto prospect; it’s tough to tell exactly what he said, but it seems to possibly be in line with what earned Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw a one-game suspension earlier in the NHL postseason:
Note: it’s not clear exactly what Bowey said from this angle, and the AHL is likely investigating using other angles and asking those who were on the ice. The on-ice officials chose not to slap the blue liner with an unsportsmanlike conduct after the incident, but it still looks fairly suspicious.
Should it be determined that Bowey did indeed use a slur, the AHL could choose to follow suit with the NHL, who issued an outright suspension for using homophobic slurs this year. They could also follow suit with other pro sports leagues, simply giving a fine, or it could be determined that Bowey didn’t say anything particularly problematic in the first place, rendering it all a moot point.
Bowey could find himself in some hot water, though, and a potential suspension certainly wouldn’t help the Bears. The AHL affiliate club is currently up 3-1 in their series against the Toronto Marlies heading into game five.