TORONTO (AFP) — The National Hockey League Tuesday fined New York Rangers Sean Avery and Toronto Maple Leafs Darcy Tucker after they almost came to blows during the warmup of New York's 3-2 win on Saturday.
Avery and Tucker, two of the National Hockey League's most notorious instigators, were involved in a verbal sparring session that led to a pushing match.
No punches were thrown, but the two did drop the gloves and fight in the first period of the game.
The Rangers were fined 25,000 dollars, while the Maple Leafs were given a 10,000 dollar fine.
Avery received a 2,500 dollar fine and Tucker was fined 1,000 dollars. Avery was handed a larger fine because of a similar altercation less than seven days ago.
"The unprofessional conduct of Avery in initiating this altercation, less than a week after being involved in an incident in the pregame warmup against New Jersey, is this basis for this discipline," NHL executive vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell said.
A Toronto radio station reported that Saturday's altercation began when Avery allegedly made derogatory comments regarding Toronto right wing Jason Blake's battle with cancer. Blake is being treated for the disease and played Saturday.
Avery strongly denied making any such remarks.
"I am extremely upset and hurt that false and damaging comments were attributed to me regarding Jason Blake," Avery said Tuesday. "I made no such comments. I have lost two grandfathers to cancer and have been a consistent contributor to multiple cancer-related charities, first and foremost Hockey Fights Cancer.
"I am unable to comment further, as the matter is now being addressed by legal counsel."
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