AHL suspends Americans forward Ben Holmstrom eight games for using homophobic language

Former Philadelphia Flyers forward Ben Holmstrom has been suspended eight games by the AHL for using homophobic language during a game. (Frank Gunn/CP)

The American Hockey League has suspended Rochester Americans forward Ben Holmstrom for eight games for using homophobic language in a game last month.

In a statement, the AHL said the incident occurred on March 30 in a game against the Utica Comets. Holmstrom was given a game misconduct at the end of the first period for his actions.

“As part of the suspension, Holmstrom will be participating in diversity and inclusion education,” the statement reads. “The American Hockey League is committed to building a culture that is safe, inclusive, and free from abuse, harassment and all forms of unethical behaviour or misconduct.”

Holmstrom has already served two games of the suspension. The Americans have 11 more games this season.

“We were made aware of an inappropriate comment made by one of our players in a recent game. Once aware, we took immediate action through numerous conversations with the player, team, and league,” Americans general manager Jason Karmanos said in a statement. “To be clear, we have no tolerance for any form of hate and regret any harm his comment inflicted. We strive to maintain an inclusive environment in which our differences are celebrated. We have sought counselling awareness resources for the player.”

Holmstrom, who turns 35 on April 9, appeared in seven NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers over two seasons from 2010-12 but has appeared in more than 600 AHL games since turning pro in 2009.

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