Avery says Laraque made up racial slur

Los Angeles Kings forward Sean Avery denies directing a racial slur at Edmonton Oilers winger Georges Laraque during a game this past Tuesday night.

"(He) fabricated the whole thing," Avery said in Friday's edition of the Los Angeles Times.

"I have no idea why he would do that," he added. "I heard about it after the game and was surprised."

Laraque, who is black, alleged Avery made a racial remark during Edmonton's 3-1 loss. Laraque said that when he went to challenge Avery to a fight after the Kings agitator got tangled up with Oilers finesse player Ales Hemsky, Avery declined to fight and called Laraque "a monkey."

NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell spoke to both clubs the next day, but said Thursday he didn't have enough evidence to take any action after he was unable to confirm either player's story.

Laraque said that he understood Campbell's decision, but did not back down from accusing Avery of making the racial remark.

"I knew the league wouldn't be able to do anything because there were no witnesses, but you want to tell them in case it ever happens in the future," Laraque told reporters in Edmonton, standing by his story. "I'm not deaf.

"I heard it or I wouldn't have (reported it). This is pretty serious stuff, something you don't play around with."

It's not the first time Avery has been accused of shouting slurs.

The NHL warned the Kings forward last month after Avery insulted French-Canadian player Denis Gauthier of the Phoenix Coyotes.

Referring to Gauthier's hit on Avery's teammate Jeremy Roenick in a pre-season game, Avery said Gauthier was "typical of most French guys in our league with a visor on." He then went on to say visor-wearing French Canadians "don't back anything up."

The league issued a statement calling Avery's comments "insensitive and inappropriate" and threatening discipline for "similar misconduct."

Avery later apologized for those remarks.