John Vanbiesbrouck has stepped down as head coach and general manager of the Ontario Hockey League's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds after using a racial slur to describe team captain Trevor Daley.
"I used the 'N' word instead of calling him Trevor," said Vanbiesbrouck, a former NHL goaltender who is also part-owner of the Greyhounds. "I used it just not thinking."
Daley, who is black, quit the team Saturday after being told Vanbiesbrouck used an offensive word to describe him while talking to other Greyhound players.
The 19-year-old defenceman returned home to Toronto Saturday after learning of the incident. However, Daley plans to rejoin the team, his agent Bobby Orr announced Monday.
Vanbiesbrouck admitted to the incident Sunday evening and resigned from the club a day later.
"It's a mistake and consequences have to be paid by me," said Vanbiesbrouck. "I've embarrassed everybody and my family by this one comment.
"It's not what they represent and it's not what the Sault Greyhounds organization represents."
Vanbiesbrouck uttered the slur Friday at the billet residence of Sault forwards Mike Amodeo and Jeff Doyle, following a 6-1 Greyhound loss to the Guelph Storm.
The coach and GM, who was upset by his team's effort, criticized his captain in front of Amodeo and Doyle. He admitted to using the slur "several times."
Orr said when Daley told him about the incident, he instructed the star blue-liner to "go home."
"I think like most people, when you hear racial slurs like that, it made me sick," said Orr. "I know Trevor Daley and Trevor's one of our kids and he's a wonderful young man and there's no place for racial slurs like that anywhere, any time."
Daley, who has spent all four junior seasons with the Greyhounds, is slated to meet OHL commissioner Dave Branch on Monday.
Daley, a fifth-round selection by the Dallas Stars in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, was a late cut from the Canadian national junior team in December.
Vanbiesbrouck, who also played junior hockey in Sault Ste. Marie before 19 NHL seasons, said his use of the slur could have something to do from his upbringing.
"I told Trev this is an old wound with me," said Vanbiesbrouck. "I grew up with it. I'm as sorry as anybody that it's stuck with me. I don't think I've used the word or even thought about it..."
with files from Canadian Press and Sault Ste. Marie Star