The NHL announced Thursday that it's concluded its investigation into Dale Tallon's alleged use of "racially derogatory language" while in the Toronto bubble for this summer's qualifying round and determined the allegations were not substantiated.
The league began investigating Tallon in late August for allegedly using a racial slur. An anonymous report to the league also said that he'd previously made "openly racial, religious, and ethnic comments." He was fired as general manager of the Florida Panthers earlier that month after his club was eliminated in the qualifying round against the New York Islanders.
The NHL and a third party (Seyfarth Shaw LLP) conducted a full, confidential investigation of the report and interviewed over a dozen members of the Panthers organization regarding Tallon's behavior.
"The allegations were neither corroborated nor substantiated, and are inconsistent with Tallon’s past actions and his affirmative efforts in support of diversity and inclusion initiatives. As a result, based on the investigation, the NHL has further concluded that there has been no established violation of NHL policy or protocols," read part of the league's statement.
Tallon denied using racist language at the outset of the investigation and said he believes the probe could have stemmed from his reaction to Minnesota Wild defenseman and Hockey Diversity Alliance member Matt Dumba and his speech supporting Black Lives Matter before a postseason game on Aug. 1.
"I am not racist by any means,” Tallon said at the time. "I have never said anything of the sort. I am all for peace, am all for this alliance and what everyone is trying to do right now."
Tallon has recently been linked to joining the Pittsburgh Penguins' front office "in some capacity." The 70-year-old executive was with the Panthers for 10 years before his departure and previously served as GM of the Chicago Blackhawks.