We really wanted to skip this latest Avery affair. But, our Sean Avery file needs updating.
First, the controversy. On December 3, 2008, Avery was suspended indefinitely by the NHL for making disparaging remarks about a former girlfriend to the media. Avery made the remarks after a morning skate in Calgary, Alberta. Avery stated,
"I'm really happy to be back in Calgary; I love Canada. I just want to comment on how it's become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds. I don't know what that's about, but enjoy the game tonight."Avery was suspended by the NHL within hours of his comments. He watched from the pressbox as the Stars beat the Flames, 3-1, on Tuesday night (Dec 2nd).
On December 3rd, 2008 Avery flew to New York with Stars co-general manager Brett Hull to meet with Commissioner Gary Bettman. Avery also issued a public apology for his crude comments.
I would like to sincerely apologize for my off-color remarks to the press yesterday from Calgary. I should not have made those comments and I recognize that they were inappropriate.On December 4th Avery's meeting with the NHL lasted a couple of hours and concluded without a decision being made. NHL.com reported:
It was a bad attempt to build excitement for the game, but I am now acutely aware of how hurtful my actions were. I caused unnecessary embarrassment to my peers as well as people I have been close with in the past.
I apologize for offending the great fans of the NHL, the commissioner, my teammates, my coaching staff and the Dallas Stars management and ownership. As many of you know, I like to mix it up on and off the ice from time to time, but understand that this time I took it too far.
Sean Avery arrived at the National Hockey League offices in midtown Manhattan at 10:50 this morning wearing a checkered gray suit with no tie and a pair of dark sunglasses.Update, on December 5th, 2006 the NHL announced their punishment for Avery's remarks:
Avery's hearing regarding his indefinite suspension after remarks he made Tuesday in Calgary about an ex-girlfriend's new relationship with an NHL player began at noon today inside the NHL's main offices.
The meeting ended at 1:25 p.m., but no statement has yet to be released...
Hull also said Avery expressed remorse in his face-to-face meeting with Bettman...
The verdict is in, and Dallas Stars forward Sean Avery will be sitting out a little while longer for the inappropriate comments he made earlier this week.
The National Hockey League announced Friday morning that Avery has been suspended for six games without pay, retroactive to Tuesday's game in Calgary, as a result of the comments he made Tuesday morning after the his team’s morning skate at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
Avery also agreed to seek professional anger-management evaluation and, if necessary, structured counseling in light of his pattern of behavior, which the NHL has deemed unacceptable and antisocial...
Cuthbert is currently dating Calgary Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf. After breaking up with Avery, Ms. Cuthbert also dated West Islip born Canadien Mike Komisarek. Avery's remarks were generally considered to be in reference to Ms. Cuthbert and Mr. Phaneuf.
During the 2006-07 season Ms. Cuthbert wrote a blog for NHL.com. On that blog she wrote:
My name is Elisha Cuthbert, born in Calgary, Alberta, but raised in Montreal, Quebec. Growing up in Canada opened my eyes to the world of hockey. My brother plays on two teams -- his school and city. My mother plays on a team as well. I, on the other hand, am just an actress who loves the sport and does not play -- but that doesn't mean I can't talk about it!
The Sean Avery Timeline:
- April 10, 1980: Born in Pickering, Ontario, Canada
- 1996: Joined the Owen Sound Platers at age 16
- 1999: Signed with the Detroit Red Wings
- 2000: Assigned to the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks
- 2001: Debuts with Detroit Red Wings
- 2002: Won the Stanley Cup Championship with the Detroit Red Wings
- 2003: Traded to the Los Angeles Kings for Mathieu Schneider
- 2004: Played for the Motor City Mechanics during the NHL lockout
- February 5, 2007: Traded to the New York Rangers by the Kings
- April 14, 2008: NHL institutes the 'Sean Avery Rule' - no face guarding the goalie
- April 30, 2008: Lacerated his spleen in a playoff game against the Penguins
- Spring of 2008: Intern at Vogue Magazine
- July 2, 2008: Signed a four-year, $15.5 million contract with the Dallas Stars
Some reactions to Sean Avery's latest controversy:
Greg Wyshynski / ESPN Puck Daddy:
Predictions: How long will the NHL suspend Sean Avery? --
It's official: The reaction to Sean Avery's "sloppy seconds" press conference and subsequent suspension are more comical and absurd than anything the man actually said.
Have any of these pearls-clutching hockey puritans sat between the penalty boxes of an NHL game, where the young children of wealthy season ticket holders can hear taunts about what one player's mother did or did not swallow (true story)? Have they ever laughed at well-told tales of junior hockey hazing or sexual exploits that leaves you wondering if young players will grow up to be in the NHL or a state penitentiary?
Or we going to actually believe that the NHL's image has somehow been irrevocably damaged because of Sean Avery's choice of words? On a Chris Simon or Todd Bertuzzi level?
Sean Avery, indefinite suspensions and NHL gullibility --
The League suspending Avery for opening his yap and making a frat boy joke elevates his antics back to legendary status. This is the Avery Rule all over again; Avery looks irresponsible but mischievous, and the League looks like it's making special considerations because the class clown acted up. Give him 10 games, give him 30; he wins again...
'Most hated man in hockey' takes it up a notch --
Bad taste isn't a capital offense, but Bettman decided within hours it was one worthy of an indefinite suspension, citing Article 6 of the NHL constitution, which covers conduct "detrimental to the league or game of hockey."
NHL Sloppy Handling of Avery --
As of tonight, Sean Avery will have been suspended for as many games (two) for yesterday's on-camera vulgar reference in Calgary to the Dion Phaneuf-Elisha Cuthbert relationship as Randy Jones was last season for his late October hit from behind that concussed Patrice Bergeron and forced the Boston center to miss the remainder of the season.
It's good to see that the NHL has kept everything in perspective here, isn't it? ...
Sloppy suspensions --
Sean Avery has said, and done, a lot of idiotic, immature things over the years with Tuesday's comments in Calgary being no exception, but getting suspended for referring to his ex-girlfriends as sloppy seconds, are you kidding me? Since when did the NHL discipline players for gossiping?
Gone in 32 seconds --
Sean Avery has set back the image of the NHL and even relations between pro athletes and women to a point that it will take years to undo the damage...
What message should we take from NHL's suspension of words? --
The NHL has tried before to silence inappropriate chatter, particularly use of racial slurs on the ice. But anybody who knows the game and knows players understands that Avery's choice of words was relatively benign compared with much of what gets said between NHL players.
So it wasn't what was said. It was how it was said, and the setting it was said in.
This gets more complicated by the minute.
Isolated incident? No, Avery's career has been defined by indiscretions --
In one swift moment, Sean Avery has moved seamlessly from mildly entertaining village idiot to something darker and more pathetic.
After waiting for reporters to gather around him in Calgary following his team's morning skate Tuesday, after ensuring Canada's national sports network cameras were rolling, the Dallas Stars forward launched into a rehearsed, crude statement referencing former girlfriend, actress Elisha Cuthbert, and her current beau, Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf...
More than words --
This situation with Avery had become like a volcano. The pressure had been building... just needed someething to trigger the eruption. Enter dumb quote here.
So what next? Ship him to the minors? Buy him out? The Stars have certainly done that before. It's going to cost the Stars no matter which way they go. I'm thinking they really don't care...
The Red Wings chime in on Avery -- The Detroit Red Wings visited kids at a hospital Wednesday. They talked about Sean Avery too. Details from the Detroit News.
Many Red Wings players had heard, or heard about, the lewd comments former teammate Sean Avery made Tuesday.
The Wings supported commissioner Gary Bettman ‘s decision to indefinitely suspend Avery, now with the Dallas Stars.
“There’s no room for that in hockey,” said Chris Osgood about Avery’s comments about current players dating Avery’s former girlfriends. “Guys say stuff on the ice, but guys who are veteran guys and have respect for the game, it belongs nowhere in sports. It has nothing to do with the game. More or less, it’s an attention getter.”
It’s unfortunate, said Osgood, if kids, especially boys, heard Avery’s comments...
Avery is not the Dallas Stars' only problem --
If the Dallas Stars find a way to get rid of Sean Avery – and it appears that’s their plan – it will not solve all of the problems of this season.
Dave Tippett said as much Wednesday when asked what has gone wrong with his team.
If you are appalled by Sean Avery's comment, you're not alone --
Before you write off my grossed-out revulsion for Sean Avery as girly squeamishness, consider that I’ve got a lot of company.
Mr. Avery’s own colleagues are clearly appalled at his purposefully ugly, deliberately public remarks.
“It’s unacceptable,” said star forward Mike Modano.
“It’s a slap in the face,” said netminder Marty Turco.
“I personally hope this costs him,” said on-air announcer Ralph Strangis.
The Sean Avery File will be re-named the nitwit file. Keep the trash talk on the ice Sean.
Avery suspended indefinitely for comments related to ex-girlfriends
Stars LW Avery issues apology for televised comments about ex-girlfriends
Avery Punished for Vulgar Remark