Is Sean Avery the New NHL Golden Boy?

Hi, Ken from Fang’s Bites coming over to talk one of my favorite sports as Steve is away for a week. While he’s gone, you’ll be taken care of here at Puck The Media through various guest columns.

Yesterday, NBC showed the New York Rangers yet again on its NHL Game of the Week.  The network decided to showcase little fireant Sean Avery who after his infamous “sloppy seconds” comment about Calgary’s Dion Phaneuf and his girlfriend, Elisha Cuthbert was suspended in December then dropped from the Dallas Stars. We all remember the story. After a brief rehabilitation tour in Hartford, Avery returned to the NHL and the New York Rangers.

Well, it appears all is good with Avery and the NHL once again. Garth Woolsey of the Toronto Star says NBC focused one of its cameras solely on Avery and visitors to the network’s website could see his every move for every shift on the ice.

Woolsey adds:

NBC, if it can, seems to want to treat the Rangers like its home team for featured games of the week. Its website offers video banks of Avery in action, as well as a slide show of no fewer than 55 photos of him on and off the ice. In a league that sometimes appears populated by interchangeably bland characters, Avery has personality. Much as it generally cultivates and trades off its fighting “tradition,” the NHL also specifically loves the attention he brings in the media capital of the world.

While I’m not a fan of his style of play, New York seems to love Avery and Avery seems to love New York. He’s a fashion plate, he’s a man about town and he gets his name in the papers. For the NHL, it’s like a don’t ask, don’t tell policy for Avery. He’s in New York, he gets attention, but as long as he doesn’t cause trouble, he’s a media magnet in the number one market in North America.

But how long will it be before he gets into trouble again and at what cost?

Thanks to Steve for allowing me to post today. Don’t forget to visit Fang’s Bites for the latest in sports media news including NBC, Versus, CBC and TSN in regards to the NHL.


The Happy Recap: At the End of the Day, Avery’s Annoying Because He Stands Out


The Happy Recap, a phrase we stole from legendary Mets announcer Bob Murphy, is now a new daily (!) feature at Puck the Media, where we recap our day, and talk about a subject that we enjoy talking about, or just post a video that makes us laugh.  This one’s for us, but we hope you’ll enjoy it too.

You know, I never hear actual football fans complain about Terrell Owens.  I go to quite a few Giants and Jets games, and while obviously Owens is disliked because he’s a Cowboy.  But rarely do I hear talk that he’s “detrimental to the league” or “bad for the sport”.  Maybe I’m not hearing quite well enough, but football fans don’t really seem fazed by anything he does.

Which brings us to the question:  Why do we, the hockey fans, get so cheesed off when Sean Avery does anything?

The answer is simple:  Football fans expect less of their players.  When we have half the Cincinnati Bengals sitting in jail, it’s hard to get annoyed when T.O. does something stupid three times a week.  Hockey fans have been conditioned to expect better from the citizens who play the game.  This idea that hockey players are exactly that:  Normal citizens who like to play a game.

So, in the future, should we expect less of our athletes?  No, but we certainly shouldn’t expect more, considering that what Avery said, and the situation Derek Roy got himself into with Deadspin today (I’m not posting the link, as it’s a family blog).  Maybe they just aren’t normal guys who like to play a sport.  Maybe some of ’em are T.O.-style divas.

If Owens had said “sloppy seconds”, it wouldn’t have made headlines anywhere, unless he was talking Jessica Simpson.

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NHL’s Rationale Behind Avery Suspension Lame, but Understandable

We’ve been sort of silently watching the reaction pertaining to Sean Avery’s comments yesterday.  In case you haven’t seen them yet, have a look:

There have been varied opinions about Sean’s comments.  From those adamantly against his indefinite suspension by the league, like our buddy Wyshynski, who used it to finally lay a hammer of Thor on the NHL’s constant string of hypocrisy when it comes to suspensions:


And that’s where the NHL looks absolutely foolish today. 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.

Seriously, if the NHL were half as vigilant on hits to the head as they are for Sean Avery’s nonsense, Simon Gagne might not hear church bells every time he closes his eyes.


To Eric Duhatschek of The Globe & Mail, who thinks the only shame is that Avery didn’t have to play against the Flames that night:


In some ways, it’s too bad the NHL didn’t take a day to ponder its response to Avery, which would have permitted him to play last night against Phaneuf, Iginla, Todd Bertuzzi and rest of the Flames. Calgary may be just a little-better-than-average NHL team at the moment in the skills department, but few teams stand up for themselves better than the Flames do.

Avery’s day in Bettman’s court is coming soon. His day of reckoning may have been postponed for the moment, but it will eventually be upon him, too.


To the just-plain disgusted Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record, who points out that this isn’t the first time Sean’s had a “Stepped-over-the-line-even-for-him” moment”:


Last season, he was caught on camera by MSG Network making references to the Devils’ Martin Brodeur about his messy 2003 divorce. Brodeur confirmed those comments to me prior to last season’s playoff series between the Rangers and the Devils and then refused to shake Avery’s hand at the conclusion of that series.


So, what’s our take, you ask?  Well, as the post’s title states, the suspension – in line with Wyshynski’s thinking – does in fact show off how gullible and hypocritical they are when it comes to Avery’s mouth.  However, we understand that steps have to be taken to curb what he says, especially in cases like this in which, yes, his statement is 100% detrimental to the game.

Why is VERSUS Afraid of Sean Avery?

We all know that VERSUS has had it rough as the carrier of the National Hockey League.  Much of the criticism is unwarranted.  This might be one such case. 

There were complaints all week as to why none of Sean Avery’s return to the New York area has been televised.  We can understand them not showing the game against the Devils, as it was on a Wednesday.  But to not show him against his old team, the Rangers, on a VERSUS gamenight (Monday)?

Well, the truth is, the Stars profile has dipped on National TV the past few years.  Coming out of the lockout season, the Stars were on TV a count of seven times, one below the NHL-limit.  Look how it has dipped after the jump.

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