There has been much talk about Sean Avery lately. From his "boring" comment about Flames star Jarome Iginla to his crude remark about his former lover Elisha Cuthbert and her current relationship with Flames stud defenseman Dion Phaneuf. The question of all is "why is anyone surprised?"
This is a classic Sean Avery tactic prior to a match, getting under the skin of one of their players. Was it too far? To make that statement public for all of the hockey world to hear, it probably was too crude for most to care for. In the grand scheme of things though, he could have said a lot worse. For anyone in a relationship where an ex becomes involved, it is normally not a pleasant situation.
You must remember a couple things about Sean Avery:
1. This kind of disregard for good taste in the eyes of others is what he is trying to accomplish. He is an agitator at heart, in his mind his role on any team is to put the other team off of their game. No one can deny that, he is not a dominant player size wise, he is not a prolific goal scorer, he is a career third-line agitator. There are some who say that he could produce more if he would stay out of trouble, but that is not his style. He is more of a thorn-in-the-side sort of player, knocking the opposition's star players off their game. The only problem is that it is throwing off his own teammates' game more then the opposition's.
2. This is not the first time, and it probably will not be the last time. From early on in his NHL career, Avery would open his mouth to anyone who would listen. Who listens to disgruntled, outspoken players more than the media? Well they all do, but the media takes it public. From his hatred for the NHLPA, to his hatred for French Canadian players, to public disregard towards his coaches, to the relationship of other players, he has made his thoughts known.
3. After signing a four year, $15 million dollar contract, the Stars will not be cutting him loose like many on his team would like. If guys like Mike Modano go public about his disgust of you, people listen. Modano is not one to go public about much so when he does, people turn their heads. I can see Hull trying to tame him, but I do not see it changing much (at least not for long). I can see them trying to dump him onto someone else, but who wants a $3.75 million-a-year agitator who will cause more harm to himself and your team then the other team? Ultimately, I see him going on waivers and spending some time in the AHL. That is until he finds dirt on a player down there and looks for a reporter to talk to.
What makes Avery different from any other agitator out there? He shoots his mouth when the cameras are around. Plain and simple, if you talk to any former or current agitator out there, they have all said things on the ice they are regretful of. There is the key difference: on the ice. We all know that Avery shoots his mouth on the ice, he cannot even deny that. However, he takes his "on ice" talk to the locker room and to the reporters. That is where most agitators draw the line, once they leave the ice surface/bench, the gloves stay on.
What I would like to see done is the good old fashioned way of handling players like this: A good old fashioned beat down. Will it happen? I doubt Avery is willing to drop the gloves with the likes of Phaneuf or Iginla and for good reason.
Have you ever bad-mouthed someone's girlfriend or mother then got into a fight with that person? The rage and fury that comes out is next to none. What I do expect is a lot of extra attention to Avery from the big guns of his opponents. He will eventually get what is coming to him, I just hope the match is televised!
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