He’s an assh*le

Having spent three decades in hockey rinks with a notepad in my hand, it’s not Sean Avery’s choice of words in describing actress Elisha Cuthbert as his “sloppy seconds” that offends me.

While Avery’s characterization of Cuthbert, a former girlfriend who has been dating Dion Phaneuf of the Calgary Flames, was unquestionably vulgar, uncalled for and premeditated, what he said Tuesday is no more profane than the kind of trashy talk you hear out on the ice or in NHL dressing rooms.

What offends me is that Avery showed again he has absolutely no regard or respect for his teammates, his coaches, his organization or the NHL in general when he summoned reporters in the visitor’s dressing room and delivered his gutter-shot at Phaneuf and Cuthbert.

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And that — not the vulgarity of his comments — is why Avery, no matter what discipline Gary Bettman delivers after a hearing in New York at noon Thursday, has played his last game as a member of the Stars. He’s more done in Dallas than Debbie. As it should be.

Take that to the bank.

No friends

“He’s an asshole.”

That’s what one member of the Dallas contingent said of Avery at Rexall Place today. Trust me. You’d be hard-pressed to find a single player in the visitor’s dressing room who takes issue with that.

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Truth be told, I’ve never come across a player held in such contempt by his teammates. There’s only so much they can say on the record, but I can tell you with certainty, Avery has no allies in the dressing room, not one person willing to go to bat for him.

And, even without bringing past indiscretions into it — Avery’s comments about French Canadians being visor-wearing cowards, the accusation by Georges Laraque that Avery uttered a racial slur during a game in Los Angeles — that’s completely understandable.

What Avery did Tuesday was spit in the collective face of the Dallas franchise, from owner Thomas O Hicks, who made Avery wealthy with a lucrative new contract, to co-general manager Brett Hull, who vouched for Avery and pushed for the deal that brought him to Texas, to coach Dave Tippett and his teammates.

All about Sean

“This goes beyond hockey and beyond the game on the ice, and that’s what bothers me,” Hull told the Dallas Morning News.

“We have talked and talked and talked about being on the edge within the game but not going over the line. We told him from the start that he cannot do things that would embarrass the organization.”

Avery, from what I’m led to believe by a person I trust, has done nothing but embarrass the organization.

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Avery’s statement in Calgary came minutes after Tippett had defended him in a scrum with reporters. It came after Avery was specifically told to NOT do interviews at the morning skate.

And, as anybody can see, it came with the Stars already struggling in the standings and riddled with injuries.

“It’s just so disappointing for guys who have been around here for a long time and have taken a lot of pride in how this organization has been perceived,” goaltender Marty Turco said.

See ya

While it might have been satisfying to see Avery get the snot beat out of him in Calgary, Bettman pulled the pin on a Gong Show with an indefinite suspension. Hicks followed up by saying the Stars would’ve suspended Avery on their own before he was sent home.

Now that he’s been kicked in the groin after selling him to Hicks, I’m guessing Hull, who is accompanying Avery to New York for the hearing, won’t be putting his credibility on the line again. Tippett? Uh, no.

I can’t imagine there will be any uproar from Dallas players when Bettman suspends Avery. Whether that suspension is five games, 10 games or the balance of the season, they will be happy he’s gone for as long as he’s gone — until he’s officially gone for good.

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Based on Avery’s actions, I’d suggest Hicks has a shot at having his contract voided. And there’s also the possibility of a buy-out or a trade, although I can’t imagine that any self-respecting GM would think he could sell a boor like Avery to his fan base. We’ll see.

Whatever. You’re done in Big D, punk.

— Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6pm on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on Team 1260.

  • Im wondering how much longer he has in the NHL in general. Played a decent role in Detroit, wore out his welcome. Decent role in L.A, wore out his welcome. Pretty pivotal role in New York, especially in the playoffs, wore out his welcome. Vouched for by Brett Hull, out the back door faster then he came in.
    How many strikes do you need to have against you before the rest of the league just shrugs their shoulders and 30 GM's won't even entertain the thought of having you on their team?

    As much as I dislike the Burrow's and the Barnaby's and the Ruutu's, they at least wait to pull out the shinnanagins when they are on the ice. They use those verbal jabs, etc, to give their team an edge. Help them win games.
    Sean Avery just loves to hear himself talk. Not since Kanye West have I seen someone crave so much attention, all the time.

  • Ender the Dragon

    I think this was Avery's last shot. After seeing Brett Hull with that much egg on his face, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a GM in the league with enough job security that they'd spin the wheel on him.

    "It's a mathematical function," said MacTavish. "What you create minus what you give up. At the end of the day you have to create more than you give up. That's going to be the pass or fail mark with [Schremp], as it is with every other player.

    So from a GM's point of view, does Avery indeed bring more to the table than he takes away? I doubt you'd find someone who thinks so in this league right now. Sean Avery, meet Theo Fleury; he's your new linemate.

  • Fiveandagame

    "He’s more done in Dallas than Debbie. "

    Brownlee, these Oilers have you down right ornery lately and it's sure a pleasure to read. Gold RB Gold.

    I would think Bob is right, Avery is off to the KHL with Ray "road rage" Emery. Think is, he pulls this crap over there he'll be wearing cement shoes at the bottom of the moscow river. NHL owners are business men, in russia they are "legitimate" business men….

  • Al Hamilton

    If he is done in the league for good I guarantee he writes a "canseco" book which throws the league and many players under the bus. He is not going to just disappear I fear.

  • No matter when he finishes his career with the NHL, that book will be published. Along with an autobiography and a series of teen novels based around a jock who also doubles as a fashion consultant.
    His retirement will be no where near the last we hear of Sean Avery.

  • RobinB

    Al: "If he is done in the league for good I guarantee he writes a “canseco” book which throws the league and many players under the bus. He is not going to just disappear I fear."

    You're probably right, but from what I hear, there would be no shortage of players willing to fire back at Avery and, believe me, there's plenty of ammo out there that, as of now, hasn't seen the light of day in newspapers or on TV.

    This is a person with issues.

  • Pat H


    And here I thought the title of this article was you quoting Gregor. My ears heard him describe Avery in the same way yesterday afternoon – ON AIR.

    But it's ok Gregor…I think most here agree with the description anyhow. And given Robin's article above, it seems the Stars would agree too.

  • Chris

    He is a total asshole. What I would give to have Avery's ablity, oppertunity, and contract… and he is throwing it all away. Avery generated 9 shots on goal against the Oil in Dallas, he landed some solid hits, and he scored. Hull and Tippett had his back. He didn't just burn Cuthbert, and his GM, and his Coach, and his teammates, and Dallas owenership: He Burned HIMSELF! Douchebag. Stupid Douchebag!

  • RobinB

    Guys: I'm guessing the punishment Bettman hands out will be relatively minor compared to all the ink and attention this issue has generated — I'm thinking Friday's announcement will be something in the 5-10 game range.

    It's the Stars, from owner Thomas Hicks on down through management, coaches and players, who'll torpedo Avery for good after the NHL decision is released.

    Then, the obligatory scrap with the NHLPA begins.

  • RobinB

    OilDude: What I love about fashion — not that I'll be on the cover of GQ anytime soon — is that if something is deemed cool and in, people will wear it no matter how much it makes them look like short-bus regulars.

    Everybody wears these stupid glasses now. It's like hanging a couple of tinted windshields from a 1964 Buick on your face. They remind me of the big, hideous green goggles people used to wear in the late-1960s. Everybody over 65 wore them because you could strap 'em on without taking off your prescription glasses.

  • Deep Oil

    Stranger than fiction……….. CSI NY – Season 2 Episode 2 – 2005

    It appears that Avery lifted the sloppy seconds reference from a CSI NY Hockey 2005 episode that aired as rerun on Tuesday via Spike – which brings the question – if a comment like this can be viewed on prime time television – is a league suspension to be scrutinized or better left for Hicks and Hull internally.

    There is no anger management issue here – just good old fashioned high school plaguerism…… seems Avery doesn't like the soaps but
    allegedy has a taste for murder mystery based television…… this episode was broadcasted on December 02 on Spike – rating is 14plus.

    The show could of been viewed prior to December 02 – originally aired 2005.

    This means he possibly just repeated what was on regular (regulated) television on the same day via public airwaves for teenagers – 14+
    Bad judgement – and intention to hurt someone and the league / teamates / team…..(YES) – but the quote and the reference were not original.

    Avery should not be watching Dexter for future reference – bad karma – level 2 – Danton watches this show I have heard.

    Episode – Grand Murder At Central Station
    Sloppy Seconds reference made by Detective Danny Messers – RE: hockey teamate chasing same girl

    Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0534867/

    Video: http://www.free-tv-video-online.info/internet/csi_ny/season_2.html
    Scroll Down until you reach the links…..