Saturday, December 6, 2008

"Unprecedented". . .

A have a few more minutes so I wanted to write a little more on Sean Avery in light of the recent six game suspension for the winger for his off-ice activities.

Obviously the NHL immediately made it obvious they were going to suspend him for his actions. That much was clear. I still don't agree with the logic there. It's been five days and I still am not sure how his "off-ice" remarks which have nothing to do with the game of hockey can get him suspended for six games. I don't.

And I'm not defending him. It may sound like it. But trust me, I think if Avery and I were ever friends, he would have found a way to anger me or insult me personally. I feel that is in his nature. But that just means that I wouldn't want to be friends with the guy.

So the NHL because they do not get a warm and fuzzy feeling from Sean, because he doesn't send the NHL commissioner a Hannukah card, that gives them the feeling it's okay to saddle him with a six game suspension.

I repeat that if Sean were to have made actual "threats" with his words. Something of the "Dion Phaneuf stole my girlfriend. I hate him and I'm going to -ill him" variety, I can actually understand this.

Instead all he did was make the crude, insensitive remarks of someone that apparently is a crude and insensitive man. In all my defending Avery - again of this which I am not currently - I've never said he's a warm, teddy bear, or a genuinely good person. Never. Look back. I've said I genuinely enjoy him and I like him. There is a big difference.

Think about it. If he didn't say "sloppy seconds" Tuesday morning, the game would have been played and we'd be talking about something else. Perhaps who won the battle of Calgary versus Dallas, Phaneuf (a guy the league likes) versus Avery (a guy the league hates).

Instead, all throughout Canada and even the US, hockey is being talked about for this. For it's "unprecedented" suspension of the winger.

I still think that if his actions in Dallas have been so horrific, that he Stars should have sat him down a long time ago. Brett Hull convinced the organization he was worth the 4-year contract. If he was not behaving. If he was becoming a distraction, that is the team's responsibility. I truly believe that. If he became literally "impossible" they could have taken actions to get further help.

But instead, the league stepped in. And that is what it is. They should have fined him. Personally. Not suspended him. And as for the anger management, that's actually fine with me. He might very well need counselling of various types. I've never said he wasn't a unique and different human being. Perhaps the character I like and enjoy is really someone who is crying for help and dealing with something that NONE of us know about. I'm not sure.

Bottom line, I am thrilled with the NHLPA stepping in and saying they are going to make sure this situation does not get further out of the "unprecedented" realm it has stepped into. Sean, like it or not, is a player under contract by the Stars to play hockey. If anything else stands in the way of that, it'll be an injustice.

I'm not saying he's an angel. I'm just saying he's not a criminal.

Which brings me to any comparisons of Avery to Plaxico Burress. They are two incomparable situations.

One guy brought a loaded gun (illegal) that he did not have registered (illegal) into a night club (illegal) and shot himself (stupid).

One guy called over the press (amusing), took the stage (typical), said a crude, insensitive, and unnecessary comment about his ex-girlfriend's relationship with another NHL player (stupid), and got suspended for six games (unprecedented).

Plaxico Burress is being made example of because he broke numerous laws and could have KILLED somebody with his stupidity. He might go to JAIL.

Sean Avery is being made an example of because the league has made it clear they don't like him, don't like dealing with his off-color and slightly demented sense of humor. But his actions did nothing more than make people think he was an idiot - which most already knew - and maybe hurt Elisha Cuthbert's feelings.

There is a BIG difference here. Sean's actions were, by comparision, very innocent. If anyone thinks differently, they are thinking with a biased brain. End of story.

Lastly, I am posting a link that I got from Rangers Report, and saying, two things:

One, this lady, while she certainly did not deserve the harsh words Sean Avery tossed at her, most definitely has herself to blame for provoking him. Actions have concequences. By taking the time to repeatedly bring signs that distastefully depict Sean and displaying them at a a game, you are drawing attention to yourself. You are saying, look at me. And you are also telling the world you have way too much time on your hands. I'm sorry if her feelings were hurt by his remarks, but, lady, you are not innocent. Since you probably think so little of Sean (or again, you think too much of him because you took the time to do what you did), think of him as a zoo animal. It is cruel and wrong to poke at zoo animals while they are in their cages. Sean in the penalty box is a zoo animal in a cage. He is responsible for his actions absolutely. But when provoked repeatedly, he's going to lash out. He didn't hit her or threaten her. He just called her some bad, distasteful things.

Which, brings me to the thought that perhaps anger management is only the tip of the iceberg. I think he can benefit from that counselling, absolutely. What's more. I think it's somewhat curious that in these two incidents, his "anger," his "comments" are of a less-than-romantic sexual nature. They are crude, sexual references. I am not a fan of that. But, I think, perhaps, maybe, there is a root to why Sean is doing that. Making sexual references when he didn't need to (in terms of the Calgary/Dallas incident) and when they were completely unnecessary and even more crude (with the lady in Nashville). Honestly, and excuse my language, but he could have just called her an ----ing --tch or a ---ce of --it and it would not be as disturbing. I'm not a psychologist (barely paid attention in college psych 101 in fact) but to me, that is more telling than people are realizing.

I really and truthfully hope - in any way - that Sean is able to get back to the league and be productive. I want him to be able to do that. Half because I've seen him be a really effective player in New York and I believe he can be again. And half because I want the people who don't like him (most of Canada, let's face it) to be forced to realize, he is more than just a side show. Because I really think he can be. Am I stupid or naive? Maybe. But I'll take that risk.

Other links:

Courtesy of PJ Stock/Team 990:,-but-Bettman-overreacted

Around the league:

I am going to be unable to watch the NHL games or HNIC tonight. Everyone enjoy. I will check back in before Calgary/NY tomorrow, a game I am looking forward to.

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