Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sean Avery: Poison or the Rope?

A lot of people are reacting quite strongly to the recent antics of charming Mr. Avery. 

What he said was crass and misogynistic, no doubt, but I'm not entirely sure that it warrants a suspension. The League should have stood back and allowed Dion Phaneuf and his cohorts to take care of things on the ice. 

Then again, James Mirtle makes a good point:
What if his next move is to dump on the daughters of opposing general managers? What if he does it when the Stars next game is against the Canadiens? And, hey, let's make fun of ol' Walter Gretzky while we're in Phoenix, too!
That is not how you build a brand. It's a sideshow, plain and simple, and if you rely on the Averys of the NHL to determine where the line is and if they can cross it, we're heading into ugly territory indeed.
I can see both sides of it. How liberating not to have a strong opinion. 

Meanwhile, anyone who thinks this is some sort of "free speech" issue is a bit confused. Avery is perfectly free to say whatever he wants about Elisha Cuthbert and Dion Phaneuf, but the NHL has every right to censure him as a representative of the NHL. The NHL isn't some tyrannical governmental council locking Avery up for saying naughty things; they're an organization that can do more or less what they want when one of their employees does something stupid. 

That said, I do think the NHL would be silly to suspend Avery for a long time. He's an idiot, but he's an idiot who can (presumably, if his mouth is any indication) hold his own on the ice. Let him defend himself there.


Big Shooter said...

The reason the NHL suspended him was so the teams WOULD NOT settle it on the ice. Very good call by the way.

Steve Moore.

Avery should be out of the game.

Nuff said.

Mortimer Peacock said...

Steve Moore? I'm not sure that it's the same kind of situation.

Bertuzzi murdered Moore in retaliation for a hit. No one is going to kill Sean Avery; saying something about sloppy seconds is enough to get a beating, probably, but not a life-threatening, career-ending injury.

aaron said...

...but there's always the danger of crossing the line when you're playing on the edge, right?

Mortimer Peacock said...

That's true.

Maybe there just should have been some time in the game allotted to Beating Up Sean Avery, But Not Too Much, Observed by Officials.

Big Shooter said...

I was just trying to say it could have been an ugly night. Good move by the NHL to stop it before it started.

aaron said...

@Mortimer: That sounds like the single best idea for a fan-participation game I have ever heard.