Sean Avery has been an NHL super pest and agitator now for some time, so there’s no reason to be surprised with his latest antics towards the Oilers' Ladislav Smid on Nov. 14 at Madison Square Garden.
Avery, known for his theatrical flair and on-ice antics designed to get under the skin of competitors, has twice led the National Hockey League in penalty minutes and was voted "most hated" in the NHL.
The game between the struggling Oilers and the Rangers was an up-tempo affair with an abundance of gritty-style plays.
Late in the third period with the Rangers leading 5-2, the Czech Republic-born Smid challenged Sean Avery to a fight which Avery was quick to decline.
Avery then looked as if he was going to jump back into the play, but quickly changed his mind and jumped a defenceless Smid and dropped him with a sucker shot.
These are the kind of antics that give Sean Avery the negative name he has. Avery is malicious and dirty and has no respect for the players or the game.
His on-ice chirps, racial remarks and gestures are starting to run dry again with fans and players around the league. Sean Avery has started this image of a bad boy or agitator and he was quick to realize what he has been displaying sells papers, makes NHL headlines and brings him attention, whether it’s positive or negative. He thrives off it.
The game has had many players who displayed on-ice drama such as, Darcy Tucker, Jeremy Roenick and Matthew Barnaby, all who are very likable and respected people. The same can’t be said about Mr. Avery.
His cockiness and careless remarks along with many other situations he’s been a part of have made him a marked man with little respect from his peers.
How long will this circus go on? Would Avery get away with this in the Gordie Howe/Terry O'Reilly era? I highly doubt it.
These are the questions that get me thinking. On a positive note for Avery this season, the Rangers don’t meet the Oilers again and he won’t have to worry about retaliation towards his juvenile behaviour.
Rangers bench boss John Tortorella can’t be too impressed with Avery’s numbers, as he’s only tallied 1 goal and 7 assists, with 46 min in PIM in 18 games.
The New York Rangers remain second in the Atlantic Division, five points behind the leading rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers.
So like Johnny Knoxville of Jackass, the suspense continues. What will Sean Avery do next? Only time will tell.