Look, I in no way want Sean Avery on my hockey team, but c'mon! Six games for saying "sloppy seconds?"
I understand that Avery is the most hated player in the NHL and gets under all opponents' skin. However, is it really necessary to plaster the guy with a six-game suspension? After all, the guy simply blurted out a common innuendo.
I am willing to bet that there are plenty of people out there who have used that term at some point or another, and didn't think twice about it. Neither did Avery.
Now, shouldn't Avery know he's under the microscope and leave the matter alone? Sure, but Avery is a clown, and we all know he doesn't think before he speaks.
All that being said, let's look at the facts. How much harm could come from these words? Not much harm at all, as if this were really a heavy issue the two could have settled on the ice.
Remember, this is hockey and the players are known to police themselves.
I just can't fathom how Avery can get six games for his words, while Randy Jones of the Philadelphia Flyers only received a two-game suspension when he ended Patrice Bergeron's '07-08 season.
What's worse for the game, some trash talk (albeit rude and uncalled for) or someone boarding a defenseless player from behind?
It's sad that the only time the NHL gets any publicity is when a goon says something like this, or Jonathan Roy pummels a defenseless goalie in junior-level hockey. But again, that is something else to bring up.
Avery gets six games for his tangent, while Johnathan Roy receives seven games for fighting a player who had no intention whatsoever of scrapping or even defending himself—just for the sake of fighting him.
I'm just asking for some consistency from the NHL.
I know the NHL had nothing to do with the Roy incident, but let's focus on the Jones hit. If you're going to give Avery six games for his tirade, and in all honesty, his reputation had to factor in here, why are you only giving Jones two games for hitting a defenseless player and ending his season?
Or Todd Bertuzzi only getting 17 games for sucker-punching Steve Moore and ending his playing career?
I don't like Sean Avery and wouldn't want him on my hockey team. But if the NHL wants me to take them seriously when they say they are worried about the players safety, they need to look like it.
What are they more concerned about, their physical safety or mental safety?
Steve Moore will never play hockey again—and Bertuzzi gets 17 games. Dion Phaneuf may have been offended by the comments, but if the NHL is more worried about the feelings of their players than their safety, then they have shown their true colors.
C'mon, Gary (Bettman), be a man of your word.
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