Posts Tagged ‘Sean Avery’

Can We Start Talking About Hockey Again?

September 28th, 2011

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a rant.

In the latest of what seems like the most trivial NHL pre-season ever, news surfaced Monday night that Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds called New York Rangers pest Sean Avery a derogatory name following an on ice scuffle. Yes folks, one young man called a slightly older young man a bad word. I’m still gathering myself.

In case you didn’t click the link above, Simmonds allegedly called Avery a “Faggot.”

I’m not one to make assumptions, but I’m pretty sure it’s the first time something like this has ever happened.

» Read more: Can We Start Talking About Hockey Again?

Other NHL gestures

October 15th, 2010

Image from Puck Daddy

A lot has been made of James Wisniewski’s amusing gesture to Sean Avery during Monday’s Rangers-Islanders game. Some have dubbed Wisniewski a “jerk-off” while others are referring to the incident as “fellatio-gate” (stick tap to Puck Daddy for that one).

Personally, I think the whole thing has been blown out of proportion. It’s just a silly thing that was done in the heat of the moment. Even Wisniewski regrets doing it. Besides, life can be a slippery slope sometimes – we all make mistakes.

But here’s the thing many fans don’t know: these kinds of gestures are very prevalent throughout the NHL. You may not have noticed them before, but after reading this article you’ll start noticing gestures everywhere.

Here are a few of the more common NHL gestures:

5 Plus 5
Explanation: Spread each of your five fingers out on both of your hands as if you are showing the number 10. You know, 10 as in two-thirds of the average New Jersey Devils line up.

Explanation: Place both hands firmly around your hips and chuckle like some evil villain from the first Die Hard movie. What are you laughing at? The very prospect that the Phoenix Coyotes might actually be sold some time soon.

Explanation: Fully extend and hold both of your arms as if they are tied and bound together. You’ll find this aptly describes Ilya Kovalchuk’s 15-year sentence in Jersey.

Explanation: With your left hand, press your middle finger and thumb together to make a zero. Now show this gesture to the Calgary Flames CEO Ken King and tell him it represents the impact of his number one line. He’ll know the line you are referring to. The one featuring two amazing UFA signings in Olli Jokinen and Alex Tanguay this past summer.

Can’t See You
Explanation: Place your hands over your eyes, covering them completely. Then make an arbitrary decision based on what you didn’t just see. This is exactly how the NHL’s chief disciplinarian Colin Campbell makes his suspension rulings.

Pure Confusion
Explanation: Stand still and slightly tilt your head to the left. Let your body become totally motionless. Then act completely confused at anything and everything. This is known around the NHL as “Dion Phaneuf interview mode.”

The Wave
Explanation: Raise your right arm until your elbow reaches the height of your chin. Proceed move your right arm left to right in a swaying motion. Dominic Moore uses this gesture to his teammates every trade deadline after he’s traded for a second round draft pick.

The Gun
Explanation: Fully extend your right arm and point only your index finger. Close the rest of your fingers into your fist, raise your thumb and turn your arm until your thumb is pointing upwards. You will need to perfect this gesture by next week when it’s time to fire both of the Sutter brothers in Calgary.

Stay classy, common NHL gestures.

Unwritten hockey rules

August 24th, 2010

Last night I was involved in a very minor post-whistle scuffle during a rec hockey game (whatever – it was playoffs!!). Basically, I drove the net and gently rubbed up against the goalie. The opposing defenceman didn’t like it and wanted to let me know how he felt about it. That provoked me to communicate my feelings about his mother, blah blah blah. Of course when I say “gently rubbed up” I really mean whacked and bowled over.

This is one of those unwritten rules within the game. Defencemen always stick up for their goalies and players (probably) shouldn’t hit opposing goalies. Given this story, I thought it would be appropriate to look at some other unwritten hockey rules that exist on and off the ice.

Fighting after a hit
In the New NHL, you have to fight after making a big hit. Hell, you have to fight if you thought about making the hit but decided against it. This rule pretty much applies to every NHL player except Tomas Kaberle. Come on, we all know Tomas wouldn’t ever think about making a bodycheck, much less make one!

Celebrating Stanley Cups when you’ve been traded
As we saw with Dustin Bufyglien, it’s sort of a faux-pas to celebrate your day with the Stanley Cup in your new team jersey (Buff’s case: Thrashers jersey) when the Cup was won a few months ago with the Blackhawks. Or maybe the mini media frenzy that spurred from this was a subtle play by the Canadian hockey media to voice their opinions of struggling sunbelt teams??

Inappropriate commercials
The NHL, owners and players all frown upon bad and/or inappropriate TV commercials. When Bruce Boudreau continued making terrible TV commercials, the hockey Gods punished him by making his Capitals lose a playoff series against team who boasted players like Hal Gill, Dominic Moore, some “out of nowhere” goalie, coached by Jacques Martin. When George Laraque did the Octane 7 Energy drink commercial, the Montreal Canadiens basically terminated his NHL career. The combination of losing your NHL contract and ending up working in Canadian politics is a pretty rough punishment by anyone’s standards.

Faking injuries
The line between drawing a penalty and faking an injury is blurred at best. Most players barely understand where that line starts and ends. In an effort to help, let’s just put that line at Albert Haynesworth and that night Sean Avery nearly died.

Trash talking
No matter what is said, trash talking on the ice during a hockey game is perfectly acceptable. Even if you have zero intention of fighting. However, the following are places that aren’t regarded as appropriate for trash talking: Dressing room treadmills, on-ice Stanley Cup celebrations and Twitter.

Ease up on icings
The NHL wants to create dramatic and exciting races to pucks by continuing with touch-icing. The players seem to be against “trying to kill each other” and – for the most part – do their best to not hit one another while racing for the puck. In my opinion, this is a good example of the NHL’s inability to fully conceptualize ideas… The most exciting part of touch-icing is seeing how quickly the ambulance can get to the hospital. Hello CAM-bulance.

Stay classy, unwritten hockey rules.

8 alternative punishments for Patrice Cormier

January 21st, 2010

On Wednesday, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League revealed while they don’t yet have a punishment for Patrice Cormier, they expect to have one at some point next week.

While it seems odd the QMJHL would make an announcement to announce another announcement on Cormier’s punishment is forthcoming, it’s probably something they should take their time with to ensure the right form of discipline is handed out. Cormier’s punishment presents an interesting dilemma for Commissioner Gilles Courteau and the QMJHL. Courteau needs to send a strong message to Cormier, the league, and the hockey world that this type of play cannot and will not be tolerated. However, this needs to be done in a way that doesn’t make OHL Commissioner David Branch and his previous punishments look insignificant or over the top.

Since decisions like these can be tough, I’d like to offer some suggestions to Courteau and the QMJHL, should they require additional help or advice. Below are the top 8 alternative punishments for Patrice Cormier, courtesy of

  • Have Cormier use his elbow to iron and flatten all of Sean Avery’s clothes. Even the sloppy seconds clothes.
  • Send Cormier back to the World Junior Championships next year to learn how to properly captain a Canadian hockey team. While he’s there, maybe he can keep Pierre McGuire from ‘unleashing’ any more Taylor Hall-ice cream quotes.
  • Have Cormier deliver a similar elbow-shot to the President of NBC for extending Jay Leno’s career after we thought he might finally retire.
  • Have Cormier play for the Toronto Maple Leafs so he can learn how true pugnacity is played. Fact: I had as much trouble typing that as you did reading it…
  • In a cross-promotional effort, have Cormier deliver another similar elbow-shot in a WWE fight to help promote Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s new hockey movie, “The Toothfairy”.
  • Have Cormier watch the world’s worst movie once a day, every day for as many days as Mikael Tam takes to fully recover. Of course, the movie I’m referring to is Garden State.
  • Have Cormier deliver two more elbow-shots to Alex Burrows and Stephane Auger for making hockey fans hear more crying and moaning from sports “professionals” than found in an episode of Jersey Shore.
  • Immediately promote Cormier to the NHL to play for Pat Quinn and the Edmonton Oilers. That in itself should be punishment enough.

Stay classy, Gilles Courteau and the QMJHL.

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Marty Turco can actually learn something from Sean Avery

January 7th, 2010

Yeah, I know. I never thought Marty Turco could learn anything from Sean Avery (except fashion tips?), but the NHL is full of surprises.

Last night, the New York Rangers hosted the Dallas Stars at MSG in what was the second game between the Stars and Avery, since exiling him two seasons ago. For whatever reason, Avery hasn’t been as productive this season as he has normally been for the Rangers. In fact, he hasn’t even been as annoying (I believe Flyers thug Dan Carcillo has since taken the title as the NHL’s problem child).

Anyways, the Rangers beat the Stars 5-2 and Avery lead the charge scoring a goal and adding three assists. A 4-point night for Avery who from all accounts was the difference maker in the Rangers win.

Fact: Sean Avery has a lot more skill than he often shows.

Fact: Sean Avery often behaves like an idiot.

Yet following the game, when interviewed about Avery’s 1st star performance, this is what Marty Turco had to say:

“I would have liked to see that delinquent do that for us last year. I didn’t think it was possible, really.”
- Marty Turco on Sean Avery’s 4-point night against the Dallas Stars

Seriously, Marty? I have no issue with one player calling another player out like that. Unless your performance was so bad that it makes Pascal Leclaire seem like a good replacement. (Kidding, Sens fans). Turco’s fall from grace has been well documented over the years (remember he was the 3rd goalie for the 2006 Canadian Olympic team). But for those who didn’t see the game or highlights from the Stars/Rangers game, check this out:

That’s pretty weak goaltending from Turco. Yes, some of the breakdowns were the Stars fault (not just Turco), but I look at the Avery slapshot goal as a save Turco has to make. OK – Avery had one good game but has been invisible for most of the season. Regardless, he stepped up in what was probably a big game for him on a personal level.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Avery, but he backed up his act with a fine performance last night. Turco didn’t. Isn’t that the cardinal rule of trash-talking? As much as it pains me to say this, Turco could learn a thing or two from Avery. And yes, Hell has officially frozen over.

Stay classy, Sean Avery. You actually were more classy than Marty Turco last night.

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Quote showdown: Burke or Roenick?

August 6th, 2009

Yesterday’s blog from Baxter about Jeremy Roenick and some of his more memorable quotes was pretty good.   JR had some great moments during his 20 year NHL career.

But it made me wonder, who’s the better quotester?   Current Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke or Jeremy Roenick?  Both know how to stir it up and both aren’t afraid of saying what they really think.  Although this would be a pretty epic battle, my vote has to go to Burke.   Burke’s got the wit and can eloquently say “you are an ass”, while Roenick is more of a straight shooter, direct and to the point.   However, Roenick never shy’s away from the truth and is over-the-top blunt.  Instead of dressing it up, JR would basically say “you’re an ass”.

But, I think its fair to say Burke has more overall credibility than Roenick.

Upon further thought (I’m a deep thinker), it occurred to me both of these NHL mouthpieces are American born.   Hmmm, interesting.   Chris Chelios, another American, is no stranger to speaking out either.   So are American hockey players (or coaches/GMs) the most outspoken hockey nation?

Probably not.   Canada lays claim to Sean Avery.  Unfortunately.   Anyways, I’m not sure what the point of this post really is.  Relevant hockey news is pretty slow in the middle of summer.   And I don’t want to talk about Jim Balsillie anymore (unless he actually comes close to getting a team in Hamilton).

So a simple question to all of you.   Your feedback/opinion is critical.   Who’d win in a war of words: Brian Burke or Jeremy Roenick?  You know my thoughts and now I want yours.   Let the debate begin.

Stay classy, memorable quotesters.

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Thoughts on the NHL playoffs second round and NHL public relations

May 10th, 2009

They say that the Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to win in professional sports.  I think that most people who have their name engraved on the trophy would easily agree.  It even hurts to watch the highlight packs sometimes.

Having the Ottawa Senators advance to the Stanley Cup Finals a few years ago only cemented how great a playoff run can be.  As a fan, nothing beats watching your favourite team advance, round-after-round, all the way to their chance at hockey’s most prestigious award.  For us here in Ottawa, the end result was a bit of a letdown, but the experience was unbeatable.

This year I’ve had a chance to watch the playoffs more objectively, and looking back at other years as well, I’ve confirmed one thing: nothing beats the second round of the playoffs.

The first round can be pretty entertaining.  You get excited that the playoffs are back, and the first round brings about the occasional upset victory, and the start of a few Cinderella stories (think Edmonton in 2006).   But for the most part, the first round is kind of predictable.   It’s easy to see the best teams and predict who will advance.

The third round is a good round too, but at this point you’re thinking more about the big show rather than the Conference Finals.  Usually one team has had an easy run to the third round, and another team that has fought tooth and nail.  The other thing that comes up in the third round is an umpteen amount of injuries.  This often leaves one team out of the two at a serious disadvantage.  For the most part, the Conference Finals don’t provide the drama.

And again, the Finals bring on the final act, and it is exciting.  But there’s only a game every two days, so no matter how exciting it is, you still have to wait.  If you have nothing at all invested in the matchup, then it’s not that great.

The above reasons are why the second round is so strong.  This is when you get invested in a team.

Just look at this year’s matchups.  Three of the series were locked in at 2-2 before Saturday’s games.  The teams are healthy, beating each other up, and there are two games every day.  You don’t even have to be a fan of any of the teams to appreciate the level of hockey being played.  But that’s when you become a fan.

The matchups are more even, the storylines are better.  I don’t know about you, but I’m more excited about who is going to the Conference Finals between Washington and Pittsburgh, then I am about who is going to the Stanley Cup Finals.

The other thing about the second round is that it sets the tone for the rest of the playoffs.  Playoff performers begin to emerge (remember Johan Franzen last year), and teams begin to show their true mettle (look at the Carolina Hurricanes this year as an example).

All I can say about the second round right now is that I don’t want it to end.


I hate to do it, but to quote Sean Avery: “The NHL has to do a better job at marketing.”

Okay, maybe not a better job at marketing, but they have to figure out their timing.  We’ve all heard the news about the Phoenix Coyotes bankruptcy.  It’s a bit of a black mark on the league, but there’s an old saying that any publicity is good publicity.

In other words, the Phoenix Coyotes story would be a fantastic way to put the NHL in the news, oh I don’t know, in the middle of the summer when nobody is thinking about hockey.

But instead, the NHL is dealing with this problem when any NHL news should be focused on the playoffs.  Now I’m not suggesting that they have any control over the timing, but perhaps they could have been a bit more involved in Phoenix rather than trying to dust the news under the rug.  By painting such a rosy picture in the Sun Belt, the NHL has completely ignored the problem.

If they embrace the problem in the middle of summer, the NHL is back in the news again, and hey, they will be creating some excitement for the upcoming season.  If this played out during July and August, how excited would you be to find out who is going to be playing in Southern Ontario in October.

Just sayin’.

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Can we please make hockey broadcasts more entertaining?

April 27th, 2009

I checked and as far as I can tell, there aren’t any scheduled circus shows planned for New York City or Madison Square Garden any time soon, but the New York Rangers are intent on proving me wrong.

You see, the Rangers themselves are the circus.  Between the Sean Avery act, John Tortorella’s water squirting skills and a number of big money-no results players, the Rangers are a traveling circus as far as NHL playoff teams are concerned.

Had to get that out of me.  

OK – anyways, I’ve always felt watching hockey on TV never does the game justice.  It’s nothing like seeing it in person and while nearly every sport can say the same (except bowling… or maybe ultimate frisbee or something), I think football translates a whole lot better on TV than hockey does.  The production American networks put into NFL games are amazing, so why can’t NHL broadcasts be like that? 

I think NHL broadcasts could be much more engaging for viewers by presenting hockey more like video games in terms of production and camera angles.  Nearly all telecasts have (at minimum) a center ice camera, two net-cam’s and a camera between the benches so Pierre McGuire can definitively tell us how big Blackhawks forward Dustin Byfuglien is.  

So, here’s an idea… why don’t CBC/TSN/Versus have each camera broadcast on different channels (or even online for that matter), allowing viewers to switch back and forth at their desire?  Have the same commentators on each channel and let the viewer choose the view.

And if we’re going down this road, I’d like to see all broadcasts have camera’s under the scoreboard, like  Madison Square Garden does.  Now that’s a cool way to see powerplay’s and breakouts.  Or a good view on Donald Brashear’s next headshot.

What if we had a camera the ran  from one faceoff circle around the glass to the other?  Or instead of around the glass, the camera could move aroud the top of each stadium’s lower bowl.  This would provide undeniable proof if Tortorella pre-maturely squirted.  Errr, squirted first.  Errr, nevermind.

Point is, hockey broadcasts are stale and need to be more interactive, giving viewers the option to watch it like a video game.  Maybe then the game could appeal to a mass audience.  Actually, upon further thought, I can already see the arguments,  ”I want the EA Sports NHL09 Action view”, or “No way dude, I want the NHL2k9 arcade view”. 
That might be as lame as a certain number one seed losing in the first round…


Stay classy, stale NHL broadcasts.


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The Classy's: award season

April 8th, 2009

The NHL season is winding down.  We’re now being inundated with the same old questions.  Who is the league’s MVP?  Who deserves the Calder?  What if Cory Clouston would have taken over the Ottawa Senators sooner?  What was the play of the year?

We here at have never professed to be part of those mainstream questions.  So we’ve compiled our own list – the weirdest moments in the NHL.  Feel free to vote at the end of this entry. 

For your consideration:

David Clarkson Goal?  No Goal?  Wait… What?


I don’t know what the best part of this goal is. The fact that it’s a goal, or the look on Ron Wilson’s face when they call it a goal.


Animal Fights a Staal Brother


This one has already made it’s way across TV and the blogosphere.  But why not revisit it again. It really does resemble Animal from the Muppets playing the drums.


Spezza vs. Phaneuf


It’s more cause you never thought you’d see it. 


Miss Hit


There are several reasons why this is too bad.  
1 –  It’s too bad because he sort of gets hurt on the play.
2 –  It’s too bad because he didn’t actually get a piece of anyone.
3 –  It’s too bad because it looks, for the briefest of moments, that the Toronto Maple Leafs look like they know what they’re doing.


Is There Now Such Thing as the Campoli Hat Trick?


Seeing as he already scored once before scoring twice, it seems fair to award him the hat trick. Glad he’s on our team now. 


Who’s a Wookie?


It’s only partially NHL related, so it counts.  Plus, Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole are hilarious.  But admittedly, if you stumbled upon two people having this argument, you’d think it was weird.  Not so much on national TV.

If you have any other suggestions for weird moments, please post them in the comments.  Some were left out deliberately to avoid rehashing old arguments (Alex Ovechkin 50th goal celebration), avoid controversy (Sean Avery “sloppy seconds” comment), and because they would only be applicable if they happened in the NHL (Ray Emery swinging at the team doctor).  

Vote for your favorite here:

[polldaddy poll=1523401]

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Being the Ottawa Senators GM is like having a broken knee

February 11th, 2009

I’m driving to work, listening to sports talk radio, errr, I mean Sens-talk radio crunched between ads with that Alarmforce guy s aying “Alarmforce” in a weird way. AL-AR-M-for-ce. Like whats up with that?

And if thats not bad enough, every morning is starting to feel like groundhog day. Seems as though the city of Ottawa has collectively banned against the winter season (fair enough, too cold), OC Transpo (also fair, but glad the strike is over) and Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray (huh?).

Why, I ask the faithful StayClassy nation? I can’t understand this one.

Let’s pretend Bryan Murray didn’t build the Anaheim Ducks into Stanley Cup Champions less than two years ago. And let’s pretend he didn’t guide the Senators to their first modern Stanley Cup final appearance (how ironic is that, anyways?). Let’s pretend he’s an NHL general manager, new to Ottawa weeks before last summer’s NHL Entry Draft.

Hockey fans worldwide and more specifically, Ottawans have short memories and an even shorter tolerance for losing seasons. I understand the Canadian hockey markets demand success and the pressures that revolve around that. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But how can we dismiss Bryan Murray this quickly?

Yes, the Senators haven’t acquired their elusive puck moving defenseman (but neither has any other GM this season) and they still don’t have a franchise goaltender (so… they aren’t available at BulkBarn, across from the Jason Spezza turnover aisle?). But consider the following:

Lack of trades
This isn’t an Ottawa/Bryan Murray thing – this is an NHL thing. There are more OC Transpo busses back to work than trades this year. Translation for those of you who don’t reside in Ottawa: that means trades are few and far between. And when they happen, its no-name prospects going back and forth. People can say Murray isn’t doing anything and while I won’t profess to knowing what exactly he’s doing, you could say the exact same about other GM’s around the NHL.

Ridiculous contracts
We’ve seen some ridiculous contracts being thrown around over the last few summers (my buddy Fantana wrote a good column on this last week). I’m sure you’re already thinking of a few now. And thats good, because no matter who you are thinking of, not one of those inflated contracts belong to the Senators (well, except Mike Fisher… but let’s not go there for now). Think of Scott Gomez’ $32.25 Million/5 years, Wade Redden’s $39 Million/6 years, Mats Sundin’s $10 Million/1 year, Sean Avery’s $15.5 Million/4 years, etc… You get the idea. Murray may not have made the splash we all hoped for (*cough, Brian Campbell cough*), but he certainly didn’t handicap the team with crazy contracts that these teams will be paying for years to come.

Part of Ottawa’s slide from Conference favorites to lottery hopefuls reflect some of former GM John Muckler’s poor draft selections. In 2005, Muckler drafted Brian Lee over Marc Staal and Anze Kopitar. And in 2003, Muckler selected Patrick Eaves over Shea Weber and Loui Eriksson. Yes, Muckler’s draft record is good (Marian Hossa, Martin Havlat, Andreij Meszaros) and I mean real good, but so is Murray’s (Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Joffrey Lupul). Murray drafted Erik Karlsson in the first round last year and that was the best pick they could made. With this summer, the depth of the draft and the number of picks the Senators have, Murray should continue his successful draft record.

Now, if you still want Murray gone, you must explain why. But my point is this: GM’s can’t be judged like players or coaches. I see GM’s in the same vein as various health problems or even injuries. And let’s use an example of a knee injury – Sens Nation should be able to fully grasp (Daniel Alfredsson, Mike Fisher and new to the club from Saturday’s Buffalo Sabres game, Chris Neil). Much like knee injuries, its unreasonable to expect overnight improvements with GMs. Teams can’t rebuild overnight (the Tampa Bay Lightning didn’t fare too well this year) and neither can knees. Let’s give Murray two full years of drafts and NHL seasons and then review his work. His track record for success with the Anaheim Ducks and Detroit Red Wings merits at least that.

Let’s be thankful what what Murray has or hasn’t done for us: no ridiculous contracts/over-paying, start of strong drafting last summer and he hasn’t traded our touted draft picks this year to save his job. That would certainly be the Achilles-Neil.

You stay classy, internet.

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