It has been said that while professional athletes are supposed to go out and do their job by producing, it is also said that they are supposed to go out and entertain.
In the National Hockey League, there was a player that did the latter a lot more than the former. This player is/was Sean Avery.
When asked about his hockey future by a fan On Monday night on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” with Andy Cohen, Avery said that he is “officially retired” and “I threw my skates in the Hudson River.” Then, in an interview with The New York Post, Avery confirmed that he really is retiring at the end of the season.
But then Avery’s agent said that Avery is not officially retired, that Avery was just making off-the-cuff remarks.
On Wednesday, Sportsnet’s Louis Jean asked New York Rangers GM Glen Sather about Avery.
“We heard he wanted to retire. We sent him his retirement papers, and of course he wouldn’t sign them,” Sather said. “If he wants to retire, he should.”
For Avery, this is pretty much par for the course when it comes to his hockey career. A career filled with some goals, some hits, but mostly, entertainment.
Whether his time as an NHLer is officially over or not, we take a look at some of the entertainment Avery has provided hockey to fans over the course of 11-plus seasons:
The Sean Avery Rule
When it comes to NHL rivalries, the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils have one of the best in the league. The games are filled with action, hits, great goaltending, and history – all of which gets amped in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Back during the 2008 postseason, Avery made himself well known to Devils goaltending great Martin Brodeur in the first round:
After this game, the “Avery Rule” was implemented to prevent players from imitating Avery’s antics. The rule basically states that the player will be given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty if he faces the opposition and starts flailing his arm around.
It appears the rule caught on.
Avery celebrates goal military-style
There is probably nothing like scoring a goal in the NHL. Heck, even Sportsnet’s own Mike Brophy wrote a book that contains players’ recounts of their first goal in the league.
There was no doubt that when Avery scored, he always celebrated like it was his first goal and that he wanted to show the world. However, when he scored this goal, he did something quite peculiar:
Avery scores weird one versus Thrashers in 2007 postseason
Everyone knows that come postseason hockey, goals are at a premium.
In the first round of the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Atlanta Thrashers, Avery took the saying “just put the puck on net” and put it to good use.
Avery takes on Brodeur
As can be seen above, Avery and Brodeur do not get along.
This rivalry started in February of 2007 in New Jersey, when the Rangers were taking on the Devils in a regular-season game.
Avery took the typical Devils-Blueshirts roughness into his own hands and agitated Brodeur just a little bit with this play.
Speaking his ethnic mind
Avery was never afraid to speak his mind whether it was about the game, the opposition, or the world of fashion. As writers would say, he was always good for a quote.
Unfortunately, Avery would sometimes cross the line and say things that should never be said:
When trying to be subtle goes wrong
If there is one thing that Avery is not, it is subtle.
With that said, there were times in his career where he tried to be sneaky on the ice and it went wrong. When you constantly play on the edge, you run the risk of it blowing up in your face.
This is one of those times. It happened against Tim Thomas and the Boston Bruins:
We saved the best for last, folks. Truth be told, this is probably the Avery moment you’ve all been waiting for.
Back in December of 2009, Avery’s Dallas Stars were in Alberta to take on the Calgary Flames. At the time, it was well known that defencman Dion Phaneuf was dating actress Elisha Cuthbert, who just happened to be an ex-girlfriend of Avery’s.
After the morning skate, Avery made sure to make his feelings known when it came to Phaneuf and Cuthbert:
What do you think of Sean Avery’s time in the NHL?