Whether it was during his 580-game NHL career or in retirement, Sean Avery has always been blunt when laying out an opinion.
In a recent interview with ESPN’s Dan Marrazza, the former agitator opened up about how he planned his intricate trash talk, never quite fitting in when it came to hockey culture and his early days on Twitter.
Avery also praised the way Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock goes about his business. Babcock was Avery’s first pro coach when the two were with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks in the AHL from 2000-2002.
“Babcock had the same mentality as we did,” Avery said. “He was bringing it every single day and was as hard as he wanted to be on us. He was developing his own language, which he now uses so well to talk to players and keep the Toronto media from ever having a clue what he’s thinking.”
The 35-year-old went on to explain that this technique is quite different than the one he experienced with his former New York Rangers coach John Tortorella.
“The Toronto media would get the Leafs’ last coach, Randy Carlyle, all fired up. He wouldn’t talk to them for days. Babcock wouldn’t show his cards,” Avery added. “He has a manipulative personality for the purpose of being a good coach — you have to have one. John Tortorella has no manipulation in him whatsoever. He only has one gear, and that’s to scream at people and thinks that that’s manipulation or motivation. But it’s not. It doesn’t work on rich players. They can say, ‘F— you. We’re going somewhere else.’ Or ‘We’ll get rid of you’ — and we will.”