Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Guys and Dolls - the hockey edition

Avery. In many circles that's a name synonymous with office supplies. In the hockey world though, it's those five letters that might just represent the most controversial word you can speak.

People from coast to coast - and on both sides of the U.S./Canadian border - have strong opinions whenever his name his mentioned.

Sean Avery. Just saying his name is enough to get the blood pressure rising for some.

Yet, the truth is, he's a complex person to try and explain - let alone understand.

His time in LA was filled with things like him doing push-ups after scoring a goal, standing up for his teammates when others wouldn't, being called a cancer in the locker room, drawing unnecessary and untimely penalties - just to name a few. Yet, his former coach Andy Murray recently said "Sure, he's a real character. But he's become a pretty darn good hockey player for the Rangers." And guys like Luc Robitaille refer to him as "my little puppy."

He was so unpredictable, some fans began asking 'What Would Avery Do?' next. The Kings ultimately answered the question by trading him to the Rangers in February 2007. He was packing his bags for the Big Apple. The perfect stage for a media whore like Avery.

While in New York he was such a pest in the playoffs versus New Jersey one year - pushing the limits of what's within the confines of the rule book -the NHL issued an 'update' (with what is now referred to as the "Avery rule").

A big money contract in Dallas took some of the league by surprise. Grumblings from within the team seemed to begin almost before the ink was dry on the deal. Sure enough, a few sloppy seconds later he was run out of town. Banished. Nearly for good.

He went to the minors - doing his time after doing the crime. Then, breaking the myth of 'you can never go back home', he returned to the one place he seems to be the most comfortable...with the New York Rangers.

Off the ice his life isn't filled with any less drama. He's been romantically linked with Elisha Cuthbert (now with Dion Phaneuf of the Leafs), Rachel Hunter (later with Jarret Stoll), Mary-Kate Olsen, Lake Bell (from TV's Boston Legal), Hilary Rhoda (formerly with Jets QB Mark Sanchez) and 51 year old Kelly Klein (ex-wife of fashion designer Calvin Klein).

Such exploits have even led to the rumor that he's the subject of pop superstar Justin Timberlake's "What Goes Around" song. Couldn't tell 'ya, never heard it.

However, to truly try and understand this strange, sometimes divisive, sometimes exciting, part-time fashionista, part-time hockey player of a man you MUST watch this video:

He likes to play with dolls and purses?


Regardless of your opinion on Avery, tonight will be another be a battle for the Kings when they take on his New York Rangers.

After wrestling with Bears and slaying Devils over the weekend, now the real circus comes to town.

The puck drops at 7:30. Enjoy!

The Mayor

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