Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Gary Bettman Channels His Inner Censor

NHL Kommissar Gary Bettman must have been feeling left out since Roger Goodell and David Stern started running their respective leagues like their own personal fiefdoms. No longer will he have to listen to taunts from Goodell and Stern about letting the natives run wild. Putting Rowdy the Cowboys mascot on double secret probation must have been a slap to Bettman's face. Making an example out of Sean Avery will show everyone that he too can make irrational and idiotic rulings.

Avery was suspended indefinitely by the NHL for comments made in the lead up to the Dallas Stars game against the Calgary Flames.
"I am really happy to be back in Calgary, I love Canada," Avery said on camera [yesterday] in Calgary. "I just want to comment on how it's become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds. I don't know what that's about. Enjoy the game tonight."
Everyone can agree that Avery is a douchebag but these comments were funny because they're true. Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf is dating Elisha Cuthbert who used to be with Avery. He also dated Rachel Hunter who's now rolling with Kings center Jeret Stoll.

Avery has been accused of "conduct deterimental to the League or the game of hockey". Stars owner Tom Hicks said the team would have suspended him if the league hadn't acted first. Liverpool fans would like to do more than suspend Hicks. His own teammates including Marty Turco are throwing him under the bus like Starbury. The comments may be distracting but they are far from being the worst thing he's ever done. TSN analyst John Tortella keeps things in perspective as well as Joe Buck.
"The league stepped up here and I think they did the right thing. Enough is enough," said Tortorella. "He's embarrassed himself, he's embarrassed the organization, he's embarrassed the league and he's embarrassed his teammates, who have to look out for him. Send him home. He doesn't belong in the league."
The suspension is bullshit if the league is making up for letting previous antics as suggested by Bob McKenzie. Hell of a makeup call. The Stars should settle down. It's not as if they didn't know what they were getting when they took Avery on. It's no problem for the team to move him if they think he's too much of a distraction but everyone needs to stop acting as though a capital crime has been committed. These comments aren't close to some of the worst things that have been uttered by NHL players without penalty. It's not like he killed anyone. What? Too soon?

Good thing Stars coach Dave Tippett gets the point.
"I think everyone in our room believes there is an integrity that has to go along with the game, respect for the game and respect for your opponents and Sean crossed that line," Tippett told reporters in Calgary prior to the game.

"I think the words, the words and disrespect for an opponent like that is something . . . there's lots of trash talking that goes on on the ice. But then to announce something like that for everybody to hear, to me that crosses the line and the League — and our ownership felt that, too."
Yeah that's it. If anything, his comments were disrespectful to the Flames. Wah! Never mind calling Cuthbert "sloppy seconds". I'm sure Jerome Iginla was crying for Phaneuf. "Dude, that's just so fucked up. How could he say those horrible things about you? He's a stupid dummy head!" Is Avery a dick. Yes. Should he have made those comments? Probably not. However a league suspension is going way overboard.

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