Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 11/20/07 at 03:31 AM ET
From Mark Herrmann at Newsday,
There is no neutral zone on the subject of Sean Avery, former boyfriend to actress Elisha Cuthbert, suitor to Paris Hilton (he was shut out), member of People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” contingent, provocateur in Toronto Nov. 10 in a pregame dustup that left Avery denying a rumor that he had ragged Jason Blake for having leukemia. Avery later said that that’s over the line.
For someone like him, everything is a fine line. It’s part of NHL strategy for a team to have someone who challenges players physically and tries to intimidate them verbally. Euphemisms refer to them as “pests” or “agitators.” They are different from “tough guys” or “enforcers,” who are known for using their fists, not their vocabularies.
This protocol is one of hockey’s quirks that non-fans find hard to understand. Maybe the sport would be more popular if more people took the time to love or hate the likes of Avery.
A friend of mine (not a Rangers fan) argues that—love him or hate him—Sean Avery is good for hockey in many ways. I’m not always sure, myself… but he certainly does does know how to draw a spotlight.
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