Kelly: NHLPA monitoring “unprecedented” discipline
|12.05.08 at 2:41 pm ET|
In an email to WEEI.com, NHLPA Executive Director Paul Kelly said he’s closely monitoring the situation between Sean Avery and the Dallas Stars with a keen eye toward the “unprecedented” disciplinary action against the Stars’ bad boy. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman earlier today ruled on a six-game suspension — with two games already served — for Avery after the controversial Stars forward made disparaging comments to ex-girlfriends currently dating other NHL players.
Count me among the many that think the time and the crime didn’t jive on this one, as the NHL is obviously trying to make a statement here about a long pattern of Bad Boy, attention-grabbing antics by Avery over the last few seasons — and also about the premeditated move to beckon over national cameras before making his “sloppy seconds” soliloquy. Call it the ultimate revenge for calling Martin Broduer a “fat pig” last season, or being ahead of the curve with faceguarding the Devils goaltender in the playoffs last year. Sticks and Stones, Bettman…sticks and stones.
“The point that I’m making is that when you have repetitive conduct over a point and time, and you’re looking at inappropriate responses under the circumstances, the fact that somebody may play more aggressively on the ice … we’re not talking about ‘player play,’ and player conduct on the ice,” said Bettman in a conference call with reporters this afternoon. “We’re talking about interaction with people — fans, the media, other players — that is completely out of the norm.
“It’s not talking about the same thing to compare player conduct to the type of conduct that we’re seeing here. “I don’t think there’s any doubt after our conversation [Thursday] that it wouldn’t be a good idea [for Avery] to be back with me again, having this type of conversation.”
Here’s the Avery sound/sights for anybody living under a hockey rock:
Here’s Kelly’s statement on the six-game sentence and a mandatory anger management evaluation handed down by Bettman: ‘While the NHLPA does not condone Sean’s comments, which were clearly inappropriate, the discipline imposed by the Commissioner is unprecedented both in its severity, as well as the process by which it was handed down. We’ve also seen signals from the Dallas Stars that Sean’s contractual rights might be challenged. We are monitoring the situation as it develops, and we will evaluate all legal options as the circumstances warrant. In the meantime, our first priority is making sure we do what we can to support Sean’s efforts to learn from his mistake and move forward in a positive manner.”