Reporters were waiting to speak with Avery about disparaging remarks he'd made last month about Flames star Jarome Iginla when Avery walked over to the group and asked if there was a camera present. When told there was, he said, "I'm just going to say one thing."
"I'm really happy to be back in Calgary; I love Canada," the Ontario native said. "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, but enjoy the game tonight." He then walked out of the locker room.
Defenders of Avery and people who just want to take a few shots at the NHL for overreacting will say that this was just some poor gamesmanship, just an attempt to get into the head of Calgary's Dion Phaneuf. Phaneuf is dating Elisha Cuthbert, known unanimously here at Big American Party as the girl who played the character stupid enough to step into a bear trap in 24's second season.
There is more to it than that. "Sloppy seconds" is an intensely graphic term that boiled the women he was referring to down to, well, an intensely graphic image. I'm wondering if the usually up-in-arms sports media will call this out as an incident of not just an NHL player, but one of the few names and faces casual fans can identify, using a derogatory remark about women or if this will simply be acknowledged as the straw that broke the camel's back, on par with things like yelling back at an abusive fan. My fear is that it will be the latter.
Particularly disturbing is that he didn't just drop it as an offhand remark in the middle of questioning. Rather he had thought through, probably rehearsed, and checked to see that the cameras were rolling for this charming little soundbite (to be repeated on Jim Rome's radio show thrice daily for the next six months).
Maybe a mere suspension is too good for this guy.