Avery no saint in latest incident: Milbury
Mike Milbury is tired of Sean Avery.
In fact, the Hockey Night in Canada commentator would love to see the New York Rangers' agitator hang up his skates — and soon.
Avery continues to draw that type of harsh response, even when he's on the receiving end of an obscene gesture.
On Monday, Avery was at his infuriating best when he sprayed Rick DiPetro with snow while the Islanders goalie covered up the puck. The move angered defenceman James Wisniewski, who charged toward Avery before making a gesture to simulate a sex act.
The motion was an attempt to mock Avery, who was suspended for six games in 2008 and ordered to take anger management counselling for his vulgar remarks regarding his former girlfriend, Elisha Cuthbert, and her boyfriend Dion Phaneuf — when the defenceman played for the Calgary Flames.
While Milbury condemned Wisniewski's action, calling it "ridiculous and immature," he's bothered by the notion Avery is innocent of any wrongdoing in this case.
"He has been a pretty good player, but he's become a caricature of a professional," Milbury told CBCSports.ca. "It's not good for hockey, it's not good for the image that [the league] is trying to portray. We're not all poster boys for this business and never will be, but this has gone on far too long with his focus on being a distraction and an agitator rather than honing his craft.
"Here we are we're talking about Avery again, not because he made a great backhanded pass to set up the game-winning goal, but because he's part of another unsavoury incident. It's like watching a car wreck. You know it's not going to be pretty but you can't seem to turn away from it until you've had a look."
Wisniewski travelled to the NHL's head office in New York to speak with the league's disciplinarian, Colin Campbell, on Tuesday. A decision is likely to be handed down in a day or two. With the league's attempt to crack down on such behaviour, Milbury anticipates the Islanders defenceman to pay a price for his actions.
"I would fully anticipate a suspension and/or a fine," he said. "Even if he doesn't get fined, he loses his money because he's suspended. There is just no room for that, and the league's pretty clear about it. I would be very surprised if Colin Campbell didn't issue a suspension of a few games or so."
For his part, Avery isn't holding his breath while waiting for any kind of retribution on his behalf.
"It's pretty obvious what the guy was doing," Avery told reporters. "But I'm sure nothing will happen to him because nothing ever happens. It's interesting, he'd get a warning for something like that.
"Can you imagine if I did that? They sent me to rehab the last time I did something. It's crazy."
Milbury wasn't amused when he learned of Avery's plea of innocence.
"Woe is me. I mean, I have no time for it and I've got no time for him. It's too bad that Wisniewski lost his composure and let Avery get to him. If you send a message to everyone in the league, it would be just to ignore him and make him go away sometime, and the sooner the better because it's no fun anymore.
"For whatever reason, the Rangers, the league and Avery continue to march on. There's really nothing you can do. You can't steal the guy's profession. He's signed his contract. They [Rangers] have the obligation to pay the guy, but boy, the sooner he hangs it up and goes to the fashion industry the better for all of us."