NHL looking into Sean Avery allegation
The NHL is investigating an on-ice incident involving abrasive New York Rangers forward Sean Avery, according to the Canadian Press.
Avery, 27, shoved Jason Blake and got into a heated exchange with Darcy Tucker during the pre-game warmup prior to Saturday's 3-2 shootout victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.
"He has no sense of class," Tucker told reporters following Monday's skate.
"And you know, what goes around comes around in this game, eventually."
Avery allegedly irked Tucker by saying something inappropriate to Blake, who revealed Oct. 8 that he is suffering from a rare but treatable form of leukemia (chronic myelogenous).
Avery pushed Blake, so Tucker slashed him with his stick, and players from both teams swiftly surrounded the two agitators as they took a swipe at each other and exchanged pleasantries.
Pat Morris, Avery's agent, refuted a report an unnamed Rangers teammate told The Fan 590, a Toronto sports radio outlet, that Avery belittled Blake about his battle with cancer.
"I have now talked to Sean," Morris said. "He has indicated to me that he did not say that.
"He is treating this matter seriously. And now, the matter is in the hands of his legal advisers."
Avery ended up fighting Tucker 13:12 into the first period, setting up Brendan Shanahan's opening goal at 1:43 of the second, and whacking in a rebound for New York's second goal 42 seconds later.
"It goes beyond just getting under guys' skin," Maple Leafs enforcer Wade Belak said. "I think [Avery] takes it to a personal level and that is what guys hate about him.
"I think it's sort of known you don't really start digging into people's personal lives. You know, call us bad hockey players or whatever, but when you start bringing other people into it, that's definitely crossing the line."
Avery is well known for his on-ice antics, including an alleged racial slur directed at Georges Laraque, who is black, making derogatory comments about French-Canadian defenceman Denis Gauthier, and becoming the first player in NHL history to be fined for diving during a game on Nov. 1, 2005.
With files from the Canadian Press