Sean Avery is a lot of things. Up till this past weekend, one of the NHL's bad boys had never been in trouble off the ice. The controversial Ranger antagonist was arrested for pushing a cop while at his Hollywood Hills home in California Friday.
A complaint about the noise level during a party at around 1 AM brought the LAPD to Avery's door. According to a report, he answered but shoved the cop before slamming the door. However, the 31-year old Blueshirt then opened the door and cooperated fully. He was taken away to the Hollywood police station where he was charged with battery. Avery posted a bail of $20,000 and then indicated, that "it'll all work out at some point." He'll have to appear in court on September 2nd at 8 AM.
Certainly, this is discouraging news for the Ranger organization with an important season approaching. Avery's situation is being closely monitored by the NHL, including the Behavior Program he once took part in following his remarks on ex Elisha Cuthbert, who was seeing Dion Phaneuf prior to a Dallas/Calgary game. He was suspended by the league and didn't return until the Rangers brought him back after the Stars had seen enough. Ironically, Brad Richards was one of the most vocal about the incident. Now, they'll be reunited on Broadway, which bares watching.
What we do know at least is that Avery made a mistake that won't get resolved until his court date prior to training camp. He also had some unsavory remarks about cops referring to them as, "fat little pigs," before coming to his senses. There was a party at his place with loud talking and predictably loud music, which disturbed neighbors. However, nothing out of the ordinary happened.
It still wasn't a good idea even if Sean can do what he pleases away from the rink. He's entering the final year of his contract. So, the timing couldn't be worse. Avery has already apologized to owner Jim Dolan and GM Glen Sather. How will John Tortorella react? He's always been very strict on Avery, which doesn't bode well. If he's cleared, will he get a clean slate or might it impact his role? That remains to be seen. He can be a valuable player when he's agitating opponents and providing energy. In what amounts to the biggest year of his life, he's already got detention. How will he respond? The Blueshirts can't afford distractions. Especially with the big Euro-trip to start the season before heading to Western Canada due to the renovation.
There's already been plenty of sentiment on Twitter about whether Avery should be allowed to return. The last I checked, we don't know all the facts. Everything we hear is just that. Some of it could be true. I'm sure there's more stuff that we haven't heard. As a former juror on a pretty big case out here six years ago, I try to keep a clear head. Until all the evidence is in, you're presumed innocent. In this case, it looks bad for Sean. Though cooperating should help.
There are plenty of Avery haters who would like nothing better for him to get locked up with a slanted jury. Good thing that's not how the justice system works. Sometimes, I get the distinct impression that these fans act like Avery hurt them. Regardless of what kind of person he is on the ice, we don't really know him unless you cover the Grate One. I can't judge.
At the end of the day, what he does doesn't affect me. This is the same individual who spoke out in favor about gay marriage. A major breakthrough that saw other athletes also be pro on the controversial issue, which was passed by New York State. There's a lot more to the man than what we see. Maybe we should check ourselves next time.