James Wisniewski shows Sean Avery what he thinks of him


Ever get the feeling that the life of Sean Avery is never dull? You better believe it. During today’s Rangers 6-4 loss to the Islanders, early in the game Avery ran afoul of Islanders defenseman James Wisniewski and the two had an enlightened chat after the whistle. Wisniewski shared his thoughts of Avery by greeting him with a rather obvious and crude gesture. You can check out that gesture here at YouTube.

Better judgment and a strong sense of embarrassment prevents me from fully describing Wisniewski’s gesture towards Avery, but in our G-rated manner, let’s just say that James Wisniewski seems to think that Sean Avery is a big fan of eating popsicles.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman commented on the situation saying he didn’t see what Wisniewski did and he’ll leave that up to NHL hockey ops to figure out if any punishment needs to be meted out for him. It’s curious that Bettman says this because given who the gesture was directed at, Sean Avery, and Bettman’s comments on Sean Avery’s colorful description of former girlfriend and main squeeze of Dion Phaneuf, Elisha Cuthbert, you’d think that Commissioner Bettman’s sensibilities would’ve been violated. Perhaps he’ll be in for a shock once he does see the tape.

Sean Avery, of course, has an opinion on things and Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants shares the wisdom of Sean Avery with us.

“It’s pretty obvious what the guy was doing,” Avery said. “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. Imagine what would happen if I did it. (Heck), they sent me to rehab.”

Avery, whether you like him or not, has a good point. Avery’s comments about Cuthbert were insanely over-punished by the league (all in all, six games) and while that needed a description for some people to get what he was talking about, Wisniewski’s hand-to-mouth gesture is pretty obvious to figure out.

Obviously this is already being made into a big deal by all of us casual observers because, hey, we’re all really juvenile when it comes down to it. Will Wisniewski get suspended for this? Conventional logic says, yes, he will. Will he get the Sean Avery treatment for it though? Highly doubtful, and the guy that’ll be most upset about that is Sean Avery.

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier
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Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench, and that’s only counting what the Flyers are paying Gagner.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.