Tag: Sean Avery

Dustin Brown

Sean Avery used to mock Dustin Brown about his lisp and wife


Following his one-man evisceration of the Vancouver Canucks, LA Kings captain Dustin Brown’s received the national media treatment courtesy a Sports Illustrated piece from Michael Farber.

In it, much is made of Brown’s physical play and his maturation from shy teenager to Kings captain. But that maturation didn’t come without some bumps along the way, many in the form of  ex-L.A. teammate Sean Avery.

From Sports Illustrated:

Brown lisps. He has lisped for as long as he can remember, although the speech therapy he went through as a fifth-grader helped him learn to control it. (The lisp tends to return when he is engaged in casual conversation or after, say, a puck has given him a fat lip.) But in dressing rooms where razzing is the lingua franca, the lisp made him an easy target early in his career. Sean Avery, an occasional linemate of Brown’s from 2003 to ’07, would insert the needle. “This was bullying, like you might see in high school,” says Ian Laperrière, the former Kings forward who now mentors young players in the Flyers organization.

The analogy is apt; Brown was still a teenager at the time. According to L.A. players and coaches from that era, Brown’s lisp was not Avery’s primary target. Avery also zeroed in on Brown’s girlfriend—now his wife—a slender, fresh-faced girl-next-door-type from their hometown of Ithaca, N.Y. Apparently Avery didn’t think she was glamorous enough to be the girlfriend of a hockey player in Hollywood. “I am not a trophy wife,” says Nicole Brown, who has been with her husband for almost a dozen years (and married to him for five). “By any means.”

Shy by disposition, Dustin coped by withdrawing. Nicole says he was the last one to arrive at the rink every day and the first one to leave. He disputes that the teasing bothered him—”I have a thick skin, and that was just Aves being Aves,” Brown says—but later adds, “Maybe it affected me in ways that I didn’t realize.” 

Numbers suggest Avery’s presence was affecting Brown more than he thought. He scored 14 and 17 goals in his first two full seasons as a King, but after Lombardi traded Avery to the Rangers in 2007, Brown potted a career-high 33.

“He really did start to blossom once the stuff in the room dissipated,” former Kings teammate Rob Blake told SI.

Fast forward to today, where it seems Brown’s gotten the last laugh. He’s fresh off his first career playoff series win while Avery…is fresh off throwing his skates in the Hudson river.

Sean Avery wouldn’t sign the retirement papers Glen Sather sent him

Glen Sather

Yesterday when we heard that Sean Avery had announced his retirement on the Bravo Network, it’s safe to say we were all pretty surprised. The other guy caught off guard by Avery’s declaration was Rangers GM Glen Sather.

After all it was Sather who banished Avery to the AHL where he would go on to not play for the Connecticut Whale and wind up guesting on a talk show on cable. Sather thinking that Avery may have been messing with everyone decided to call his bluff as Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times reports.

“Last I read he announced that he was retiring. So we sent him his retirement papers, but of course he wouldn’t sign them. So I don’t have any idea what he’s doing,” Sather said.

To be fair here, Avery told Larry Brooks yesterday that he’d be retiring when his contract runs out after this season, so of course he wouldn’t sign the papers right away. Giving up free money wouldn’t be the right way to end an acrimonious relationship. It also means we wouldn’t get to hear from a snarky Sather either.

Well played, Avery.

Sean Avery actually announced his retirement on Bravo

Sean Avery

Sean Avery has forever been a player to do things his own way. After being sent down to the AHL and banished to stay there by the New York Rangers, Avery picked up a gig on Bravo TV discussing his hobby, fashion.

Last night he actually talked a little bit of hockey on “The Dish” and it wasn’t to critique uniforms. He announced his retirement from the game.

Check out the video from NBC’s more artistic cousin network, Bravo.

It wouldn’t be Avery without making a bold statement in saying his playing days were over as he told the panel,  “I am officially retired. I threw my skates in the Hudson.”

Being the cynics that we are as fans, you had to wonder if Avery was pulling everyone’s leg. Larry Brooks of the New York Post confirmed with Avery that he is indeed done after his contract runs out at the end of the year.

“No, that wasn’t a joke; yes I’m retiring at the end of the season, and it’s OK.

“I guess that was my retirement press conference.”

Now that Avery is slated to become a fashion guru and marketer, he tells Brooks that he couldn’t be happier.

“Eleven years of relationships led me to this point,” he said. “It’s all I could ask for. And it’s the right time.”

Of course, Avery’s agent Pat Morris tells Mark Spector of Sportsnet that his client hasn’t retired from hockey. Like it would be any other way than controversial? Never imitated, never duplicated, and often agitated Sean Avery can at least say he went out of hockey doing it his way.

What a short, strange trip it’s been.