Sean Avery Placed on Waivers

After scratching the professional agitator’s arse in the last two preseason games, the New York Rangers have made it official that they’re ready to part ways with Sean Avery by putting him on waivers today. If he clears, the team still has to make a decision on whether they'll send him to their AHL club or put him on re-entry waivers instead.

The only thing for certain is that he will not be recalled.

Avery’s agent came out and stated that they will explore all options, including the possibility of playing in Europe.

Rangers head coach John Tortorella, never an Avery supporter (see the New York Post's Larry Brooks assessment of the dysfunctional coach-player relationship), was fairly succinct in why the club has chosen to go this route with one of the team’s most popular – and polarizing – figures:
"I think we have better players than Sean Avery, plain and simple," he said. "I can dodge it 10 different ways without trying to run Sean over. I thought he had a good camp.”
"But I think with the makeup of our team, and some of the people we've added, and some of the youth we've added as far as depth put Sean in this spot."
In this Hockey Chump’s personal opinion, it’ll be a little sad to see the guy go. He certainly made the game entertaining, and whether you liked him or not, you paid attention to what he was doing every time he was on the rink. There aren’t many players like that in the league. 

Given most clubs general disdain for him, it doesn’t seem immediately probable that he’ll be picked up by another franchise. A high-energy player when focused on playing the game, he also has a decent enough skill set to be somewhat statistically successful should he head overseas. The question, though, is how effective his physical play is in the softer leagues over there.

If all else fails, well, he always has Vogue.


Important Announcement

Calling all amateur hockey photographers  . . .

The Hockey Chump wants your photos!

We'll be doing a new series this season where we showcase your best personal hockey photos. So get your best shots together and send them in to hockeychump@gmail.com. JPEG files are preferred and feel free to send in as many as possible. We want to get them up here for the world to see :-)

They can be of you in action . . .

 . . . or a cool action shot from a game you were at . . .

 . . . or just something funny:

Get your photos in now so that we can get the on queue for the upcoming season!


Hockey News: No Punishment for Wayne Simmonds

It’s been a busy week for new Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds.

Unfortunately for him, it’s not been the good sort of “busy”.

Last week, Simmonds was the subject of a racial incident at an exhibition game against the Detroit Red Wings in London Ontario. While coming in on a shootout attempt, someone threw a banana at him:


Luckily, though, the London Free Press is reporting that there may be a crack in the case.

Then, just yesterday, Simmonds was again in the spotlight following a game against the New York Rangers. That’s because New York forward Sean Avery accused Simmonds of using homophobic slur against him during the game.

During the post-game interviews, Simmonds sort-of defended himself:
"Honestly, we were going back and forth for awhile there and I don't recall every single thing I said to him, but he said some things I didn't like and I said some things he didn't like. But, I can't recall every single word I said."
Sean Avery also brought up a somewhat rather valid point – that the NBA fined Kobe Bryant $100,000 earlier in the year for using the same slur during a regular season game.

Then, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke, whose late son Brendan was openly gay, and who has since become an advocate for the gay community, came out with the following statement:
"Hate speech and anti-gay slurs have no place on the ice rink. The word that Simmonds used is the same word that is hurled at LGBT youth on the playground and in our schools, creating a climate of intolerance and hostility. He should not only apologize for this anti-gay outburst, but the Philadelphia Flyers and the NHL have a responsibility to take action and educate their fans about why this word is unacceptable."
As a result of all this brouhaha, Simmonds was called into the League office today to discuss the incident. The verdict? There’s not enough conclusive evidence to prove that Simmonds was in the wrong.

Defending the League's stance, Colin Campbell had this to say:
"It is important to emphasize that the National Hockey League holds, and will continue to hold, our Players to higher standards with respect to their conduct both on and off the ice. While we recognize that the emotion involved in certain on-ice confrontations may lead to the use of highly charged and sometimes offensive language and commentary, certain lines cannot be crossed. Specifically, we have for many years emphasized to our Clubs and Players that commentary directed at the race or ethnicity of other participants in the game (or even non-participants), or that is otherwise socially or morally inappropriate or potentially hurtful -- including as it may relate to sexual orientation -- is absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated."
I guess Campbell doesn't pay attention to the blogosphere much:

*Stick tap to Puck Daddy for pointing out this video. 

I'm not a certified lip reader, but I think we can all take a pretty good guess as to the point that Simmonds was trying to make to Avery.

These two ugly incidents, coupled with the ridiculous amount of head hits and subsequent suspensions, is making the NHL look like it’s out there on the rink with two left skates on. Not a good start.

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