Below the jump. Updated constantly.
See if you see anything missing from the Dallas Stars roster.
Edit: As I type we are about 30 minutes away from the start of Sean Avery's meeting with Gary Bettman in New York. It's likely an hour or so from when the suspension will be announced.
I've heard some experts predict that he will get as much as 15 games, which would make it one of the all-time longest suspensions.
With that in mind, it's useful to look at the history of how the NHL has handled racial slurs (the closest parallel to what Avery did. Today's progressive feminism is a new thing for the league, I guess) . Bnet has a nice little summery here.
Three games has been the max. And, that was with Chris Simon, a man that was about as popular as Avery. Speaking of Simon, I'm still looking for a history of how the NHL has handled incidents of of racism towards natives. I suspect I'll be looking for a while.
Edit 2: No word yet as of 12:20 p.m. EST. About 10 minutes ago Hockey Central at Noon's Daren Millard had these two gems back to back.
First: "I hope they give him 15 games," said with disgust dripping off the tongue.
Then: "(paraphrasing) The only thing I've heard is maybe they should have let him play against Calgary so that justice could have been served on the ice," said with barely hidden regret.
So, let's review. Using the term "sloppy seconds" is grounds for the 12th longest suspension in NHL history, yet openly wishing that the Flames had the chance to beat the snot out of him — something that would, it always needs to be said, land you in jail if it happened on the street, is perfectly reasonable. It's puckhead thinking at its most embarrassing, illogical best.
Sloppy seconds is more stupid than it is truly offensive (although there is an element of flippancy to the term that is offensive. It's saying that women have no worth other than as conquests for men. She's nothing but someone I once had sex with...). A suspension in line with what others have received for similar things (see above) is likely in order. Some sensitivity training? Why not. But, 15 games? It simply isn't justifiable. Not with the NHL's past history it isn't.
Edit 3: (Puck Daddy has a very comprehensive post.)
Edit 4: So, it's 5:11 p.m. EST and I've yet to see a NHL press release show up in my inbox with the title "League suspends Dallas Star..." So, it might be tomorrow before we get a ruling on this. Late tomorrow, as one can expect with any touchy press release.
Of course that means we have to listen to the puritans in the working puckhead media for another day. So, what a delay accomplishes God only knows.
The other possibility here is that the league's lawyers are working overtime to find a way to justify a lengthy suspension. 'Cause, as stated, it isn't really justifiable and Avery doesn't strike me as a good soldier that will lie down and take it if Bettman and co go all medieval.
Edit 5: Did everyone see that the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch wrote that it is, "Time to ban Sean Avery from the NHL for life ...
"Make an example of this guy. Ban him for life. Classless. Conduct detrimental to the game is about the least of the worries. Enough of Avery already. Bad actor. Bad act. Time for him to go. For good."
Edit 6: God love Colby Cosh:
A surprising number of sportswriters have had no problem with the league’s instant invention of a retroactive campus-style speech code to deal with Avery’s outburst. Perhaps it’s because their own freedom of speech is hostage to abusive NHL front offices; your average hockey writer bites his tongue so much that the damn thing drops right off about a week into his career. The rest of us, however, have no trouble understanding what is wrong with a business that is not in the opinion trade monitoring an employee’s off-duty speech and punishing him for itHow refreshing to see a MSM article -- albeit from a guy that only writes about hockey peripherally -- that actually tries to defend Avery a bit. Yes, he's an tool at times, but my God...by the reaction you would have thought he had hunted down an opposing player in a premeditated fashion, jumped him from behind and slammed his head into the ice so hard it broke his neck. It's a good thing you never see that type of behaviour in hockey and the worse thing Gary Bettman has to deal with is Avery's (who has never been suspended before, by the way) potty mouth.
Edit 6.5: Glove tap to Mr. Cosh himself who sent me this link in an e-mail exchange. Some are starting to break through the Group Think.
Edit 7: It's six games. By three games, it's the longest NHL suspension for non-violent behaviour in history. It likely won't satisfy the majority of bloodthirsty puckheads in the media and in society.
It goes without saying that if the league treated actual violent behaviour this seriously there would be a lot less players with eight-month long headaches.
More reaction to come, I'm sure...
Edit 8: Here is the NHL press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / DECEMBER 5, 2008
STARS’ AVERY TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL ANGER MANAGEMENT EVALUATION SUSPENDED FOR
NEW YORK (December 5, 2008) -- Dallas Stars forward Sean Avery
has been suspended for six games, without pay, as a result of inappropriate
public comments that he made Tuesday in Calgary. Avery has agreed to seek a
professional anger management evaluation and, if necessary, structured
counseling in response to a pattern of unacceptable and antisocial
Avery met with Commissioner Bettman at a hearing in New York
yesterday. Also in attendance were NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, NHL
Senior Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations Colin
Campbell, NHL Associate Counsel Jessica Berman, Dallas Stars co-General
Manager Brett Hull, NHLPA General Counsel Ian Penny, NHLPA Director of
Player Affairs Glenn Healy and Avery’s agent, Pat Morris.
“Mr. Avery has expressed remorse for his recent comments and has
sought a professional anger management evaluation,” Commissioner Bettman
said. “I will require that he follow through with that process as a
condition of his returning to the ice and that he complies with any and all
“Mr. Avery has been warned repeatedly about his conduct and comments,
which have too often been at odds with the manner in which his more than
700 fellow players conduct themselves.
“Playing in the National Hockey League is a privilege, requiring a
high standard of personal behavior. Mr. Avery forfeits that privilege for
Avery was suspended in accordance with the provisions of NHL By-Law
17 and Article 6 of the NHL Constitution for conduct "detrimental to the
League or game of hockey.”
In addition to the two games already served, Avery will miss
games Dec. 5 vs. Colorado, Dec. 10 vs. Phoenix, Dec. 12 vs. Detroit and
Dec. 13 at Nashville.
Edit 9: People close to the game, of course, have always held deeply progressive feelings about the place of women in and around it:
So, the league's reaction to Avery is just really keeping in that tradition.