Sean Avery has long relished his role as the National Hockey League's miscreant-in-chief, but the Dallas Stars forward's internship at Vogue seems to have sharpened his instincts for provocation to razor precision. Avery was just suspended indefinitely by the NHL for talking smack about two ex-girlfriends, actress Elisha Cuthbert and model Rachel Hunter, who ended up in the arms of other players. His own team said it would have suspended him had the league not done likewise. The truly insane part of the whole incident is that Avery sought out TV cameras so he could broadcast his self-destructive diss. (UPDATE: Video after the jump.)
"I'm really happy to be back in Calgary; I love Canada. I just want to comment on how it's become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds."
Cuthbert (pictured below) is dating Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf, while Hunter ended up with Jarrett Stoll of the Los Angeles Kings.
Avery instinctively understands that the NHL, which is trying to attract new viewers, needs to play up conflict and characters within it own ranks if it wants to draw attention. "Tthe NHL does a terrible job of marketing [by not promoting its] villains," he recently told ESPN. "Nobody cares about Jarome Iginla and guys like that, they're just not exciting enough."
Call it the reality television approach to sports — or, less flatteringly, the professional wrestling approach. Either way, alienating the female half of the potential audience with this "sloppy seconds stunt" doesn't seem like the smartest way to extend the strategy. But then ladies man Avery should know that already!