He's not only often called the most hated player in the NHL, he loves hearing it."I like to push it to the edge, no doubt about it," Avery said this summer, after signing a .5 million, four-year deal with the Stars. The next day, the league put in the so-called "Avery Rule" to prohibit such shenanigans.Avery has been fined by the league and was once suspended by the Los Angeles Kings.Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.Like many exceptional athletes, most professional hockey players get special treatment from an early age.
He was traded to the Kings during the following season, then was sent to the Rangers in 2007, with his arrival sparking New York's playoff run.DALLAS -- Of all the cajoling, snide remarks and other stunts Sean Avery pulled on the way to becoming the biggest pest in hockey, never had he gone so far that the NHL believed it had to suspend him -- until Tuesday.Avery was punished indefinitely by commissioner Gary Bettman for using a crude term about his former girlfriends now dating other hockey players.I've told him before, there's more to the game than just lacing up the skates.There are things you have to be accountable for."There is no guarantee Avery will be able to repair the damage he caused within the Stars' dressing room."It's going to take some time," teammate Mike Modano said.Although he then matched his career best in goals with 15 in 2007-08, the Rangers didn't try bringing him back.His tenure ended with a lacerated spleen against Pittsburgh, which required a stay in intensive care.Other players have been suspended for retaliating against Avery, including Chicago's Ben Eager getting a three-game suspension for swinging his stick at Avery.However, this is the first time in Avery's seven-year career that the NHL has taken him off the ice."Maybe they decided that this one crossed the line further than all the others," said Stars co-general manager Brett Hull, who played with Avery in Detroit several years ago and was a driving force in signing him."More than anything, he's let his teammates down. "It's basically a fundamental -- you don't embarrass the team and you carry yourself with class and good character.We hold our team to a higher standard and will continue to do so."Avery is the kind of player who delights in doing or saying something to get under the skin of opponents and their fans.He's led the league in penalty minutes twice, and was doing so again going into Tuesday. That's what I'm all about."His most infamous tactic came during last season's playoffs, while with the New York Rangers, when he stood in front of New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur, waving his hand and stick in the goalie's face to block his view.