Hockey World Blog

Sean Avery ‘sucker punch’ ignites brawl

Sean Avery found his way back into the limelight again yesterday evening after dropping Edmonton Oilers defenseman Ladislav Smid with one punch during a fight during the Rangers/Oilers match up. But with nearly 24 hours to cool off, Oilers players are still chattering about the incident and claiming that Avery flat out “sucker punched” Smid.

“(Laddy) asked him fair and square, one-on-one, man-on-man,” said Oiler forward Colin Fraser. “He says ‘No, we’ll go later’ and Laddy’s half turned and (Avery) decides to jump him. It’s gutless. That’s expected from Avery, it’s no secret.”

The incident took place after Avery gave Fraser a solid check into the boards as Fraser played the puck into the neutral zone in the third period of the game. Smid then came over to challenge Avery who seemed to not be interested at the time. Smid slowly begins skating away with an eye still on Avery when Avery drops the gloves and appears to surprise Smid with a right hand that sends him to the ice. As officials pulled Avery away into the locker room, Oilers defenseman Ryan Whitney skated over to Avery and had a few choice words for him. The situation ignites into a full-on brawl when Oilers defenseman Theo Peckham skates over to give his two cents and tries to grab Avery as he is headed into the tunnel and into the locker rooms. A full recap of the entire incident can be viewed here.

“He keeps taking liberties with other guys and nobody seems to take a cheap shot at him yet,” said Peckham. “It’s well overdue I’d say.”

Rangers head coach John Tortorella declined to comment on the situation, but Ranger forward Erik Christensen definitely had an opinion on the matter, as he told the New York Post.

“It looked to me like (Avery) suckered him; I’m not going to deny it,” Christensen stated in an interview with the Post. “I mean, everyone could see.”

No suspensions were handed down for the brawl, but Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky was fined for grabbing Fraser while he was on the bench. After everything was sorted out, four players, including Avery, were ejected from the game while 124 penalty minutes were assessed by the officials.

So what’s your take? Did Avery commit a gutless act and sucker punch Smid as he was skating away or should Smid have been more prepared as Avery accepted his offer to drop gloves and dance?

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