UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
SI Wire

Ex-NHL instigator Sean Avery: I was good at saying bad things

Sean Avery was one of the NHL's most notorious instigators in his 14-year career. (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images) Sean Avery was one of the NHL's most notorious instigators in his 14-year career. (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Former NHL trouble-maker Sean Avery admitted to TSN's Michael Landsberg that his many controversial quotes and antics definitely crossed the line, but were designed to give his team an advantage.

Avery, who earned a reputation as an instigator in his 14 years with four different teams -- plus, a suspension for a callous remark about a celebrity ex-girlfriend and a new rule named after him in 2008 -- openly discussed his habit for headline-grabbing sound bites and goading opponents.

"Over the 12 years that I played I said some of the worst things that you could ever possibly imagine. And every time I did it because I thought that it was going to give me or my team an advantage," Avery said.

"You can pull hundreds of examples of things that I said over my career, but the bottom line is I was extremely good at it.

"I was what I was. I remember Steve Yzerman telling me to just play because you're a good player. It didn't matter; nothing was going to change how I approached the game and how I played. Nobody was going to tell me differently."

Avery currently splits his time as an advertising executive, helping players gain awareness of physical and mental health issues, and as a board member of Athlete Ally, a non-profit organization that encourages people in sports to be open and understanding of others' sexual orientations.

"The reason I decided to stop and move in a different direction was certainly the restrictions that were put on me from early on," he said. "I think that I pushed the boundaries as far as I could push them. "Why would I fight this anymore? First of all, it's not healthy. Second, it's not fun - no matter how much money you're getting paid."

More SI Wire

Close

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 4 easy steps:

  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Bookmarks.
  3. Select Bookmark manager.
  4. Locate your current Sports Illustrated bookmark, click the Organize menu, then select Edit. You can now easily update the web address of your Sports Illustrated bookmark.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 2 easy steps:

  1. Click the Safari bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. This will open the Bookmarks Bar. In the Bookmarks Bar, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Address field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Click the Firefox bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Show All Bookmarks.
  3. This will open the library window. In the Library window, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Location field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.
Don't Show This Again