Saturday, April 19, 2008

Reacting To Brodeur And Avery's Non-Handshake

Much has been made about Martin Brodeur refusing to shake the hand of Sean Avery at the end of the Rangers/Devils first-round playoff series, and rightly so. Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury fought about it during the first intermission of this afternoon's Flyers/Capitals game and for the first (and hopefully only time in my life) I agree with Milbury. Brodeur was totally justified in not shaking hands with Avery and I think it was totally the right move by Martin. Avery has been going out of his way to insult and embarrass Brodeur ever since he joined the Rangers and the classiest (yeah I said it) way for Brodeur to respond was to not shake Avery's hand.

I am usually the first guy to jump all over someone when they bail on the handshake line (Belfour and Chelios come to mind), but I have no problem with not shaking hands with a particular individual, especially one as detestable as Sean Avery. Avery has made it very clear that he has no respect for Brodeur, the Devils, and arguably the game itself. I think Brodeur made the right move here by showing Avery that he can't try to humiliate someone and then just expect everything to be cool at the end of the series. This conflict has not been about two gladiators playing each other hard over the course of a series, this was about Avery crossing every possible line in an attempt to get Brodeur off of his game. Avery did nothing to show that he is deserving of the common respect due to every other player in the NHL.

Martin's not having it.

The craziest part of this whole situation is Avery trying to make Brodeur look like the bad guy here.
"Everyone talks about how classless I am, but I guess Fatso there just forgot to shake my hand."

"Everyone talks about how much class I don't have, well it's the end of the series and men go to war against each other," Avery said. "I guess he forgot to shake my hand. I don't know if anyone saw that. Of course I was going to shake his hand."
-Sean Avery (AP)
Yeah Sean, Marty's the classless one here. What Avery did against Brodeur and the Devils was well outside the bounds of "going to war", and he knows it. The bottom line is that there is a reason why Sean Avery is the most hated person in the NHL. It is going to be real interesting to see if the Rangers bring Avery back next season as he will be an unrestricted free agent come July 1. I suppose it would be too much to ask for all 30 NHL GMs to get together and agree to all not sign Avery and just let him fade away into obscurity. I know, I know, too much to ask like I said... but a guy can dream.


czechmate said...

You may have provided me with the most odd perspective on the whole situation... Whether you like him or not, Avery got the job done against Old Man Marty B in this series, and it doesn't really matter if Brodeur wants to act like a little baby about it. Realistically, Brodeur SHOULD have shaken Avery's hand, just to cement his image as a classy player. The way he handled things plays right into Avery's hands...

BTW - I hope Avery has some new shenanigans to show the world against Cindy and the Pens. I think Theo (uhm) Marc-Andre Fleury is a perfect target for Avery's antics, and it could be the deciding factor in the series. Never mind Laraque, as any attempt by him to straighten Avery out will result in PIMs for the Pens.

Rangers in 6.


Anonymous said...

Albeit not quite on the same level, I've refused to shake the hands of roller derby girls on other teams if they've thrown down an especially dirty game. I feel like the post-game handshake is really kind of a "namaste" situation, where the athlete in me acknowledges the athlete in you. If I didn't see you playing as an athlete, I don't have anything to recognize.