Big Mouths Dominate Headlines

The old saying is “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” and three NHLers- Dan Carcillo, Alexei Kovalev and Sean Avery- put that to the test this past week with ill conceived comments or actions.

We’ll start with the least offensive in Carcillo, who called out three opposing players during his introduction to the Chicago Blackhawks’ organization. The former Philadelphia Flyer admitted he isn’t always liked when he arrives in a new city, but that quickly changes.

“I think wherever I’ve played, I’ve just tried to play the game with emotion. Sometimes the emotions get the best of me. Over time, I’ve learned to hone it. I’m going to have to do the same thing here,” he said. “Everything I do, I try to do as hard as I can, and with a  lot of passion. Sometimes it gets me in trouble, but most of the time it works out. Fans here will see that, and hopefully will embrace it.”

If that doesn’t work? Target some rival Vancouver Canuck players. Carcillo named Raffi Torres, Tanner Glass and Max Lapierre, although only the latter is still in Vancouver. Torres signed in Phoenix while Glass now calls Winnipeg home.

“I’m actually pretty excited to play them, because there are a few guys there that play a little bit outside of their shoes,” said Carcillo. “I think I can keep most of those guys in check when we play them this year. I’m pretty excited to play them.”

Kovalev, the 18-year NHL veteran, left North America last week after not finding a team willing to pay him the money he wanted. What did he do? He took his talents to the KHL for the big bucks. Kovalev decided this would be as good a time as ever to air his grievances towards his former head coach and the Ottawa media corps.

“In two seasons I still couldn’t understand the ideas of our coach Cory Clouston,” said Kovalev when asked what the play style in Ottawa was. “It seemed that he scoffed at some players.” He went on to say Clouston, who was fired by the Senators this offseason, would bench players without informing them what they did wrong, hurting the player’s confidence in the process.

Kovalev said his reputation as a player who didn’t bring it every night was unwarranted, adding that all of his teammates would say he was a tough competitor night-after-night, which led to his bashing of journalists who cover the Senators on a daily basis.

“There are different journalists,” he said. “My opinion of Ottawa journalists is that they don’t watch hockey at all. When they fly with the team and go through the [metal detector] at an airport, their bags are filled with beer. You realize right away what these people do when they write about the NHL.”

Kovalev won’t make any friends with those comments, but it appears he’s a guy who was just fed up with dealing with reporters who criticized his play, making his move to the friendly confines of the KHL all the more easier.

Finally, Avery captured sports and non-sports headlines this past week with his arrest following an altercation with a police officer in Los Angeles. Avery, 31, held a party at his home in the Hollywood Hills when the police were called due to loud music. Avery allegedly shoved the officer who wanted to talk to him before slamming the door in his face. He eventually came out and was arrested, spent the night in jail for the night before posting $20,000 bail.

Avery is no-doubt the bad boy of the NHL, but his antics for the most part have been kept on the ice. He’s now found himself in trouble with the law, which is a whole different animal. I don’t believe he’ll be suspended based on previous player run-ins with the law, including Ed Belfour in 2000 for intoxication as well as Dany Heatley in 2003 who killed teammate Dan Snyder while driving.

Avery’s confrontation could appear worse than Belfour’s, but not even in the same league as Heatley. This is, of course, Sean Avery, who appears to play under a different set of rules than other players, but it would be unprecedented if he loses games from the NHL. Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella is a different story.


Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamiaTHW or email him at [email protected]

Tags: Alex Kovalev Chicago Blackhawks Dan Carcillo Dan Snyder Dany Heatley Ed Belfour Max Lapierre New York Rangers Phoenix Coyotes Raffi Torres Sean Avery Tanner Glass Vancouver Canucks Winnipeg Jets

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