The verdict is in, and Dallas Stars forward Sean Avery will be sitting out a little while longer for the inappropriate comments he made earlier this week.
The National Hockey League announced Friday morning that Avery has been suspended for six games without pay, retroactive to Tuesday's game in Calgary, as a result of the comments he made Tuesday morning after the his team’s morning skate at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
Avery also agreed to seek professional anger-management evaluation and, if necessary, structured counseling in light of his pattern of behavior, which the NHL has deemed unacceptable and antisocial.
Avery will not be eligible to play again for the Stars until Dec. 16, when Dallas hosts the Phoenix Coyotes. He already has served two games of the suspension, Tuesday’s game against Calgary and Wednesday’s game against Edmonton.
"Mr. Avery has expressed remorse for his recent comments and has sought a professional anger management evaluation," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "I will require that he follow through with that process as a condition of his returning to the ice and that he complies with any and all recommendations."
The League said the suspension was issued in accordance with the provisions of By-Law 17 and Article 6 of the NHL Constitution for conduct "detrimental to the League or game of hockey." The suspension was imposed following inappropriate public comments about the personal lives of opposing players, and not pertaining to the game.
"Mr. Avery has been warned repeatedly about his conduct and comments, which have too often been at odds with the manner in which his more than 700 fellow players conduct themselves," Bettman said. "Playing in the National Hockey League is a privilege, requiring a high standard of personal behavior. Mr. Avery forfeits that privilege for six games."
The decision to suspend Avery comes less than 24 hours after the player had a hearing inside the NHL's Manhattan offices Wednesday.