NHL Wiki
Sean Avery
Born April 10, 1980 (1980-04-10) (age 42)
North York, Ontario, Canada
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
Position Left Wing
Shoots Left
Played for Detroit Red Wings
Los Angeles Kings
New York Rangers
Dallas Stars
National team  Canada
Playing career 1996–2012

Sean Avery (born Sean Christopher Avery on April 10, 1980) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player.

During his career in the National Hockey League (NHL), he played left wing for the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, Dallas Stars and New York Rangers, gaining recognition for his agitating playing style and controversial behavior both on and off the ice.

Sean finished his 12-year career with a total of 90 goals, 247 points and 1,533 penalty minutes in 580 games.

He is also known for his eclectic interests, having worked in fashion, most notably as an intern at Vogue magazine, as a model and as a restaurateur.

After retiring in 2012, Sean began working at advertising and creative agency Lipman in New York City.

Playing Career[]

Junior Hockey League (1996-2000)[]

Prior to joining the NHL, Sean played for the Owen Sound Platers and the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).

Detroit Red Wings (2001-03)[]

In 1999, Sean was signed by the Detroit Red Wings as a free agent in 1999. He played one final season in the OHL before turning professional in 2000 with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Sean broke into the NHL in the 2001–02 season, playing 36 games with the Red Wings and 36 in the minors.

The Red Wings went on to win the Stanley Cup that season, but Sean did not play in the playoffs nor did he play the required 41 games to get his name engraved on the Cup.

Midway through the 2002–03 season, Sean was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. He finished the season with 15 points in 51 games.

Los Angeles Kings (2003-07)[]

In 2003–04, Sean played 76 games for the Kings, scoring 9 goals to go along with 19 assists. He also led the NHL in penalty minutes with 261.

During the 2004-05 NHL lockout, he briefly played in the Finnish Elite League with the Lahti Pelicans and in the United Hockey League for the Motor City Mechanics.

Along with 149 penalty minutes in just 16 games, Sean tallied 26 points for the Mechanics, including two hat tricks, making him the first player in Mechanics history to record two hat tricks in one season.

Several players spoke publicly of their dissatisfaction with the NHL Players' Association’s leadership during the lockout (including Sean) who publicly blamed NHLPA president Bob Goodenow for wasting an entire season with a battle that alienated fans and yielded few results.

Sean led the league in penalty minutes for the second consecutive season in 2005-06 with 257.

With three games remaining, the Kings unofficially suspended Sean for the remainder of the season after he refused to do a drill in practice. Nevertheless, the team didn't want to let him go and re-signed him to a one-year deal.

New York Rangers (2007-08)[]

On February 5, 2007 (in the middle of the 2006-07 season), Sean was traded to the New York Rangers.

After joining the Rangers, he scored 20 points in 29 games to help the team complete a 17–4–6 end-of-season run to qualify for the playoffs.

On March 17, 2007, Sean recorded a single-game career-high four points (one goal and three assists) against the Boston Bruins in a 7-0 victory.

On April 12, 2007, he played in his first career playoff game on April 12 against the Atlanta Thrashers, recording his first playoff points with a goal and an assist. Sean cut down on penalty minutes by about 65% in 2006–07 compared to seasons past.

On August 1, 2007, Avery, as a restricted free agent, earned an arbitration award of $1.9 million for the 2007–08 season, which the Rangers accepted, keeping him with the team for at least another year.

On February 16, 2008 (in a game against the Buffalo Sabres), Sean scored a goal 10 seconds into the game, setting a record for fastest goal scored by a Ranger on home ice.

Dallas Stars (2008)[]

On July 2, 2008, Sean signed a four-year, $15.5 million contract with the Dallas Stars.

He had been a roommate of the Stars' co-general manager Brett Hull when the two played for the Red Wings. Hull thought the Stars needed more fire and emotion on the ice and felt that Sean would fit the bill.

Sean scored 3 goals in 23 games before he and the team parted ways following his six-game suspension by the NHL in December of 2008 due to controversial remarks made about fellow players.

On February 7, 2009, the Stars placed Sean on waivers.

Returning to New York Rangers (2009-12)[]

After clearing waivers on February 9, 2009, Sean was assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack, the Rangers' AHL affiliate although he remained a member of the Stars organization (that season, the Stars had no AHL affiliate).

On March 2nd, Sean was placed on re-entry waivers by Dallas and claimed by the Rangers the following day.

On January 5, 2010, in a game against the Stars (his former team), Sean recorded one goal and three assists.

On October 4, 2011, the Rangers waived Sean. The following day, he cleared waivers and was assigned to New York’s affiliate, the Connecticut Whale of the AHL.

On October 31, 2011, the Rangers placed Avery on 24-hour re-entry waivers. The move was done to bring him up as a replacement for the injured Mike Rupp. He cleared waivers and re-joined the Rangers for their November 5, 2011 game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Despite playing less than 10 minutes in all 15 games, Sean played for the Rangers that season, he scored 3 goals.

After being a healthy scratch for nine games, Sean was once again placed on waivers on December 30, 2011.

Since no NHL team claimed him, he returned to the AHL's Connecticut Whale. His last game played with the Whale was on January 27, 2012.

Sean was left off the Whale's Clear Day list of players eligible to play for the remainder of the AHL season submitted on March 5, and told to no longer report to games or practices.

On March 12, 2012, Sean retired. He announced his retirement during an appearance on the Bravo network’s "Watch What Happens Live" telling host Andy Cohen that he was “officially retired.”

Career Statistics[]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1996–97 Owen Sound Platers OHL 58 10 21 31 86 4 1 0 1 4
1997–98 Owen Sound Platers OHL 47 13 41 54 105 11 1 11 12 23
1998–99 Owen Sound Platers OHL 28 22 23 45 70
1998–99 Kingston Frontenacs OHL 33 14 25 39 88 5 1 3 4 13
1999–00 Kingston Frontenacs OHL 55 28 56 84 215 5 2 2 4 26
2000–01 Cincinnati Mighty Ducks AHL 58 8 15 23 304 4 1 0 1 19
2001–02 Cincinnati Mighty Ducks AHL 36 14 7 21 106
2001–02 Detroit Red Wings NHL 36 2 2 4 68
2002–03 Detroit Red Wings NHL 39 5 6 11 120
2002–03 Los Angeles Kings NHL 12 1 3 4 33
2002–03 Manchester Monarchs AHL 3 2 1 3 8
2003–04 Los Angeles Kings NHL 76 9 19 28 261
2004–05 Pelicans SML 2 3 0 3 26
2004–05 Motor City Mechanics UHL 16 15 11 26 149
2005–06 Los Angeles Kings NHL 75 15 24 39 257
2006–07 Los Angeles Kings NHL 55 10 18 28 116
2006–07 New York Rangers NHL 29 8 12 20 58 10 1 4 5 27
2007–08 New York Rangers NHL 57 15 18 33 154 8 4 3 7 6
2008–09 Dallas Stars NHL 23 3 7 10 77
2008–09 Hartford Wolf Pack AHL 8 2 1 3 8
2008–09 New York Rangers NHL 18 5 7 12 34 6 0 2 2 24
2009–10 New York Rangers NHL 69 11 20 31 160
2010–11 New York Rangers NHL 76 3 21 24 174 4 0 1 1 12
2011–12 New York Rangers NHL 15 3 0 3 21
2011–12 Connecticut Whale AHL 7 2 1 3 39
OHL totals 221 87 166 253 564 14 5 4 9 56
AHL totals 124 32 30 62 539 7 3 1 4 27
NHL totals 580 90 157 247 1,533 28 5 10 15 69

Career Transactions[]

  • January 11, 1999: Traded to Kingston (OHL) by Owen Sound (OHL) with Steve Lafleur for Aaron Fransen and D.J. Maracle.
  • September 21, 1999: Signed as a free agent with the Detroit Red Wings.
  • March 11, 2003: Traded by the Red Wings along with Maxim Kuznetsov, Detroit's 2003 first-round draft choice and 2004 second-round draft choice, to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Mathieu Schneider.
  • November 24, 2004: Signed as a free agent by Lahti (Finland)
  • February 11, 2005: Signed as a free agent by Motor City (UHL)
  • February 5, 2007: Traded by the Kings (along with John Seymour) to the New York Rangers in exchange for Jason Ward, Jan Marek, Marc-Andre Cliche and New York's 2008 third-round draft choice.
  • July 2, 2008: Signed as a free agent with the Dallas Stars.
  • March 3, 2009: Claimed off re-entry waivers by the Rangers.
  • October 11, 2011: Sent down to the Connecticut Whale (AHL).
  • October 31, 2011: Placed on 24-hour re-entry waivers.
  • March 12, 2012: Announces his retirement.

Personal Life[]

Sean grew up in Pickering, Ontario, Canada. His parents are Al & Marlene Avery, who are both teachers. He has a younger brother named Scott.

Sean attended Dunbarton High School in Pickering, Ontario. On November 8, 2013, he became engaged to model Hilary Rhoda.


Over the course of his hockey career, Sean was involved in a number of controversies and fined by the NHL on numerous occasions. The controversy started early in his career.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said he unloaded Sean during the 2002-03 season partly because he didn't seem to have respect for the game.

Leukemia Comment[]

In November of 2007, Howard Berger (a reporter for Toronto radio station FAN 590) stated that an unnamed Rangers player had accused Sean of commenting to Toronto Maple Leafs player Jason Blake about Blake's battle with leukemia prior to a pre-game confrontation between Avery and Toronto's Darcy Tucker.

Sean (who denied the allegation) received an NHL-maximum $2,500 fine and Tucker received a $1,000 fine. Shortly thereafter, Berger read a retraction on the air, apologizing for his inaccurate reporting. In September of 2009, Sean won a libel suit against Berger receiving an undisclosed sum.

The Avery Rule[]

On April 13, 2008 (during game 4 of a first round playoff game against the New Jersey Devils), Sean turned his back on the play in order to face and screen Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur during a two-man advantage on the power play.

He waved his hands and stick in front of Brodeur in an attempt to distract him and block his view. The puck was later cleared out of the Devils' zone but on the second Rangers offensive attack, Sean scored a power play goal.

Although screening is a commonly used tactic (especially on the power play), notable in this instance was that Sean had spent the initial part of the play facing Brodeur while ignoring the puck, with his back to the play (normally, the player screening the goaltender is facing the play).

The following day, the NHL issued an interpretation of the league's unsportsmanlike conduct rule to cover actions such as the one employed by Sean which would now result in a minor penalty. The new rule became known colloquially as “The Avery Rule.”

Sean's tactics during that series against the Devils earned multiple power plays, and he scored in each of the first three games.

His controversial yet effective antics helped lead the Rangers to a 4–1 series win. At the end of the series, Brodeur refused to shake Sean's hand.

Heckling Incident[]

On November 1, 2008 (following a game with the Stars against the Boston Bruins), Sean was accused of shouting obscenities at a fan who had been heckling him during the game.

A report of complaint was filed with the NHL, but no action was taken.

"Sloppy Seconds" Comment[]

On December 2, 2008 (prior to the Stars' morning skate in preparation for a game against the Calgary Flames), Sean approached the assembled reporters in the dressing room and stated: “I just want to comment on how it's become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds. I don't know what that's about, but enjoy the game tonight.”

At the time, Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf was dating Avery’s ex-girlfriend, actress Elisha Cuthbert and Kings center Jarret Stoll was dating model Rachel Hunter (another ex-girlfriend of Sean’s).

Within hours, the NHL suspended Sean indefinitely for "conduct detrimental to the league or the game of hockey." Sean's comments were met with near-unanimous condemnation by the Stars organization, fellow players, and fans alike. Stars owner Tom Hicks said that the team would have suspended him had the NHL not acted first.

The next day, Sean apologized, calling his actions "inappropriate" and "a bad attempt to build excitement for the game."

On December 5, 2008, the NHL fixed Sean's suspension at six games, retroactive to the December 2, 2008 game against the Flames. He agreed to undergo anger management counseling due to what the NHL called "unacceptable and antisocial behavior."

Commissioner Gary Bettman noted that both he and league disciplinarian Colin Campbell had warned Sean several times before about his behavior.

On December 14, 2008 (after the last game of his suspension), the Stars announced that Sean would not return to the team. One factor in the Stars decision was that coach Dave Tippett and several of the players (including Mike Modano and Marty Turco) let it be known they weren't willing to take him back on the team.

Tippett (for instance) had warned Sean not to talk to the media about his former girlfriends and was outraged when he did so. According to TSN's James Duthie, Sean's teammates had soured on him not long after he arrived. 

The "sloppy seconds" incident was the last straw and Hicks had been actively looking to cut ties with him while the suspension was underway.

Tortorella Feud[]

Prior to his second stint with the Rangers, Sean had been called out on numerous occasions by then-TSN commentator and future Rangers coach John Tortorella.

After rejoining the Rangers, his relationship with Tortorella was uneasy, although there were moments of mutual admiration.

Nearly a year after Avery retired on March 30, 2013 (following the Rangers’ second consecutive shutout loss), a tweet from Sean's Twitter account said of his former coach: “Fire this CLOWN, his players hate him and wont play for his BS.”

On May 29, 2013, after the Rangers lost to the Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Tortorella was fired.

Sean told the New York Post that he “had a huge smile” on his face after finding out that Tortorella was fired, adding: “It’s not that I’m happy for myself. I’m happy for the Rangers and Ranger fans.”


Lipman Agency[]

Upon his retirement from the NHL in April of 2012, Sean began working at New York City-based advertising and creative agency Lipman.

Hired by founder, chairman and chief creative officer David Lipman, he was appointed chief strategic officer and helped develop strategies for numerous Lipman clients including the campaign for the Stuart Weitzman line’s Spring/Summer 2013 campaign featuring Kate Moss and 7 For All Mankind jeans which showcased Sean himself as a model.

He has also handled a range of assignments for Lipman’s parent company, Revolate Holdings.


Sean is invested in Twtmob (pronounced “tweet mob”) which connects users with advertisers and campaigns, enabling users to monetize Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites.


Vogue In April of 2008, it was announced that Sean would be spending the summer offseason interning at Vogue magazine. In June of 2008, he guest-edited Mensvogue.com, the website for Men's Vogue magazine. His interest mainly resides with women's fashion.

About men's fashion, Sean has said, “You do suits and pants and that's about that. Women's clothes tell a story. That's what's interesting to me.”

In 2008, New Line Cinema put into development a film based on Sean's life, focusing on his status as a professional athlete with an active interest in fashion, including a summer internship at Vogue. Stan Chervin (who was nominated for an Academy Award for "Best Adapted Screenplay" for "Moneyball" in 2011), was hired to write the script.

Commonwealth Utilities[]

In 2009, Sean worked with men's fashion label Commonwealth Utilities to present a clothing line for Fashion Week in New York City.


Hickey Freeman[]

Sean was hired to be the face of Hickey Freeman's Spring/Summer 2012 ad campaign, shot by Francesco Carrozzini. The print ads have appeared in Vanity Fair, DC Modern Luxury and other magazines.

One ad featured a racy and scantily-clad Avery with a female model while the others offered city scenes of Sean in plaid suits sporting sunglasses.

For All Man Kind[]

Sean stars in the 2013 campaign for 7 For All Mankind, A Beautiful Odyssey, a trio of shorts directed by James Franco.

The films explore themes of love and passion through their portrayal of a white wedding on a California beach at sunset, with a potential love triangle looming. He also appears in the print ads.


Warren 77[]

In the summer of 2009, Sean opened Warren 77, a sports bar named after its address in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood at 77 Warren Street.

On opening night, many figures from the hockey world were present including Brendan Shanahan, Ken Daneyko and Henrik Lundqvist.

The décor was meant to reflect an old New York style, with Andy Warhol originals and pictures of icons on the walls as well as pictures of the New York Rangers, past and present.

Matt Abramcyk (a former art dealer) and Chris Miller (co-owner of the Beatrice Hotel) are co-owners of the bar.

Tiny's and the Bar Upstairs[]

In May 2011, two years after opening Warren 77 with Abramcyk, Sean opened Tiny's and the Bar Upstairs, also in Tribeca.

This would be his second restaurant venture alongside Abramcyk and Rangers goalie Lundqvist. Sean handled day-to-day operations, including occasionally bussing tables.

In August of 2013, the New York Post reported that Sean had sold his interests in both Warren 77 and Tiny's.


Marriage Equality[]

In May of 2011, Sean recorded a video for the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign, in support of same-sex marriage.

He was believed to be the first athlete in New York to publicly voice his support for same-sex marriage. In an interview with the New York Times, he stated, "I certainly have been surrounded by the gay community. And living in New York and when you live in L.A., you certainly have a lot of gay friends."

Sean also traveled to Albany, New York to lobby politicians prior to the July 2011 legalization of same-sex marriage in New York State.

Athlete Ally[]

In May of 2012, Sean joined the board of directors of Athlete Ally which is a nonprofit organization focused on ending homophobia and trans-phobia in sports by educating those in the athletic community and empowering them to take a stand against prejudice.

Athlete Ally also provides public awareness campaigns, educational programming, and tools and resources to foster inclusive sports communities around the country.

Appearances in TV and Film[]

Sean played a small role in the 2005 Maurice Richard biopic "The Rocket: The Legend of Rocket Richard" portraying former New York Rangers defenseman Bob Dill.

Avery appeared in a 2007 episode of MADtv with Kings teammates Tom Kostopoulos and Scott Thornton.

Sean was a guest on a 2009 episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; a Top Ten List presenter on a 2009 episode of Late Show with David Letterman; a guest judge on Project Runway: All Stars in 2012.

He has appeared on Fashion Police in 2013. He was on People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive 2007 list.