Avery speaks

Since today is otherwise an off day for the Kings, here’s a brief report from an interview the always-interesting Sean Avery just did on XM Radio’s hockey channel. His comments on last night’s diving penalty are of particular interest.

Avery, on how he developed his reputation as an on-ice “pest”:
“In my first year (in the NHL) I went out of my way to do that and now it has carried over to the present time. I got under a lot of guys’ skin and I guess it carried over over the years.”

Avery, on his penalty minutes. He joked about winning the Lady Byng Trophy and displayed his knowledge of hockey history when he pointed out that Stan Mikita went from compiling huge penalty minutes (154 in 1964-65) to winning the Lady Byng Trophy (twice, in 1966-67 and 1967-68):
“Technically, if I didn’t take a penalty for the rest of the year, I’m probably in contention.”
(Avery ranks fourth in the league with 46 penalty minutes.)

Avery, on his relationship with new coach Marc Crawford:
“I certainly think my relationship with Crow is a good one. There’s certainly a high level of respect that I have for him. He’s rewarding me with some ice time and I’m working as hard as I can for him.”

Avery, on the improvements he’s made in terms of remaining pesky without taking bad penalties:
“For some reason I grasped it all of a sudden. I cut back on the coffee before games. No coffee, no more Sudafed, no more Red Bulls, that sort of thing.”
(I’m sure the Sudafed comment will make Gary Bettman choke, but Avery clearly was joking.)

Avery, on last night’s diving penalty, which seemed obvious when viewed on replays:
“I don’t know, I can’t really remember. I’m certainly not going to incriminate myself. I guess you’d have to ask the referees or someone who was there.”
(This is the point, last year, where Avery would have burned himself with a snarky comment about the refs or the opposition or the league. Instead he played it smart and the hosts moved on.)

Avery, on how he returned to the Kings and overcame being kicked off the team at the end of last season:
“(GM Dean Lombardi) and I had a good talk and talked about respect and things that needed to be instilled as far as my attitude toward the organization and my teammates. So far, so good with him and Crow and the guys on the team.”

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