Along with New York Giants legend Harry Carson (and, naturally, Michael Phelps), the New York Rangers' own Brandon Dubinsky and Henrik Lundqvist attended the Sportsman of the Year ceremonies in downtown Manhattan on Tuesday night. FanHouse was in attendance, and we got a chance to talk to both of the players about Sean Avery's recent suspension. Here's what both players had to say about their former teammate's controversial "sloppy seconds" comments regarding Calgary's Dion Phaneuf dating Avery's ex-girlfriend, Elisha Cuthbert.
FanHouse: Do you think Avery's comments warranted a suspension?
Ryan Dubinsky: "Well, I mean, obviously the league protects its interests, and felt it was suspendable, so I respect what the league thinks. I think us hockey players try and fly under the radar a little bit and not get involved in too much outside activity and stuff like that, and try and really focus on our games, and I think we take great pride in the fact that you don't see too many of us in the headlines for getting in trouble away from the rink or anything like that. It's a fine line. I certainly don't think it was a smart thing to say, but I'm not sure."
FanHouse: With Sean, do you think it's a body of work at this point? Is the league watching him a little more closely than most players?
Dubinsky: "Yeah, he certainly has a little bit of a target on his back with some of the things that have happened with him in the past, but, you know, Sean certainly has his own personality and if that's what he thinks is going to make him most (respected) in his game and in life in general, then he's gonna do it. I'm not going to sit here and criticize him one way or another. I'm just going to be an innocent bystander."
FanHouse: Does it surprise you that Avery would make that kind of a comment?
Dubinsky: "Well, I'm not sure. He is a little bit edgy, with some of his comments and stuff like that, but, you know, it certainly wouldn't be something I would expect him to say right off the bat, or to a video camera, or five or 10 for that matter, but he's a little bit edgy and that's how he likes it. Like I said, if that's what he feels is good for him, then that's how he's going to do it."
FanHouse: You being here in New York, you know about Plaxico Burress' situation and recent suspension. This is a random question, but which act do you think warrants a suspension more?
Dubinsky: "Well, it's tough. I don't want to sit here and choose sides one way or another. I think they're both bad for their sports, and they're bad for athletes in general. I think athletes are certainly under the microscope more than other people, and I think are looked upon as role models for young kids, and when you're doing either act, it certainly doesn't set a good example. It puts a dent in the whole persona that athletes work really hard to try and create amongst the public and children and their peers and everyone else. And you know, it's not just hockey or it's not just football, in general I think all athletes would feel the same way that we don't need that in sports, and especially in professional sports, and we'd just rather do what we love and try and entertain the fans and keep them coming night in and night out and keep our personal lives to ourselves rather than trying to share it with everyone else."
FanHouse: Do you think a comment like Avery's is worth a suspension?
Henrik Lundqvist: "I don't know. Honestly, I never get involved in things like suspensions, so I have a tough time evaluating if it's worth a suspension or not."
FanHouse: What is your take on Sean Avery as a person?
Lundqvist: "You know, when he came to New York, he was a great player. He did a lot of good things for us as a hockey player. He's one of a kind, both good and bad, you know? (Laughs) He does his thing, and for that I give him credit. Again, he's one of a kind."
FanHouse: So does a comment like that coming from Avery surprise you?
Lundqvist: "No comment on that."
Rangers' Dubinsky, Lundqvist Discuss Sean Avery's 'Sloppy' Suspension originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Wed, 03 Dec 2008 18:42:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.