SUN Hockey Pool

Flames burn Wisniewski for gesture

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:28 PM ET

Nobody on the Calgary Flames was willing to cut New York Islanders defenceman James Wisniewski any slack for the obscene gesture he directed at New York Rangers pest Sean Avery in Monday action.

“Hockey’s emotional, and you’re battling, but you have to recognize the fact millions of people will be watching,” said Flames forward Brendan Morrison. “This thing is going to get played and played and played again, and it’s not good for the guy or the game. We don’t need things like that.”

The NHL obviously felt the same, handing Wisniewski a two-game ban Tuesday.

The blueliner and Avery shoved each other in front of the Isles net and were separated but kept yapping at each other. Eventually, Wisniewski gestured an oral sex act.

“I don’t think that’s necessary,” Flames defenceman Ian White said. “It’s probably more of a reaction thing, but it’s unnecessary.”

However, Flames players were willing to point out Avery, who is known for obliterating the line in the sand with his antics both on and off the ice, brings such problems upon himself.

“Aves says a lot of things, so that’s banter to him,” said Craig Conroy of his former Los Angeles Kings teammate. “(Wisniewski) probably wishes he can take it back, but I don’t know what Aves said to him — probably got him all fired up. With Avery, it’s not a one-way street. It’s probably going the other way.

“Aves has been known to say things that cross the line. I bet that didn’t even affect Aves.”

Avery has raised the ire of players around the league for a variety of incidents, including one extremely high-profile event in Calgary.

Two seasons ago, while with the Dallas Stars, Avery referred to his former girlfriend, Elisha Cuthbert, as “sloppy seconds” because she was dating then-Flames defenceman Dion Phaneuf.

Avery was handed a six-game suspension and forced to undergo counselling. The Stars waived him, and he was eventually claimed by the New York Rangers on re-entry waivers.

Some players don’t like even hearing Avery’s name mentioned.

“I don’t even want to know what he did. Anything involving Avery ...,” said Flames defenceman Cory Sarich without having to finish the sentence.

That’s when it was pointed out Avery wasn’t the offender in this case.

“It doesn’t matter,” Sarich replied. “He’s brought enough on himself. Maybe it’s deserved.”

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/RandySportak


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