Enough is enough for Phaneuf

STEVE MACFARLANE

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

ST. LOUIS -- While NHL commissioner Gary Bettman saw fit to suspend Sean Avery six games for his inappropriate comments, Dion Phaneuf figured it would be appropriate to stop talking about it.

"Dion has no further comment," a team representative said before the Calgary Flames hit the ice against the Blues in St. Louis last night.

Apparently, Phaneuf is taking Avery's published apology as seriously as Avery's own Dallas Stars.

Seeking out reporters in Calgary Tuesday afternoon, Avery had a premeditated comment that was so off-side, Bettman suspended him indefinitely pending a hearing.

"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," said Avery, referring to Phaneuf's flame, Elisha Cuthbert, and Los Angeles Kings centre Jarret Stoll's current girlfriend, Rachel Hunter,.

Both formerly dated Avery.

An on-ice agitator who's second to none when it comes to getting under people's skin, it's interesting his first suspension comes for his off-ice behaviour.

Apologizing through the media Wednesday before Thursday's hearing with Bettman, Avery was given a six-game suspension retroactive to Tuesday's missed game against the Flames.

"Mr. Avery has expressed remorse for his recent comments and has sought a professional anger management evaluation," 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.

"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.

"Playing in the National Hockey League is a privilege, requiring a high standard of personal behaviour. Mr. Avery forfeits that privilege for six games."

Whether it's because their teammate was one of those personally attacked by Avery, or just a general disgust for what came out of his mouth, you'd be hard-pressed to find a Flame not in favour of the suspension.

"I don't disagree with the NHL's decision to suspend him by any means. I just think he's got to figure some things out," said Michael Cammalleri, who considered himself a friend of Avery's when they were both playing for the Los Angeles Kings.

"Guys will tell you that know him -- I'm not the only one -- we talked to him before about this kind of thing. It's got to stop. It'd be best for him and best for everyone around him.

"He's obviously disappointed me a lot this year with comments he made about (Jarome Iginla being 'boring') and the comments he made the other day.

"That's definitely a breach of the friendship we had."


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