Costly words for Tucker, Avery

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:44 AM ET

The NHL dropped the hammer on Avery-gate yesterday, with Sean Avery, Darcy Tucker and their respective teams forced to put their money where their yappie mouths are.

While not suspending Avery for his pre-game antics Saturday night, his Rangers were fined $25,000 US; the Maple Leafs $10,000; Avery the maximum $2,500 and Tucker $1,000.

Avery met with league disciplinarian Colin Campbell yesterday to chat about his altercation with Tucker and Jason Blake.

"The unprofessional conduct of Avery in initiating this altercation, less than a week after being involved in an incident in the pre-game warmup against New Jersey, is the basis for this discipline," Campbell said in a statement. "Tucker also bears some responsibility for his inappropriate response.

"Both organizations must also be held accountable for the players' actions."

"We respect the decision," Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson said.

Despite Campbell's actions, this controversy is far from over.

Avery is considering legal action against Toronto radio station The FAN 590, which reported Monday that an unnamed Rangers player said Avery started the scuffle by commenting on Blake's bout with cancer.

The insinuation left Avery's teammates seething.

"We all know who and what Sean is," Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg told New York reporters.

"But the accusations are untrue. I don't even know why Blake was there to begin with because it had nothing to do with him -- it was between Avery and Tucker.

"I saw Blake swing his stick first and then it all happened from there.

"So if anyone is to blame, I'd say it would be Jason Blake."

Replied Blake: "I don't care (what Hollweg says). "Did the video show me swinging my stick? No."

SEAN SPEAKS

Statement released by Sean Avery after meeting with NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell yesterday.

"I am extremely upset and hurt that false and damaging comments were attributed to me regarding Jason Blake. I made no such comments. I have lost two grandfathers to cancer and have been a consistent contributor to multiple cancer related charities, first and foremost, Hockey Fights Cancer. I am unable to comment further, as the matter is now being addressed by legal counsel."


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