Gary Bettman just ended his conference call explaining his reasons for Sean Avery's six-game suspension. As annoying as all this has been and as dumb as the comment was, six games did seem like a lot, considering how actions that have caused physical injury to some players have gotten less. Here was Bettman's take on the Avery decision:
"This was the type of conduct we did not view as acceptable or representative to what we do. We wanted to be clear to the fans that this is something we don’t tolerate, particularly to those with children who may have to explain (the comments).
"Sean has been warned over the last year he was getting close to the line too many times. Other times he may have been over it, but we couldn’t verify it. But he had a session with (NHL senior VP Colin) Campbell where he was warned, one with me where he was warned. We had to make clear it wasn’t appropriate. We felt, based on other cases and situations, this was the right number."
When another reporter asked how those who can hurt people on the ice can get a lot lighter, or relatively close to this, Bettman said it was "comparing apples and oranges." Um, OK. Don't know how you say that. But as I said, I think the NHL is just tired of this guy's never-ending act and is sending a message.