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James Wisniewski regrets making obscene gesture toward Sean Avery, ‘hurting’ his team

Oct 17, 2010, 2:36 PM EDT


Honestly, I thought the NHL went overboard in handing New York Islanders defenseman James Wisniewski a two game suspension for making the international gesture for fellatio toward Sean Avery. Sure, it was childish and embarrassing, but isn’t that how you’d describe just about every post-whistle scuffle and bit of trash talking? He simply translated that nonsense into a hand gesture.

Sure, it’s not as ridiculous as giving Sean Avery (Wisniewski’s “victim” besides THE CHILDREN) a six game suspension for using high school gossip lingo to talk about his ex-girlfriend, but handing out the same punishment for a hand motion as the league does for a dangerous hit sends a strange message. It actually reminds me of the general theme of the documentary “This Film was not yet rated”; NHL executives give violence a ton of rope but cringe at the slightest hint of sex.

(Then again, while violence is inherent to the sport, sex isn’t really a part of hockey. At least, I hope not.)

Regardless of my feelings on the subject, Wisniewski expressed the fact that he regrets what he did to Chris Botta of NHL Fanhouse.

Back in the lineup after watching his team in a loss in Washington and overtime loss in Pittsburgh, Wisniewski did not want to leave it unclear just who was wrong on Monday.

“You can’t do stuff like that,” said Wisniewski, who had a goal and two assists in his first two games of the season. “You have to keep your emotions cool. You have to keep your emotions in check. People are watching. You have to be professional. You have to be responsible for your actions.”

Considering Wisniewski’s troubles the last couple seasons – he was also suspended eight games for a regrettable charge on Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook last season – so maybe this bit of shame will inspire him to clean up his act. The Islanders are actually off to a good start, as they’re currently tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins at six points (and they’ve played in one less game, too). Having a focused Wisniewski could be a great asset for the Islanders, who are considerably banged up already this season.

  1. stakex - Oct 18, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    I’ll hummor the NHL and agree that such a gesture can be considered obscene, and thus is suspendable. I mean sure its not nearly as bad as some of the conversation that happens on the ice… but for the most part people watching the game can’t hear that. Lets also remember that little kids do watch hockey, and though I don’t like any type of censorship myself, I can see the league wanting to make nice-nice with some of the more old school parents out there.

    With that said, my problem isn’t so much with this suspension… but what about a one game suspension for making a cut throte gesture? Thats not obscene at all, and not something that might offend someone… and again players say far worse to eachother on the ice. So if its not obscene, not going to offend anyone watching the game, and nothing worse than what goes on constantly…. why the suspension? This is hockey afrer all, and not tennis.

    Or as mentioned in this article, what about the six game suspension for Avery’s off ice remarks? He made an off ice comment not related to hockey and was suspended? And for SIX games?? What the hell was that about? Like Avery or not, theres clearly something screwed up about the NHL and their suspension choices. What Avery said might have been some what obscene and all, but it was bearly PG-13 rated and no one was hurt over it I’m sure. It was worth a hefty fine perhaps, but a suspension? The NHL isn’t middle school….. (such comments would not have resulted in a suspension from high school).

    So the league is willing to throw around suspensions for childish things like that, yet Matt Cooke possibly ended Mark Savards career with a blind side, and horribly dirty hit, that likely had intent to injure given Cookes record… and he didn’t miss a game? What the hell is that about? If you can come up with some BS reason to suspend a player six games for some off ice comments, you certainly can find a rule to suspend a player who goes out of his way to deliver a dirty hit that results is a major injury. Hell the NHL could have simply said Cooke delivered the hit with intent to injure and suspended him 5-10 games… it was actaully seemed like a very simple decision. Yet they hid behind the rule book, and acted as though there was nothing they could do… which we all know was BS.

    The NHL has no credability as far as I’m concerened with its extreamly odd enforcment of rules. Right now the message I would be getting if I was a player is “Its fine to go out and try to end a guys career… but if you act like a high school kid, we’ll throw the book at you!”. Thats pretty sad vibe to get from a pro sports league.

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