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Sean Avery used to mock Dustin Brown about his lisp and wife

Apr 25, 2012, 3:44 PM EDT

Dustin Brown Getty Images

Following his one-man evisceration of the Vancouver Canucks, LA Kings captain Dustin Brown‘s received the national media treatment courtesy a Sports Illustrated piece from Michael Farber.

In it, much is made of Brown’s physical play and his maturation from shy teenager to Kings captain. But that maturation didn’t come without some bumps along the way, many in the form of  ex-L.A. teammate Sean Avery.

From Sports Illustrated:

Brown lisps. He has lisped for as long as he can remember, although the speech therapy he went through as a fifth-grader helped him learn to control it. (The lisp tends to return when he is engaged in casual conversation or after, say, a puck has given him a fat lip.) But in dressing rooms where razzing is the lingua franca, the lisp made him an easy target early in his career. Sean Avery, an occasional linemate of Brown’s from 2003 to ’07, would insert the needle. “This was bullying, like you might see in high school,” says Ian Laperrière, the former Kings forward who now mentors young players in the Flyers organization.

The analogy is apt; Brown was still a teenager at the time. According to L.A. players and coaches from that era, Brown’s lisp was not Avery’s primary target. Avery also zeroed in on Brown’s girlfriend—now his wife—a slender, fresh-faced girl-next-door-type from their hometown of Ithaca, N.Y. Apparently Avery didn’t think she was glamorous enough to be the girlfriend of a hockey player in Hollywood. “I am not a trophy wife,” says Nicole Brown, who has been with her husband for almost a dozen years (and married to him for five). “By any means.”

Shy by disposition, Dustin coped by withdrawing. Nicole says he was the last one to arrive at the rink every day and the first one to leave. He disputes that the teasing bothered him—”I have a thick skin, and that was just Aves being Aves,” Brown says—but later adds, “Maybe it affected me in ways that I didn’t realize.” 

Numbers suggest Avery’s presence was affecting Brown more than he thought. He scored 14 and 17 goals in his first two full seasons as a King, but after Lombardi traded Avery to the Rangers in 2007, Brown potted a career-high 33.

“He really did start to blossom once the stuff in the room dissipated,” former Kings teammate Rob Blake told SI.

Fast forward to today, where it seems Brown’s gotten the last laugh. He’s fresh off his first career playoff series win while Avery…is fresh off throwing his skates in the Hudson river.

  1. scoops1 - Apr 25, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Avery probably did Dustin’s wife too. Not much to this story

    • hockeyflow33 - Apr 25, 2012 at 4:09 PM

      Something tells me he isn’t interested in anybodys wife

      • emoser - Apr 25, 2012 at 4:18 PM

        I was thinking the same. Is someone who does fashion modeling as a hobby really in a position to make fun of someone’s lisp?

  2. barroomhero80 - Apr 25, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    i would of dropped his ass.. Avery is a lil bit*c

  3. gekkoguy82 - Apr 25, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    The game is better off without Sean Avery. What a tool.

  4. govtminion - Apr 25, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Too bad Brown’s a quiet type. We could have been rid of Avery YEARS ago if he’d pulled a stunt like that on someone a little more volatile. Can you imagine mouthing like that to a teammate like, say, Pronger or Lucic?

    • nobandwagoners - Apr 25, 2012 at 4:43 PM

      Makes you wonder why none of the other LA veteran guys put Avery in his place. Maybe they, too, thought it was acceptable and “just in fun”?

      Leaders of the team set the tone on and off the ice. You can get that Brown, being the captain now and a leader in the dressing room, wouldn’t let some yapper get away with what Avery did.

      • nobandwagoners - Apr 25, 2012 at 4:49 PM

        … oh, and as regards Lucic – when he was playing in the WHL for the Vancouver Giants not too long before he made the jump to the NHL, an opposing player taunted Lucic during a game calling him a hunchback. Lucic lost it and laid down a BEATING on him (in that player’s defence, he stated later that he didn’t know Lucic has a spinal condition from birth). If you’re Lucic you can take matters into your hands if need be. Shouldn’t have to come to that though.

      • Mike Halford - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:24 PM

        http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/draft2008/columns/story?columnist=burnside_scott&id=3454887

        Chicago Blackhawks draft pick Kyle Beach was the guy:

        “There was the time he mimicked being a hunchback to current Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic, who has a medical condition involving the curvature of his spine, prompting the Western Hockey League to warn him about inappropriate behavior.”

        Here’s Looch’s retribution: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRD_xq3aMgQ

      • govtminion - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:21 PM

        Actually you have a good point about the other players- they mentioned Rob Blake, you’d think someone like that would have stepped in and told Avery where to stuff it. On the other hand, maybe the decision was to let Brown deal with it himself and not rely on the vets. Either way, shows a lot about Avery.

      • amonte13 - Apr 25, 2012 at 10:12 PM

        I knew this story in the past and always wondered the same thing, where were the vets to knock Avery on his azz? I’ve seen at least five guys mention they knew what was going on, yet no one did anything?

    • vanchuk - Apr 26, 2012 at 2:16 AM

      that’s how Kevin Bieksa made the Canucks… he was playing for, then farm team, Manitoba Moose and knocked out Fedor Fedorov for some reason or another… somebody heard of this and BOOM! gets the call up! But yeah, too bad Brown wasn’t that kind of guy. Takes all kinds though, and clearly Brown is tough enough and man enough for more than his younger self was.

  5. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 25, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    No wonder nobody wanted Avery on their team. What a gutless POS that guy is.

  6. mj2sexay - Apr 25, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Sean Avery is a clown who will only be remembered for his disgusting antics. Goodbye and good riddance.

  7. nesportsfan0428 - Apr 25, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    There’s typical locker room “busting balls”, and there’s always the guy that takes it too far, like O’Bannion in “Dazed and Confused.”.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 25, 2012 at 10:01 PM

      Too bad Brown’s mom didn’t pull a shotgun on Avery.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 26, 2012 at 7:09 AM

  8. hockeyphreak - Apr 25, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    AVERY = ASSCLOWN

    • hockeyphreak - Apr 25, 2012 at 10:30 PM

      Seriously? thumbs down? Sean must of logged in with his assclown posse

  9. jason9696 - Apr 25, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Sean Avery’s parents obviously didn’t give their son any class at all.

    As for Dustin Brown, I saw him interviewed a few times during the recent L.A.-Vancouver series. And I didn’t even notice a lisp at all.

  10. obamablowz - Apr 25, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    It went like this…”Hey Brown, I know I’m not married, walk around with man purses, and design womens clothing….but you’re gay!”

  11. sabatimus - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    This comes from the same guy who said the “sloppy seconds” thing. In other words, so what?

  12. eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Avery has some sugar in him !

  13. ptphilly123 - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Who cares?! Boo hoo poor you! How about whaaaam burger and some french cries? Wash it down with a Weineken!

    • obamablowz - Apr 25, 2012 at 8:17 PM

      Lame

  14. Andy Snakovsky - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    BREAKING NEWS Sean Avery is an A-Hole who cares, you would think with 3 Game 7s in 2 days there would be other stories you could post

  15. jkaflagg - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    This was pretty common knowledge at the time…..In fact, considering this type of thing along with his on-ice shenanigans, the fact that Dean Lombardi was able to trade Avery for a prospect and a draft pick might be one of his most impressive managerial accomplishments……

    • cmdaw - Apr 25, 2012 at 10:22 PM

      I was going to say this. In fact, my go to example of Avery’s asshat behavior is the Dustin Brown nonsense, not the sloppy seconds comment. Which, yes, was absolutely reprehensible and pointless. But at least then he wasn’t making fun of his own teammates. On what planet does that seem like a good idea? Who wakes up in the morning and goes “You know what’ll work out super well? Emotionally tormenting my linemate. GENIUS!” I mean, other than Sean Avery, obviously.

  16. bleed4philly - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Any Philly fan on this thread not pointing out Sean Avery is a total loser is not really a Philly fan.

  17. jkaflagg - Apr 25, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Regarding the failure of the Kings veteran players to shut up Avery at the time: I believe Matty Norstrom was the captain at the time, and while everyone liked him, he was not an assertive leader….same with Blake, I don’t recall him wearing a C or A often with any of his teams…..Leadership was spotty at that time, and while it has improved the last few years, it continues to be a challenge; you can’t forget that the coach was fired at mid season this year, and even Brownie didn’t catch fire this year until the trade rumors started. With an ex-captain like Richards in the room, Brown will need to continue to assert himself for the team’s success to grow……

  18. oside760 - Apr 25, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    sean avery is probably in the top 10 worst hockey players ever. so it figures he would have to make fun of someone better than him to make himself feel better about how terrible he is

  19. bagjr387 - Apr 25, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    where is avery? thats right dustin…do your thing

  20. blomfeld - Apr 25, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    teasing someone about a physical or mental inadequacy is the behavior of a callous, cowardly, boor … the Kings have a wonderful captain in Dustin Brown …

  21. dsd3 - Apr 26, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    Sean Avery is an embarrassment. Hard to tell what went on in the locker room, but it’s a real shame if nobody put him in his place. What a jackass.

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