NEW YORK—Former NHL enforcer Sean Avery has been ordered by a New York City judge to appear in person on June 15, when his trial on a charge of intent to damage property is set to begin.
Avery appeared Monday via FaceTime for a brief procedural hearing at Manhattan Criminal Court before Judge Marisol Martinez Alonso. The Pickering native was arrested on April 11, 2019 and charged after allegedly ramming his scooter into a parked car, a misdemeanour, according to the New York Times.
Avery had fancied himself a protector of the rights of New York City cyclists, often sharing videos of profane confrontations with delivery workers, movers, other cyclists and drivers on Instagram. His YouTube channel, “Sean Avery’s Bike Lane,” still includes footage of encounters.
Avery first appeared in court on June 10, 2019 and the case has dragged through the system ever since. In April, he asked to represent himself and have a jury trial. On Monday, however, he was represented by Jason Goldman.
Goldman told the Star in a phone interview that he took Avery on as a client “about a month ago” and expects a bench trial, where the judge renders the verdict: “We’ll see what happens in June.”
In a 10-year NHL career with the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers and Dallas Stars, Avery twice led the league in penalty minutes (261 in 2003-04 and 257 in 2005-06). In 580 regular-season games, he recorded 90 goals and 157 assists for 247 points, and spent 1,533 minutes in the box. Avery also saw action in 28 playoff games — all with the Rangers — with five goals, 10 assists and 69 penalty minutes.
The so-called Avery Rule was enacted during a first-round series against the New Jersey Devils in 2008. While screening Martin Brodeur in Game 3, Avery turned, faced the goaltender and waved his stick in front of the future Hall of Famer’s face during a Rangers power play. The next day, the league announced that a two-minute minor for unsportsmanlike penalty could be levied against any player who tries it.
The Rangers went on to win that series four games to one, with Avery playing a key role: three goals and two assists. Brodeur refused to shake Avery’s hand in the post-series handshake line. Later, in an interview with MSG Network, Avery said: “Fatso there forgot to shake my hand, I guess.”
Four years later, during an appearance on Bravo Network’s “Watch What Happens Live” with Andy Cohen, Avery announced his retirement at age 41. He’d signed with the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL in February 2012, but was released two days later.
After hockey, Avery has worked in advertising, modelling and acting, including the film “Tenet.” He lives in California and is married to actress Hilary Rhoda. They have a son, Nash, who turns two in July.
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