2010-11 Panini Playoff Contenders card #13 – Sean Avery
The biographical blurb on the back of a hockey card usually mentions some sort of accomplishment – an award won, a multi-point game or other accolade. In their 2010-11 Playoff Contenders set, Panini America highlighted Sean Avery’s antics in the 2008 playoffs that led to a rule change.
Most players have something, you know, good mentioned on the back of their own card. But this is Sean Avery we are talking about. And since talking smack about an ex-girlfriend is not the stuff of highlight reels, this had to suffice:
Call him a pioneer. Because of Avery’s unusual tactics during a 2008 playoff game vs. New Jersey, the NHL had to tweak its rules. Avery stood in front of goaltender Martin Brodeur, facing him and waving his arms and stick to distract him. That move now draws a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Think of pioneers with unusual tactics, and perhaps Jacques Plante donning a mask comes to mind. Or Stan Mikita and utilizing a curved hockey stick. Or Bobby Orr “leaving home” to join the offensive play. Each of these men, like many others, changed the game of hockey for the better. All Avery did was find another way to draw a penalty. Having this feat immortalized on the back of a card leaves this collector scratching his head.
If you haven’t seen Avery’s distraction tactics, check out the 30-second video below.