Last week National Hockey League analyst Mike Milbury landed himself in hot water for controversial comments he made on the air during an NBC broadcast of the first round series between the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals. As I have stated throughout our coverage of that story I feel Milbury was unduly tossed under the bus, this despite the fact that I personally have never cared much for his commentary on NBC. It seems though that at least some have been quick to pounce on the potential opportunity created by Milbury's removal from the National Hockey League's playoff bubble in Toronto, with perhaps the most blatant in his motivations being notorious former NHL forward Sean Avery.
Avery took to instagram last week and decried the fact that Milbury should have been removed from the broadcast ages ago, something Avery himself claims to have said several times in the past. The real surprise here however came when Avery openly auditioned for Milbury's role, this despite the fact that there is nothing to suggest that this was not merely a temporary removal on the part of NBC in light of recent controversies.
"I'm not gonna say I told you so, I'm not that type of guy," began Avery before adding "but I told you so."
"Sam Flood, NHL on NBC, just pick up the phone and call me. I am a ratings machine ok? Don't feel bad about calling me ok? It's fine I'll come in and save the day."
The biggest surprise during Avery's self imposed audition on Instagram however was his insistence that he would do it for free on top of claiming that he would bring big ratings to the NHL.
"I will put on a peacock hat, I will do it for free, I will blow the ratings through the f*cking roof... let's get it done, what do you want?"
I fully understand that there will be massive objections to this given Avery's personality and his well earned reputation in the NHL, but I would much rather see a controversial figure like Avery on a broadcast than more of the milk-toast analysis the NHL has been spoon feeding as of late. Sure the league had their reasons for removing figures like the aforementioned Mike Milbury or even legendary analyst Don Cherry, but love them or hate them figures of that nature do drive interest by acting as lightning rods for controversy and discussion around the game of hockey.
You can hear Avery in his own words below: