April 23, 2008
Yesterday, the worlds of Sean Avery and fashion collided when we learned the New York Rangers pest will be interning at Vogue magazine this summer, a.k.a. the story that launched a thousand "The Devil Wears Prada" jokes. They collided again today when Larry Brooks of the NY Post broke the news that the NHL was planning on marketing a T-shirt based on Avery's dancing monkey routine in front of Marty Brodeur in Game 3 of the Rangers/Devils quarterfinal:
"...the league has authorized Reebok to manufacture and sell an 'Avery Rule' tee shirt, The Post has learned.
According to a well-placed source, the NHL approved the concept and design before soliciting approval from the Players Association. The NHLPA then asked for and was granted Avery's permission to go forward. The licensed tee shirt features an NHL copyright mark, the NHL logo, NHLPA logo and the Rangers' logo with text that reads, 'Avery Rule No. 16,' in the Blueshirts' uniform-style lettering."
This all seemed a little too hip for the NHL -- we didn't exactly see a flood of Ryan Hollweg piñatas hit the market, did we? -- so our crap detector went off immediately. Apparently so did the one Sports Business Daily keeps in its office, because it quickly got the following denial from the NHL: "NHL Senior VP/Communications Bernadette Mansur: 'This was a concept that was brought to our attention and rejected earlier this week.'"
So this could have been an official NHL/NHLPA/Reebok T-shirt, but no need to cry hypocrisy here. In keeping with the League's 15-year tradition of rejecting anything fans might actually want out of their game, you'll just have to buy the pirated product.