Avery: Hit typical of most French guys in league

Updated: September 28, 2005, 11:41 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Los Angeles Kings are already getting some attention before the season's start, just not the type they were likely looking for.

Sean Avery was a guest on The Sports Network of Canada on Tuesday, discussing Denis Gauthier's hit on Jeremy Roenick, a hit that gave the forward a concussion.

Avery told the Canadian sports television network that he thought the Coyotes player delivered a "clean hit." He added: "I think it was typical of most French guys in our league with a visor on, running around and playing tough and not back anything up.

"I'd think if a guy like Brett Hull was coming up the middle, somebody probably wouldn't have stepped up and hit him, but like I said, a typical move from a guy wearing a visor that certainly doesn't like to get scratched at all." Gauthier was born in Montreal. Roenick is from Boston and Avery from Pickering, Ontario.

Avery later released a statement through the Kings, apologizing for the comments.

Said Avery: "I certainly did not want to offend anyone with my comments earlier today. I am an emotional guy who sometimes says things that shouldn't be said. I apologize if I offended anyone."

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that the apology was delivered after a call from the NHL.

Roenick, meanwhile, was not done.

"I've seen that Canadians are saying that I'm complaining and whining because I got hit hard," Roenick told The Times. "But I have gotten hit hard many, many, many times, probably more so than they have ever been hit. They just love to complain about me because I'm an American who gets more press than their Canadian players.

"They can whine about me all they want. The fact of the matter is the need for respect for everybody, not just me. I'm sure if Joe Sakic got hit the way I got hit and said the same thing I did, Canadians wouldn't be sitting there saying Joe was complaining."

Roenick also told the newspaper that he didn't blame Gauthier and that the Phoenix defenseman called him Monday to apologize.

Roenick will miss the rest of the preseason and is listed as day-to-day. The incident was the 11th reported concussion of Roenick's career.

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