This is how Oilers player Theo Peckham saw the events unfold before he went after Avery per Jesse Spector at the Blueshirts Blog...
“I watched my teammate (Ladislav Smid) ask a guy to fight, and Avery turned around and said, ‘No, no, next shift,’ and then Avery turned around and suckerpunched him,” Peckham said. “Then he skated by our bench laughing. I definitely made a little mistake and went a little wonky there, but we’re a family and sometimes you have to make a stand.”
...if true that confirms the sucker punch. Love that Avery laughed at the bench though.
EJ Hradek at ESPN tweets...
To be clear. I'n hearing there will be no suspensions from today's EDM-NYR game. There likely will be fines.
...i don't care what anyone says that was a sucker punch by Avery. Smid asked Avery to fight, Avery turned it down and when Smid went to skate away Avery punched him in the chops. There are codes in hockey and Avery just broke one.
...having said that I still love Avery and what he did worked as the Rangers just poured it on afterward. I hope he does the same thing to Crosby tomorrow.