The National Hockey League Players Association is planning on grieving Sean Avery's six-game suspension.
The PA believes NHL commissioner Gary Bettman handed down a summary suspension before the hearing, constituting a violation of the collective bargaining agreement. The CBA suggests for off-ice discipline a hearing must take place before action is taken.
The NHL suspended Avery on Tuesday, preventing him from playing in the game in Calgary.
Action taken, without a hearing.
With the exception of the 1988 one game suspension assessed to then Devils coach Jim Schoenfeld for angrily suggesting referee Don Koharski eat another donut in a heated verbal joust following game 3 of the Wales conference finals against the Boston Bruins, the Players Association says the NHL has never gone so far as to impose a suspension.
Fines are usually levied and deemed sufficient discipline.
The NHL says Avery was suspended for violation of the NHL Constitution for conduct 'detrimental to the League or game of hockey.'
According to the PA, to the extent player “statements” have prompted suspensions, it has always taken place on the ice, falling under the jurisdiction of supplementary discipline and the few suspensions handed down have been for far less than Sean Avery's 6 games.
It's unlikely the PA will be looking to reduce the suspension, but will be hoping to establish a legal point so the NHL won't be able to suspend players without a hearing in the future.