Former NHL pest Sean Avery has lived what one can conservatively call an examined life. From his antics on the ice, his politics off the ice and his non-hockey pastimes like fashion design and modeling, Avery has been equal parts lightning rod and gossip magnet.
This latest rumor about Avery … well, admittedly, we didn’t see this coming.
On Tuesday, gossip site The Fame Driven reported that the ex-New York Rangers forward Vogue intern is engaged to Andy Cohen, mastermind of Bravo TV’s addictive programming and a star in his own right as host of “Watch What Happens Live!”
“I’m not sure if you are aware or not but Andy Cohen has been dating former NHL star Sean Avery for almost a year and a half now, it will be two years in March. And get this, they are secretly ENGAGED! There have been rumors for years in the NHL league about Sean Avery’s sexuality, but he has always vehemently denied it, Sean even went as far as to “date” a beard girlfriend (Elisha Cuthbert), who he was never even remotely into, to cover up him receiving backlash from his NHL teammates and internally in the NHL for being gay.
“… Sean thinks that by having an openly gay relationship with another pubic figure such as Andy will give him the title of “NHL’s first openly gay athlete dating a BRAVO Executive” following him and people not notice him for anything else. Sean is openly gay/bisexual around close friends, but not to the public.”
Cohen is known as the first openly gay host of an American late-night talk show.
Avery was the first NHL player to speak out in favor of marriage equality in New York and was the catalyst for discussions about gay athletes that have continued with campaigns like “You Can Play.” He was on the board of Athlete Ally, “a group of straight athletes devoted to eradicating homophobia in sports.” Avery has also been the target of gay slurs during games, including an infamous one from Wayne Simmonds of the Flyers.
Avery has appeared on Bravo’s programming for years, and even made a de facto retirement declaration on Cohen’s show. The two have had a “bromance” since 2011, joking with NY Magazine about their dating life.
They continued to have fun with their "relationship" after the “engagement” rumors started this week.
Hockey sites like NY Rangers Blog are already penning “not that there’s anything wrong with that” posts about Avery and entertainment sites like NewNowNext are writing that “a man who has dated the likes of Elisha Cuthbert, Rachel Hunter and Hilary Rhoda, had decided to switch teams.”
What’s the real story? We’re erring on the side of two friends ‘havin’ a laugh’ at the expense of a gossip site, but honestly, who cares? If either of them wanted to clarify it, they would.
Meanwhile, in the immortal words of Pierre McGuire: Go have fun out there …