Former New York Rangers star Sean Avery fired back on Twitter after his longtime rival, New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur, mocked his short-lived appearance on “Dancing with the Stars.”
Avery and his partner, professional dancer Karina Smirnoff, were one of the first pairs to be eliminated from “Dancing with the Stars” this season, exiting the show on Monday. Shortly thereafter, a reporter asked Brodeur if he was aware of his former adversary’s subpar performance. Brodeur took the opportunity to take a shot at Avery.
“I didn’t watch — I don’t watch those shows — but I was watching NHL Network and they mentioned it,” Brodeur told NJ.com. “What more could he do to embarrass himself? There it is!”
Upon learning of Brodeur’s derisive statement, Avery took to Twitter in response, referring to Brodeur as “fatso” and firing back with a scathing criticism of the Devils legend’s personal life.
“Woke up beside a #Supermodel to hear news that #Fatso made a comment…[Dancing with the Stars] equals Thousands of $ for charity,” Avery tweeted, referring to his fashion model fiancée, Hilary Rhoda, and mocking Brodeur. “Embarrassing is when u sleep with the #Nanny and get caught.” Avery’s tweets were deleted, but Deadspin captured a screenshot of the posts, which can be viewed here.
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The "nanny" tweet was an apparent reference to Brodeur's divorce, during which the Devil allegedly cheated on his first wife, Melanie Dubois, with her brother's wife, Genevieve Nault, the New York Daily News reports. Brodeur and Nault are now married.
Avery and Brodeur have had a tense relationship ever since the 2008 NHL playoffs, when the Rangers played the Devils in a first-round series. During the series, Avery continually screened Brodeur, placing himself directly in front of the goaltender and using his stick to distract him while ignoring the rest of the action on the ice.
“I’ve played for 15 years in this league. I’ve been watching games for 33 years. I had never seen that in my life,” Brodeur told reporters at the time, according to NJ.com. “I don’t think that kind of behavior should be done in front of the net, but there is no rule for it.”
By Game 3, Brodeur had grown so tired of Avery’s antics that he threw a punch at him, NJ.com reports. The Rangers ultimately prevailed and won the series in five games, but Avery’s actions were so egregious that the NHL immediately enacted the “Avery Rule” to make such behavior illegal.
The series also marked the first time that Avery made a joke about Brodeur’s weight. “Fatso there just forgot to shake my hand,” Avery told reporters after the Devils star refused a handshake after a playoff game.