Dancing with the Stars Wiki
Sean Avery
Sean Avery 18
Celebrity Profile
Birth Date 10 April 1980 (1980-04-10) (age 44)
Hometown North York, Ontario, Canada
Known For Retired NHL Left Winger

Dancing with the Stars 18

Partner(s) Karina Smirnoff
Placement 11
Highest Score 21 (Salsa)
Lowest Score 20 (Contemporary)
Average Score 20.5

Sean Christopher Avery is a celebrity from Season 18 of Dancing with the Stars.

Early Life[]

Avery was born in North York, Ontario, to Al and Marlene Avery, both teachers. He grew up in Pickering, Ontario, where he attended Dunbarton High School. He has a younger brother, Scott.

Hockey Career[]

Junior League (1996-2000)[]

Prior to joining the NHL, Avery played for the Owen Sound Platers and the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).

Detroit Red Wings (2001–2003)[]

Avery was signed by the Detroit Red Wings as a free agent in 1999. He played one final season in the OHL before turning professional in 2000 with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks of the American Hockey League (AHL). He broke into the NHL in the 2001–02 season, playing 36 games with the Red Wings and 36 in the minors. The Red Wings went on to win the Stanley Cup that season, but Avery did not play in the playoffs nor did he play the required 41 games to get his name engraved on the Cup.

Midway through the 2002–03 season, Avery was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. He finished the season with 15 points in 51 games.

Los Angeles Kings and NHL lockout (2003–2007)[]

In 2003–04, Avery played 76 games for the Kings, scoring 9 goals to go along with 19 assists. He also led the NHL in penalty minutes with 261.

During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Avery briefly played in the Finnish Elite League with the Lahti Pelicans, and in the United Hockey League for the Motor City Mechanics. Along with 149 penalty minutes in just 16 games, he tallied 26 points for the Mechanics, including two hat tricks, making him the first player in Mechanics history to record two hat tricks in one season. Several players spoke publicly of their dissatisfaction with the NHL Players' Association’s leadership during the lockout, including Avery, who publicly blamed NHLPA president Bob Goodenow for wasting an entire season with a battle that alienated fans and yielded few results.

Avery led the league in penalty minutes for the second consecutive season in 2005-06, with 257. With three games remaining, the Kings unofficially suspended Avery for the remainder of the season after he refused to do a drill in practice. Nevertheless, the team re-signed him to a one-year deal.

During his time with the Kings, Avery has been said to have mocked Dustin Brown about his lisp. Former LA King, Ian Laperriere, said it "was bullying, like you might see in high school." But according to other players and coaches, Brown's lisp was not Avery's target, Brown's then girlfriend, now wife, Nicole was. Avery did not think Nicole Brown was glamorous enough to be a "girlfriend of a hockey player in Hollywood." Brown admits the bullying might have affected him in ways that he did not realize.

New York Rangers (2007–2008)[]

On 5 February 2007, in the middle of the 2006-07 season, Avery was traded to the New York Rangers. After joining the Rangers, he scored 20 points in 29 games to help the team complete a 17–4–6 end-of-season run to qualify for the playoffs. On 17 March, Avery recorded a single-game career-high four points (one goal and three assists) against the Boston Bruins in a 7-0 victory. Avery played in his first career playoff game 12 April against the Atlanta Thrashers, recording his first playoff points with a goal and an assist. He cut down on penalty minutes by about 65% in 2006–07 compared to seasons past.

On 1 August 2007, Avery, as a restricted free agent, earned an arbitration award of $1.9 million for the 2007–08 season, which the Rangers accepted, keeping him with the team for at least another year.

On 16 February 2008, in a game against the Buffalo Sabres, Avery scored a goal ten seconds into the game, setting a record for fastest goal scored by a Ranger on home ice.

Dallas Stars (2008)[]

Avery signed a four-year, $15.5 million contract with the Dallas Stars on 2 July 2008. He had been a roommate of the Stars' co-general manager Brett Hull when the two played for the Red Wings. Hull thought the Stars needed more fire and emotion on the ice, and felt Avery would fit the bill. Avery scored 3 goals in 23 games before he and the team parted ways following his six-game suspension by the NHL in December 2008, due to controversial remarks made about fellow players. The Stars placed Avery on waivers 7 February 2009.

Return to the Rangers (2009–2012)[]

After clearing waivers on 9 February 2009, Avery was assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack, the Rangers' AHL affiliate, although he remained a member of the Stars organization (that season, the Stars had no AHL affiliate). On 2 March, Avery was placed on re-entry waivers by Dallas, and claimed by the Rangers the following day. On 5 January 2010, in a game against the Stars, his former team, Avery recorded one goal and three assists.

On 4 October 2011, the Rangers waived Avery. The following day, he cleared waivers and was assigned to New York's affiliate, the Connecticut Whale of the AHL. On 31 October 2011, the Rangers placed Avery on 24-hour re-entry waivers. The move was done to bring him up as a replacement for the injured Mike Rupp. He cleared waivers and re-joined the Rangers for their 5 November game against the Montreal Canadiens. Despite playing less than ten minutes in all fifteen games he played for the Rangers that season, he scored three goals. After being a healthy scratch for nine games, Avery was once again placed on waivers on December 30, 2011. Since no NHL team claimed him, he returned to the AHL's Connecticut Whale. His last game played with the Whale was 27 January 2012. He was left off the Whale's Clear Day list of players eligible to play for the remainder of the AHL season submitted on 5 March, and told to no longer report to games or practices.

On 12 March 2012, Avery announced his retirement during an appearance on the Bravo network's Watch What Happens Live, telling host Andy Cohen that he was "officially retired."


Over the course of his hockey career, Avery was involved in a number of controversies and fined by the NHL on numerous occasions. The controversy started early in his career; Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said he unloaded Avery during the 2002-03 season partly because he didn't seem to have respect for the game.

Leukemia Comment[]

In November 2007, Howard Berger, a reporter for Toronto radio station FAN 590, stated that an unnamed Rangers player had accused Avery of commenting about Toronto Maple Leafs player Jason Blake's battle with leukemia, prior to a pre-game confrontation between Avery and Toronto's Darcy Tucker. Avery, who denied the allegation, received an NHL-maximum $2,500 fine, and Tucker received a $1,000 fine.

The Avery Rule[]

On 13 April 2008, during game 3 of a first round playoff game against the New Jersey Devils, Avery turned his back on the play in order to face and screen Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur during a two-man advantage on the power play. He waved his hands and stick in front of Brodeur in an attempt to distract him and block his view. The puck was later cleared out of the Devils' zone but on the second Rangers offensive attack, Avery scored a power play goal.

Although screening is a commonly used tactic (especially on the power play), notable in this instance was that Avery had spent the initial part of the play facing Brodeur while ignoring the puck, with his back to the play (normally, the player screening the goaltender is facing the play). The following day, the NHL issued an interpretation of the league's unsportsmanlike conduct rule to cover actions such as the one employed by Avery, which would now result in a minor penalty. The new rule became known colloquially as "The Avery Rule".

Avery's tactics during that series against the Devils earned multiple power plays, and he scored in each of the first three games. His controversial yet effective antics helped lead the Rangers to a 4–1 series win. At the end of the series, Brodeur refused to shake Avery's hand.

Heckling Incident[]

On 1 November 2008, following a game with the Stars against the Boston Bruins, Avery was accused of shouting obscenities at a fan who had been heckling him during the game. A report of complaint was filed with the NHL, but no action was taken.

"Sloppy Seconds" Comment[]

On 2 December 2008, prior to the Stars' morning skate in preparation for a game against the Calgary Flames, Avery approached the assembled reporters in the dressing room and stated, "I just want to comment on how it's become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds. I don't know what that's about, but enjoy the game tonight." At the time, Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf was dating Avery’s ex-girlfriend, actress Elisha Cuthbert, and Kings center Jarret Stoll was dating model Rachel Hunter, another ex-girlfriend.

Within hours, the NHL suspended Avery indefinitely for "conduct detrimental to the league or the game of hockey". His comments were met with near-unanimous condemnation by the Stars organization, fellow players, and fans alike. Stars owner Tom Hicks said that the team would have suspended Avery had the NHL not acted first. Avery apologized the next day, calling his actions "inappropriate" and "a bad attempt to build excitement for the game."

On 5 December, the NHL fixed Avery's suspension at six games, retroactive to the 2 December game against the Flames. He agreed to undergo anger management counseling due to what the NHL called unacceptable and antisocial behavior. Commissioner Gary Bettman noted that both he and league disciplinarian Colin Campbell had warned Avery several times before about his behavior. On 14 December, after the last game of Avery's suspension, the Stars announced that Avery would not return to the team. One factor in the Stars decision was that coach Dave Tippett and several of the players, including Mike Modano and Marty Turco, let it be known they weren't willing to take him back on the team. Tippett had warned Avery not to talk to the media about his former girlfriends, and was outraged when he did so. According to TSN's James Duthie, Avery's teammates had soured on him not long after he arrived. The "sloppy seconds" incident was the last straw, and Hicks had been actively looking to cut ties with him while the suspension was underway.

Tortorella Feud[]

Prior to his second stint with the Rangers, Avery had been called out on numerous occasions by then-TSN commentator and future Rangers coach John Tortorella. After rejoining the Rangers, Avery’s relationship with Tortorella was uneasy, although there were moments of mutual admiration. Nearly a year after Avery retired, on 30 March 2013, following the Rangers’ second consecutive shutout loss, a tweet from Avery's Twitter account said of his former coach, "Fire this CLOWN, his players hate him and wont play for his BS." On 29 May 2013, after the Rangers lost to the Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Tortorella was fired. Avery told the New York Post that he "had a huge smile" on his face after finding out that Tortorella was fired, adding, "It's not that I’m happy for myself. I'm happy for the Rangers and Ranger fans."


Lipman Agency[]

Upon his retirement from the NHL, in April 2012, Avery began working at New York City-based advertising and creative agency Lipman. Hired by founder, chairman and chief creative officer David Lipman, Avery was appointed chief strategic officer and helped develop strategies for numerous Lipman clients, including the campaign for the Stuart Weitzman line’s Spring/Summer 2013 campaign, featuring Kate Moss, and 7 For All Mankind jeans, which showcased Avery himself as a model. He has also handled a range of assignments for Lipman’s parent company, Revolate Holdings.


Avery is invested in Twtmob (pronounced "tweet mob"), which connects users with advertisers and campaigns, enabling users to monetize Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites.

Film and Television[]

Avery played a small role in the 2005 Maurice Richard biopic The Rocket: The Legend of Rocket Richard, portraying former New York Rangers defenseman Bob Dill. Avery appeared in a 2007 episode of MADtv with Kings teammates Tom Kostopoulos and Scott Thornton. He was a guest on a 2009 episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; a Top Ten List presenter on a 2009 episode of Late Show with David Letterman; a guest judge on Project Runway: All Stars in 2012; and appeared on Fashion Police in 2013. He was on People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive 2007 list.

Personal Life[]

On 8 November 2013, Avery became engaged to model Hilary Rhoda. They were married 10 October 2015. On 23 January 2020, they announced that they were expecting their first child together, a son. The news comes after the couple suffered multiple miscarriages. Their son, Nash Hollis, was born 28 July 2020.

Dancing with the Stars 18[]

He was announced 4 March 2014 as one of the celebrities to take part in the 18th season of Dancing with the Stars. He partnered with Karina Smirnoff. The two were the second couple to be eliminated after a double elimination in Week 2.


Week # Dance/Song Judges' Scores Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Contemporary / "Somewhere Only We Know" 7 6 7 No elimination
2 Salsa / "Dance Bailalo" 7 7 7 Eliminated




  • Sean is the first NHL player to compete.