Yeah, we all knew that, and I'm hardly alone in saying his actions vs Brodeur the other night were, to revert to the vocabulary of one of my former vocations, fucking shameful.
The comments thread at BofA is divided, as I'm sure are most discussions of the topic. Most seem to think Avery's a jerk who should get a bit of his own back, but some are wondering why it should be a penalty.
Why it should be is simple.
Without looking at the text of the rule, there's already a penalty to deal with behaviour of this sort: unsportsmanlike behaviour. What Avery was doing was practically a textbook definition of the word "unsportsmanlike". I don't agree with Ron MacLean though. A 10 minute unsportsmanlike won't deter behaviour of this sort, especially if some players with lesser talent than Avery decide to mimic him. Does Minnesota care if Derek Boogard is off the ice for 10 minutes? Oh noes, he won't be available to... uh... hit somebody else really really hard! Hit the team with a penalty they'll have to kill. That will drive the coaches wild, even if it doesn't deter the players.
If we want to be all rules-lawyer-y though, Rule 41 section G could apply. "A misconduct penalty shall be imposed on any player who persists in any course of conduct (including threatening or abusive language or gestures or similar actions) designed to incite an opponent into incurring a penalty." There's Ron MacLean's argument. Avery was practically begging Brodeur to slash him a good one, or for any other Devil to crosscheck him in the kidneys. Section N also includes verbiage that says, in essence, "or anything else we don't like," although the examples are all for physical abuse, not childish behaviour.
So, yeah. Avery could have been assessed a penalty on the spot, no questions asked, and I don't think Campbell would have listened very sympathetically to any complaints from the Rangers. My question isn't "so why should that be a penalty," it's "why wasn't that one already?"
I'd like to see such behaviour warrant a 4 minute double minor, but I've been known to be a bit of a retributionist. A couple of PPG against will make Renney think twice before he sends Avery over the boards again.