On Sunday, March 9, the guests reclining on the couches of the New York Rangers’ green room at Madison Square Garden were suspiciously more fashionable than usual. They were attractive. Important-seeming. Some were even wearing black!
Sunday was Sean Avery’s first game with the Rangers since spring. In July, Mr. Avery signed with the Dallas Stars. But after he made a sassy comment about other NHL players taking his “sloppy seconds”—Mr. Avery’s ex-girlfriends, actresses Elisha Cuthbert and Rachel Hunter were dating Calgary Flames’ Dion Phaneuf and Los Angeles Kings’ Jarret Stoll, respectively, at the time—he was suspended by the Stars and taken back by the Rangers.
But before all that, there was the glorious summer of 2008, when Mr. Avery landed himself an internship at Vogue. By September, he was sitting front row at Marc Jacobs’ Fashion Week show and making regular appearances at the Beatrice Inn.
So it was no surprise that some of his new, fashionable friends came to support him on his first day back at his “real” job. Among the beautiful people picking at fruit and cheese plate in the green room after the game was Vogue editor Jill Demling, who was wearing a T-shirt that read, “What would Avery do?” She was Mr. Avery’s boss at Vogue and has gone to many of his games.
“Everyone was chanting, ‘A-vry! A-vry!’ and back in the day they used to cheer, ‘If you want to win, put Avery in!’ So it was as if he never left,” Ms. Demling told the Transom a couple days later. “You could tell that he was just very serious—he always gets that way about hockey. He was waiting to see how it went before he allowed himself to get relaxed. It’s funny to see the personality change when he gets near the Garden.”
Lauryn Flynn, Burberry’s director of celebrity services and a longtime friend of Mr. Avery’s, was also in attendance, according to another guest who asked not to be named. (Ms. Flynn had been rumored to be forming a styling company with Mr. Avery and is currently co-producing a movie in development at New Line Cinema about Mr. Avery’s fashion-industry adventures.)
Matt Abramcyk, the co-proprietor of the Beatrice Inn, was there with Angelo, the Beatrice doorman. “Sean is a tremendous personality. He’s so talented and creative and hungry for life,” Mr. Abramcyk told the Transom by phone. “Sean had some of his friends there, so there was a lot of great people and it was very warm. I think everybody shared in that feeling.”
Two other guests told the Transom that Amy Sacco, who’s a regular at Rangers games, had been in attendance. But when we rang her up to confirm, she told us that she actually had to work Sunday and was watching from home. Still, she wasn’t surprised to hear that someone thought they spotted her at the game.
“I pretty much live in that green room,” Ms. Sacco told the Transom on Monday night. Her voice was raspy because she had lost it “hollering at the television last night” while watching Mr. Avery from home. Ms. Sacco said her friendship with the hockey player precedes her love of the sport, but one naturally followed the other. Mr. Avery has since nicknamed her “Den Mother.”
“He’s been through a lot, mostly undeserved and largely due to the jealousy of others. He is a tempest, but as I recall that’s a large part of the game of hockey,” she said. According to Ms. Sacco, it’s not uncommon to see supermodels and actors hanging around Mr. Avery at Rangers games. “When they lost Sean, they lost a lot of that kind of glamour. It’s about time we get him back.”