Offside: My Life Crossing The Line by Sean AveryOffside: My Life Crossing The Line by Sean Avery

Offside: My Life Crossing The Line

bySean Avery, Michael McKinley

Hardcover | October 24, 2017

Pricing and Purchase Info

$25.38 online 
$32.00 list price save 20%
Earn 127 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


Ships within 1-2 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


Hockey's most polarizing figure takes us inside the game, shedding light not only on what goes on behind closed doors, but also what makes professional athletes tick.

As one of the NHL's most polarizing players, Sean Avery turned the rules of professional hockey on their head. For thirteen seasons, he played for some of the most storied franchises in the league, including the Detroit Red Wings, the Los Angeles Kings, and the New York Rangers, making his mark in each city as a player who was sometimes loved, sometimes despised, and always controversial.

     In Offside, Avery displays his trademark candor about the world of pro hockey and does for it what Jim Bouton's game-changing Ball Four did for baseball. Avery goes deep inside the sport to reveal every aspect of pro athletes' lives, from how they spend their money and their nights off to how they stay sharp and conditioned and employed. Avery also examines his singular career path–while playing the talented villain on ice, he skated out of character in the off-season, taking on unexpected and unprecedented roles: Vogue intern, fashion model, advertising executive, restaurateur, gay rights advocate, and many more.

     Rollickingly honest and compelling throughout, Offside transcends the sports book genre and offers a rare, unvarnished glimpse into the world of twenty-first-century hockey through the eyes of one of its most original and memorable players.
SEAN AVERY is a Canadian former professional hockey player. During his time with the NHL, he played left wing for the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, Dallas Stars, and New York Rangers. In addition to his hockey career, he has worked as a Vogue magazine intern, a model, and a restaurateur. Avery is married to model Hilary Rhoda a...
Title:Offside: My Life Crossing The LineFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:336 pages, 9.3 × 6.3 × 1.16 inShipping dimensions:9.3 × 6.3 × 1.16 inPublished:October 24, 2017Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0735232857

ISBN - 13:9780735232853


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read If you are hockey fan its worth a read. More so if you haven't Avery and his antics back in his playing days. Gives you a different perspective.
Date published: 2018-08-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok This book did not hold my attention. The characters were flat
Date published: 2018-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Intriguing and poignant. You will love this if you love jocks and hockey.
Date published: 2017-12-24
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not bad Never really liked this pest. But, if you're a hockey fan, it will definitely interest you. Although it sometimes appears that he is trying a little too hard to tell us about the celebs he knows.
Date published: 2017-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from love!! it is really good when you are a fan!
Date published: 2017-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Definitely not for those who are not big fans of Sean Avery. Honest and sometimes obnoxious, I took a moderate stance with my approach to this book. Overall, I find it to be honest and genuine, especially when he talk about the death of his friend and former teammate Derek Boogaard.
Date published: 2017-11-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Rangers Fan Worth the read especially if you are a hockey fan. Lots of insights into what actually goes on behind the scenes in the NHL . A little more of a celebrity story ,with lots of name dropping, and less a story about hockey , but well written .
Date published: 2017-10-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from fan it is really good when you are a fan!
Date published: 2017-10-28

Read from the Book

1   LAST CHANCE   I’ve wanted this since I was five years old. I’m now twenty-one, and time is running out.   Of course, looking back I realize I had lots of time, but in September 2001, all I knew was that playing the game I loved more than anything in the NHL was the only option. There was no Plan B.     My heart is pounding. I am here to earn a spot on the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League. The fact that people are already talking about this as one of the best teams in history isn’t going to make things any easier. I am going to have to take a job away from someone the Red Wings actually want on the roster. And they’ve already told me in several ways that they don’t want me. This is my third crack at making the NHL—I’ve already played two seasons in the minors. Every year, a new bunch of rookies shows up, diminishing my odds. When I look around at the guys in camp, or when lying awake in bed last night, I have to ask whether I am good enough. I’m not an idiot. I know most people would say no. The Red Wings already said no.   I had been good enough once. As a kid, I played for an All-Ontario rep team. (By the way, that’s a big deal.) In my last year of junior hockey, I had twenty-eight goals and fifty-six assists for eighty-five points in fifty-five games. To put it in perspective, my fellow OHL player, Jason Spezza, had thirty-six goals and fifty assists and eighty-six points for the Windsor Spitfires in his best junior season. Spezza was chosen second overall in the first round of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. He was beaten out by Ilya Kovalchuk, who was drafted first, and tore up the NHL for a while before walking away from $77 million and twelve years on his contract with New Jersey to play in Russia. Being drafted by the NHL doesn’t guaran­tee anything.   I know this too well as I wasn’t drafted at all. On draft day in 2001, part of me believed that there was at least one NHL general manager out there who would see what I could bring to a team, and another part of me believed that getting drafted was too good to be true. I wasn’t going to sit by the phone—I spent draft day at a pool party. When I came home, nei­ther of my parents even mentioned the draft, and I didn’t ask if anyone had called. It was as if we had all moved on to the next plan of attack. I’d go to training camp as a free agent.   But still, it hurt. No one wanted me. Nearly 300 guys were taken, and not one GM wanted to use a ninth-round pick on me.   Well, I know why. The knock on me was that I was a “bad teammate.” Did this mean that I stole other players’ girlfriends? That I was an arro­gant puck hog? That I put Tiger Balm in guys’ jockstraps and thought it was the funniest thing ever when they tried to extinguish the three-alarm fire burning up the family jewels?   No, none of the above. What it meant was that I played to win on every shift, and some other players don’t see the game that way. So I would let them know that they could do better. Since no one likes to be called out for dogging it, the rap landed on me that I was “bad in the room,” which in hockey-speak means you’re not one of the guys. Maybe it’s the same in other sports, but in hockey being one of the guys goes a long way. What it won’t do, though, is win you a puck battle in the corner. And it’s cer­tainly not going to win you a fight.   So if I wasn’t going to make it as everyone’s best friend and all-round good guy, well, I’d have to make it as the opposite.I did have one friend in Detroit, though. I knew Kris Draper from growing up in the same town that he did, Scarborough, Ontario, which is part of Toronto but so far from the city center that it’s known as “Scarberia.” In 1997–98, when Draper was then in his fifth season with the Red Wings (the one in which he’d win the second of his four Stanley Cups), we worked out at the same gym. I was playing for the Ontario under-17 team, which fell under the umbrella of the Canadian national hockey program, so as “elite players” we trained at the same facility as pros like Drapes.   He had success, money, and a lovely wife, he was a good husband, and he took care of everyone around him. He was close with his dad, he had friends, and when he let loose he could put any frat boy to shame. He was the best guy. Drapes also had the Red Wing workout gear, which was sponsored by Nike and which was very foreign to a Canadian kid—we had Bauer and that was it. Draper would show up in this gear and hand it out to guys like me. I saw how organized and disciplined and dedicated he was, and at that moment, I was the most in awe of anyone that I had ever been.   Draper was physically a specimen. He was not big, and that was import­ant because neither was I. He was five-nine—and some days when he was feeling supreme he was five-ten—and 180 pounds of lean, cut muscle. He was one of the first guys to make being in top shape a cool thing. Spend any time in the gym with a guy like Drapes, and all you want is to be as chiseled as he is.   Drapes liked me because I pushed him hard and wanted to beat him at everything. So every day he showed up at the gym he had a hungry dog on his ass who reminded him that I wanted to take his job. He later told me that I added years onto his career, but at that point I was just working as hard as I could to keep up with him.   One of Detroit’s scouts, Joe McDonnell, helped me, too. McDonnell had been a minor-league defenseman who played a few games in the NHL for Vancouver and Pittsburgh. He’d moved on to coaching in the Ontario Hockey League, and he knew I could play. Mac was not a suit-and-tie guy, he was a players’ guy, a real hockey man—he loved the game and wasn’t interested in playing politics, so when he said that I had a shot in Detroit, I believed him. He wasn’t the kind of guy to flatter a no-hoper. I had a reputation as bad as they come and Mac’s job was to have good judgment. In my mind, he’d put his job on the line by taking a chance on me, and I wouldn’t let him down.   But even with Drapes and McDonnell in my corner at that training camp in September 2001, I needed to do more than just play. Everyone in camp could play hockey at an elite level, otherwise they wouldn’t be there. And they all know me, because I’d played against most of them in junior. There will be times later in my career when I will most definitely wish I could take a break from my reputation, but now it’s the thing that makes me stand out and I am going to use it to my advantage. I’m here to get noticed, and a bad reputation makes that a lot easier.

Editorial Reviews

A Globe and Mail Bestseller“Offside... may be described as Ken Dryden's The Game rewritten by Hunter S. Thompson.” –Globe and Mail“[A] lively, dishy bildungsroman on skates.” –Sports Illustrated“[Avery] pulls no punches... Love him or loathe him, Avery is unapologetically himself in his tell-all.” –TSN“The one-of-a-kind left winger gives an unparalleled inside look at the NHL lifestyle... If you ever wanted to know what players really thought of certain coaches (Mike Babcock, Andy Murray, John Tortorella), which teammates can drive a squad nuts, or just see how the NHL sausage is made (drugs, sex, partying), Avery has the scoop... Any hockey fan will be interested in the stories he has to tell.” –The Hockey News“Avery has happily returned the disdain in his new bridge-burning memoir. . . . [he is] the exact same disruptor as an author.” –The Toronto Star“He doesn’t claim to be an entirely reformed character . . . and there’s more than a hint of score-settling throughout the book. Nonetheless, Avery does want to prove he’s more than a “hate-filled wrecking ball.” –Maclean’s“Sean Avery is the first to admit he’s made mistakes [and] it makes for colourful reading. . . . Avery throws out manhole-cover-sized brickbats.” –National Post"[Avery’s] voice is energetic and offbeat, and his get-real revelations about drugs, team jealousies, and the lingering damage from a violent sport will hold readers’ attention." –Publisher's Weekly