Ranger Wears Prada: Hockey Player to Intern at Vogue Magazine

N.Y. Rangers' Sean Avery will intern at Vogue magazine this summer.

ByABC News
April 22, 2008, 4:18 PM

April 23, 2008 — -- Macho man and provocateur Sean Avery -- by some accounts the most hated player in the National Hockey League -- will be joining the estrogen-infused world of fashion as an unpaid intern at Vogue magazine.

Just last week, Avery helped the New York Rangers beat the New Jersey Devils in the first round of the NHL play-offs with his usual in-your-face tricks: agitation, verbal taunts and fighting.

In his 14 months as a Rangers left wing, Avery has tallied 212 penalty minutes, which makes many wonder if he can handle editorial collaboration and taking orders as an intern.

"We are going to have to see how far the Rangers go to determine when he will start, but he will certainly be here and get an internship with a variety of editors," Patrick O'Connell, director of communications for Vogue, told ABCNews.com. "I don't know if he'll be writing yet, but he will be doing regular tasks."

That means the stocky, 28-year-old athlete -- who is in the midst of the NHL playoffs --- will be "answering phones, working photo shoots, getting samples, contacting people, working the gamut," according to O'Connell.

The magazine internship is not without precedent. Matt Chatham, the starting linebacker for the New York Jets, was a writing intern at Esquire in 2004 and, according to one inside source, "was a really nice kid and did well."

Avery, who makes $2 million a year with the Rangers and has cavorted with starlets since his days with the Los Angeles Kings, initiated the contact with Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

"He is ridiculously obsessed with fashion," Avery's publicist Nicole Chabot told ABCNews.com. "He loves it more than anything in the world. It's something he has always wanted to do."

Chabot admits Avery is an agitator in the "old-style" of hockey and a "blabber mouth," but off ice the player is "surprisingly articulate, creative and savvy," she said.

He's also charming, she noted. "There is not a woman that doesn't fall in love with him in five minutes."

Though his assignments are "evolving," Avery will go to Paris Fashion Week with international editor-at-large Hamish Bowles, according to Chabot.

Avery, who never earned a college degree because he was drafted into the NHL right after high school, has said he wants to be a fashion magazine editor.

Rangers' fans are well familiar with Avery's fashion sense. He may be the first hockey player ever to sport a pair of trendy glasses in the Rangers official yearbook.

"He is serious about learning the fashion industry and to that end, we are happy to give him a chance," said O'Connell. "He certainly has a demonstrated history. It makes sense."

Does it?

Avery is widely known for his brutal antics on the ice and was ranked second on the team last season in penalty minutes.

He is "what hockey people call an agitator," writes The New Yorker's Nick Paumgarten. "His job, which seems to have no analogue in sports -- or in any line of work, except maybe terrorism -- is to annoy his opponents so intensely that they cannot resist retaliating. He goads foes into losing their focus and, in theory, the game."