Sean Avery, Elisha Cuthbert

Hockey star Sean Avery has been skating on thin ice, and he knows it. The Dallas Stars player apologized Wednesday for comments he made about ex-girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert (aka 24's Kim Bauer) that unleashed potential disciplinary action and a public reprimand.

"I should not have made those comments and I recognize that they were inappropriate," he said in a statement. "It was a bad attempt to build excitement for the game, but I am now acutely aware of how hurtful my actions were."

His apology came on the heels of criticism for an interview he gave Dec. 2. "I love Canada," he began. "I just wanted to comment on how, it's a common thing for NHL guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds." Cuthbert, a Canadian native, is currently dating Calgary hockey pro Dion Phaneuf. In the past, she was also rumored to be involved with a player from the Montreal Canadiens.

The hockey league commissioner termed Avery's gaffe as "inappropriate public comments, not pertaining to the game." He then summoned the player for a Thursday hearing about his indefinite suspension from the NHL.

In his statement following the incident, Avery acknowledged his history of public antics. "As many of you know, I like to mix it up on and off the ice from time to time, but understand that this time I took it too far." In past years, Avery has publicly maligned "French guys" in his league, fellow players, sports announcers and others, as well as taunted a goalie and flipped off a TV cameraman, according to SI.com.

Do you think Avery and the NHL handled the situation appropriately?