I would agree with your arguement if Avery had attacked Phaneuf alone, but to drag someone in his personal life into the game is crossing the line.
Are you referring to the line beyond which a business is allowed to punish someone for personal remarks that have no bearing on his job? Because I can't find this line on the rink diagram in the NHL rules, or anywhere else.
If you guys would sit quietly and a have a few minutes' think instead of reacting to this matter emotionally, you'd realize your argument obviously has a much better chance of succeeding if you leave Elisha Cuthbert out of it completely. The league is arguably within its rights to regulate relations between two of its contractually bound players; there's no earthly way you can argue that it has some responsibility to protect Elisha Cuthbert's feelings. But of course, once you take the pretty girl out of it, it becomes apparent that Avery's entitled to say pretty much what he likes, defamation notwithstanding, about a fully grown millionaire colleague.
The irony is that Elisha Cuthbert is a Hollywood veteran aged 26 who has been dealing with libels, imprecations, wacko fans, and paparazzi for years, is trained in doing so, and presumably has the logistical and emotional help of a paid personal staff. That big clod Farnsworth, by contrast, is a 23-year-old who lives in a much smaller, politer media universe and who is still mere months removed from being a Red Deer Rebel. But by all means let's indulge our protective hormonal instincts and wave our iridescent tailfeathers at each other.
*[UPDATE, Dec. 21: This read "Steve" in the original. My apologies to the one-time Atlanta Braves southpaw.]