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Sean Avery quits off-Broadway play after meltdown over pizza

Shaun Best / REUTERS

Sean Avery will need to find a new way to make some post-retirement dough.

The former NHL enforcer had a meltdown on the set of his off-Broadway play, "Negative is Positive," quitting the production two days before it was scheduled to open, the New York Post reports.

Avery reportedly snapped when a stage manager offered him pizza.

Here's more context, according to the Post:

On Monday, Avery left rehearsals early after growing agitated. On Tuesday, Avery’s behavior grew worse. According to (the play's author, Christy) Smith-Sloman, when a young assistant stage manager named Natalie asked the athlete-turned-actor if he wanted a slice of pizza, he said no, but somehow thought the assistant had called him an (bleep)hole.

“He said I was ‘talking (bleep)' and said I was ‘so full of (bleep),'” the stage manager said. “That’s when I realized that I was dealing with a madman.”

Director Andreas Robertz said Avery then asked him, "Don't you know who I am?" at which point the former NHL pest stormed out.

The play opens Thursday and chronicles an interracial married couple. Avery was cast to play the protagonist's best friend.

"He’s a playwright’s worst nightmare," Smith-Sloman said. “It’s unbelievable he would do this two days before we open. At this point I don’t want him to be a part of this production. He can’t call people pieces of (bleep) and say, ‘Do you know who I am?’ (He) can’t threaten people.”

Avery will be replaced by an understudy. 

Somewhere, John Tortorella is smiling.

- With h/t to Will Martinez

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