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NJ • 29 Years Old • Male
Excuse me for thinking this whole thing sounds extremely fishy.

Here's a quick chronology:

1.) Sean Avery opens his mouth and tries to bait a Flames player into a tabloid war (again). He makes the claim that NHL players are after his "sloppy seconds" - which in a couple of cases, is actually correct.

2.) The media goes to Marty Turco, the maligned goaltender who has been as bad as the defense playing in front of him, who proceeds to throw Avery under the bus. No surprise there, any goaltender sporting an .874 save percentage is going to look for another scapegoat.

3.) The NHL suspends Sean Avery "indefinitely" pending a hearing for violating the vague rule that is 'conduct detrimental' to the NHL.

4.) Tom Hicks tips his hand. "Had the league not have suspended him, the Dallas Stars would have," Hicks said.


So you mean that you wanted to suspend him yourself, but didn't want to set off an internal firestorm of finger-pointing and accountability issues within your own organization.

Yeah, that's right, Mr. Hicks. It's pretty obvious what happened here. Your front office has been in a panic over the pathetic performance of your team. Your stars are starting to show apathy over the growing discontent inside the locker room and lack of effort on the ice. Brett Hull is now starting to realize why signing Sean Avery for 4 years at $15.5m total was a bad idea.

When you called the NHL to voice your displeasure over the matter, it probably didn't occur to you that the league needs this kind of drama. I certainly would have watched the Stars play in Calgary last night if I knew Avery could have been on the receiving end of a thunderous Dion Phaneuf hit - and I would not have been the only one.

The NHL was probably pretty disappointed, too, but only for a few seconds. There's been an element of consistency in their actions with franchises in non-traditional hockey markets: they will back them up in any way they can. So when they suspended Avery 'indefinitely' under vague official wording, they didn't really worry too much about the loss of potential television ratings for this game. Hell, it was a 9:30 EDT game out in western Canada, so none of the markets that matter would watch it, right?

Look Mr. Hicks, I don't blame you. Hell, it is your money, and you are the one that ultimately gets to decide how to manage your assets. The real goat here is the league.

Grow a pair, Mr. Bettman. When you received that phone call, you should have told him to handle an internal matter INTERNALLY. All Sean Avery did was act like himself and try to start a trash-talk war with somebody who as a matter of fact, is indulging in his sloppy seconds. You missed one of the true opportunities to let a game within a game take place. It's not your fault the Stars supposed "great" locker room can't handle an outlier like Avery. Heck, there are solid guys in there right? They'll deal with things the way they always have!

And by always have, they (Turco, that is) will deal with it by choking when it truly counts.
Filed Under:   Stars   Hicks   Avery  
December 3, 2008 11:15 AM ET | Delete
Can'r agree with you more...should have been internally handled by the stars instead the league missed the oppurtunity for some better than average ratings on a tuesday night hockey game and the news/excitment that would have been created by the in game shinnanigans! there is an old saying any news is good news. right! I 'm not saying what he did was right but avery will be avery and thats what he does best. I talked with several friends in the afternoon yesterday(most of which were not even flames or dallas fans) and they were excited to watch the game until avery was suspended much like myself.... I spoke with them all later on in the evening and no one watched the game.
December 3, 2008 11:32 AM ET | Delete
Great blog! The fact is Bettman is a media WHORE! good or bad he wants the news and created this SH*T storm himself. Big deal, Avery called some chick sloppy seconds. That would barley get you a call from HR at a CVS. The NHL is full of hypictital moves. They try and put a can on Avery but feature Mike Milbury over abd over with his famous MSG Brawl and his garbage jabs. Just ask Jagr what he thought of his BS. Theres about 95% of a NYC public that would have no porb having AVES in NY.
December 3, 2008 11:38 AM ET | Delete
I'd take Avery back in NY for half the cap hit, half the years, and a wipeout of the no-trade clause. Under the current contract circumstances, he has absolutely no value to most teams in this league.
December 3, 2008 12:07 PM ET | Delete
What do you wanna bet that Turco puts up stellar numbers while Avery is away
December 3, 2008 12:20 PM ET | Delete
I'll bet a 1994 Stephane Matteau hockey card (donruss!). No seriously, Dallas needs a lot of help. The loss of Morrow isn't going to make things any easier, especially up the middle in their own zone.
December 3, 2008 2:04 PM ET | Delete
Truer Words have never been spoken!!!!!
December 3, 2008 9:56 PM ET | Delete
Excellent points, this was a bad move by the league. Great blog once again buddy. I wonder how Avery would be doing if he was on the Rangers, or how the NYR would be doing with him. Remember the rumor that we cant win without Avery? Not so much.
December 4, 2008 2:06 PM ET | Delete
I have to say that I honestly don't feel that bad for the Stars. Bettman is blowing this out of porportion and should have let the Stars handle it. But Avery is Avery (and I dislike him just as much as anyone else - remember, I'm an Islanders fan). But I have to ask, what the hell did the Stars think they were buying when they signed this guy? I mean let's get real! Look at his track record - this kind of crap is the exact reason why I prayed that we would not sign Avery over the summer since there were rumors swirling around that we were interested. Dallas, you guys knew you were signing a problem when you added him to your roster, now you're stuck with him. If Bettman allows them to void his contract over "sloppy seconds" as opposed to the racial slurs and other nonsense he's pulled, it just shows the league is a joke.
December 4, 2008 2:14 PM ET | Delete
Avery has been removed from the Stars roster on their site. Hockeydb has him as "not on active roster"... hmmm...
December 4, 2008 2:24 PM ET | Delete
Pwo- just saw that too. talk about hitting the gas. some one will take him
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