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.