In my last blog, I wrote that the NHL should have backed off and let Dallas handle the whole Avery debacle as an internal matter. I still feel that way.
I also wrote that the NHL missed an opportunity to show a game within a game, a true attraction where a loud-mouthed pest could have been chased around by physical, ticked off opponents. I was wrong about that.
I'm not talking about the game within a game - tilts with personality are some of the best and most intriguing to watch and Wesdnesday's contest would have been no exception.
No, the league didn't miss an opportunity here. It seized one. The NHL took a storm that had been building up for weeks and turned it into a hurricane. It let itself be thrust into the public spotlight for just a few more minutes than the 15 this story should have been given.
Which is a shame, because as another writer pointed out to me, there are far better stories in this league than this one: the dominance of San Jose, the Rangers inability to win in a format other than the shootout, and the rise of the Boston Bruins.
Why even feed the fire?
I'm not going to list all of the league's past suspensions, or even just the hits to the head that have been less penalized than this recent Avery incident. No, that's a waste of time - just like having Avery and Hull come to New York for a hearing over an 'indefinite' suspension. No part of this situation made any sense.
This was an issue primarly because the Dallas Stars are playing some of the worst hockey in the league. Losing locker rooms are breeding grounds for animosity and finger pointing.