I know its been a few days since Sean Avery's mouth did a drive-by on the topic of his "sloppy seconds" but I think its good to examine whether he is of good to this league or not. Its a relevant idea considering some analysts have made the bold prediction that Avery will not see NHL ice again.
I definitely am not out here to defend him. His words were utterly disrespectful and uncalled for. The way it transpired was worse. Premeditation. The game doesn't need this at all.
Avery has had many of his moments in the league thus far and considering the moderate fragility of the game south of the border in comparison to the other major sports, is he good for the NHL?
When any form of the mainstream American media gets its hands on anything related to the NHL, its usually negatively spun. But is it good to have someone who can stir the pot every now and then with what he does and what he says?
For me personally, I'd love to have him on my team if I were a GM. I know that he has skill and great skating ability. He is aggressive and displays a certain kind of intensity. His antics need to be controlled by some kind of a veteran presence as it was while he played with Brendan Shanahan in New York. Of course, you can't contain a man of everything (See Avery and Brodeur rivalry).
Of course, there are as many things against Sean Avery as there are going for him. His many incidents from the Brodeur one to his words for Georges Laraque to his incident with Darcy Hordichuk. I'm probably leaving out a few other ones but these are what come to mind at the moment. I actually find it funny that the majority of videos on Hordi's website are those of Avery in fights, mostly getting owned.
I specifically remember the Hordichuk incident. Avery takes a run at Paul Kariya along the boards. Hordichuk comes right off the bench and hits Avery. Then Hordi proceeds to throwa plethora of punches while Avery covers his head and takes them. After the game, Avery called Kariya the "biggest diver in the NHL" and called Hordi "the worst player in the NHL".
Now thats okay! I don't mind that. Thats what I expect out of him. Bottom line is the game doesn't need comments referring to personal lives like he did with Dion Phaneuf.
I think the ideal player-type for Avery is that of a Jeremy Roenick. Granted Avery hasn't commanded or earned the respect of the media like JR has, he can certainly start. Being like JR, the media will love him and he can be edgy without crossing the line with his remarks. Of course, he can only be himself, but even that can change and change for the better.
I've given you my opinion but not quite answered my opening question. I guess I'll leave that up to you.