Thursday, December 04, 2008

Is this Good-Bye?





On the Sean Avery front, as we wait for the league to rule today, I read a few amazing things in the last 24 hours that have evolved this story from remarkable to historic. After reading the following, I think that we will have to consider this divorce final due to irreconcilable differences:

James Duthie writes the most shocking report I can ever recall


Sean Avery's words embarrassed his teammates Tuesday. But his suspension thrilled them. And many Stars are hoping that "indefinitely" means "forever."

On camera last night, you could see the frustration and anger in the Dallas players' eyes, but they chose their words carefully. Today, I spoke to three Stars players, who were blunt in their assessment of Avery. They agreed to be quoted as long as their names were not used.

"We hope it's the last time we ever see him," says one veteran.

"Our locker room is the happiest it has been all year right now," says another player.

Avery's weak attempt at stand-up comedy/trash-talk in Calgary was the last straw for many teammates.

He told them in the dressing room he was going to do something outrageous,
saying, "Watch this boys," a couple of minutes before he stepped before the microphones.

They weren't shocked. Nothing Avery does shocks anymore. They were just angry.
"An apology (to the team) won't work," says a third player. "There isn't much he can say to change the way we feel right now. We have a lot of pride in this organization. He isn't welcome here anymore."

Avery has been an outcast in the dressing room from the start of the season. He wears headphones almost all the time, and rarely speaks to anyone, often working on his computer until minutes before practice. That might be tolerated if he (and the team) were performing well on the ice. But he hasn't been, with just three goals so far.

"He's been undermining everything we do," says the veteran. "He doesn't pay attention; he's not smart enough to play our system. He can't do some drills properly. He says it's because he's 'independent.'
Really, he's just not smart enough."

Dallas forward Brad Richards did go on record, but chose not to add fuel to the fire. Still, his feelings are clear.

"We don't want to talk about him anymore. Hopefully, it will be handled and that will be the end of it."

Sources say Dallas owner Tom Hicks is already exploring every possible way to get rid of Avery. Trading him might be impossible right now, because of his extensive baggage, and a four-year contract at almost four million dollars per season. The Stars could elect to send him down, and since Dallas does not have an AHL affiliate, they could try to assign him to.... anywhere.

One of the Stars suggested Finland or Russia would be good choices.


Off the record is one thing. How about Dave Tippett spoke very much on the record


``From a coach's standpoint, I try to build a team that has an atmosphere where players care about each other and play with each other and play with continuity, and I find it hard to believe that Sean could come back in that dressing room and we could find that continuity again,'' Tippett said.

When asked if that means he does not want Avery back in the room, he said: ``I know it would be hard for our team, and I know from talking to our players...My job is to build the best team possible. I don't know if we can build the best team possible with Sean coming back.''


So, after reading all that, I wrote this on Dallas Stars.com …here is a snippet…


So, we know what the owner said. The coach. The players. And the GM who wanted him here.

This may be an expensive check, but the more calls I make, the more I arrive at the idea that this could be it for what was a 4 year commitment. I am sure litigation may go on for months or years, but do you ever anticipate Avery in the line-up again? Never say never, but when everyone is this vocal, it would appear that they are saying something without saying it.

Honestly, at the end of the day, does it matter what I think? Doesn’t it sound like the end of an episode of Survivor?

“The Tribe has spoken. Good bye.”

10 comments:

Flaco said...

I guess we should expect nothing less in this crazy wheels off season.

One can't help but wonder how different the season would have been without him. The defensive woes would still be here, sure. But it would have been at least a little better, right?

Kill me.

Lancerdfw said...

I think the entire franchise from the owner on down needs to take a hike. They're all a bunch of whining babies and now they're basically trying to blame their epic collapse entirely on Avery? Sure he's an absolute tool, but give me a freaking break.

Enough of the excuses. They need to fire the coach, get rid of the lousy goaltender along with the rest of the has-beens and just blow this entire thing up. To go from the Western Finals to this absolute disaster in a span of only 6 months is beyond pathetic.

Josh said...

Firing Tippett and trading Marty isn't going to move this team forward. It's going to catapult them backwards. Yes, this team has struggled so far this year, but what coach/goalie is out there better than what the Stars currently have?

I say stick with these guys and see if you can scrap together the rest of the season.

Ram One said...

Whoa there killer, one man is capable of taking down a team (T.O. In Philly) I agree that the coaching needs to be questioned, but it doesn't help that they have about 14 million of the salary injured or not playing.
Not to mention the sophmore slumps of numerous players not playing up to potential. (Niskenan for ex.)Turco always stumbles out of the gate and someone needs to light a fire in that ass to get him motivated!
Hicks does need to sell both DFW organizations and worry about his soccer team before all three are in the cellar of their respective leagues.

Matt said...

Bottom line is that I am disgusted to have the guy on the team. I heard all I needed to hear when he refused to high five his teammates after scoring a goal. This incident was for me, as it seems to have been for most of the Stars, the last straw.

I can always turn on the Cowboys game if I want to watch high priced prima donnas struggle through dislocated toes and broken pinky fingers. There's always the Mavericks if I want to how streaky jump shooting and an aging roster tries to look relevant despite being the cougar at the dance club. And I can check out the Rangers if I want to see futility personified.

But there's something different about hockey that you can see in Darryl Sydor lunging in a hopeful attempt to block a shot after shattering his ankle, or Stephan Robidas returning to the ice after taking a frozen piece of vulcanized rubber to the face, or Brenden Morrow's relentless energy in the Nth overtime of a must-win playoff game. There's a respect for the game that goes past honor and into reverence. You get the feeling that this thing isn't about paychecks and endorsements, but about a silver cup engraved with 115 sets of names, and how much you want to put your name on it.

I am not offended by the words Sean Avery chose to use. I am offended because his actions detract from the beauty of a dying breed: a sport played for love of the game, not for love of self.

Phil K. said...

I predict Avery's exit will beget a season-saving turn-around, including a 12-game winning streak mixed in, to boot. After barely making the play-offs, they will go on a chip-on-our-shoulders-us-against-the-world playoff-run that will take them all the way to the Western Conf Championship, in which the Detroit Red Wings will undoubtedly flick them off the table with barely so much as breaking a sweat. But...at least Avery will be dead, by then.

Michael said...

Has anyone considered that maybe, just maybe, this team isn't very good? I would say thats way more of a problem than Avery. Their 2nd power play last night rolled out Petersen, Neal, Brunnstrom, Sydor, and Daley. Are those guys capable of scoring? Sure. But when that is who you are depending on to get you a much needed power play goal, your team is in a sad, sad state.

bevo said...

bla..bla..bla..OK..Stars..now go out and play like you have a set..and quit blaming someone else..This team sucks..

Rene said...

I'm amazed at the speed with which the team and management has pitched Avery overboard. I know from people close to the team that he was the consummate loner and never interacted with the team in any fashion, but who'd have thought that they all took that behavior so personally?

The NHL needs Avery, even if the Stars really don't. This has to be tremendously rough on Hullie - especially when you consider the fact that the comment, while off-color, wasn't some horrible thing. The team is clearly looking for a "we fired Army" kind of moment to spark it in the right direction, but scapegoating Avery isn't going to solve the talent, injury, and goalie problems that are hurting the club right now.

I think in hockey one person can destroy any team, but that guy is always wearing a mask. Marty's been playing far far below his capability this year, and he can't really blame that on Avery.

Avery was strong on the puck, and gave good effort. He was a pretty crappy finisher and setup man though, probably because he doesn't develop chemistry with anyone.

Avery clearly doesn't fit on this team. Tipp's a good coach, and Marty's a good goalie. But the fact remains that both have been underperforming this year, and both have to step up right now and turn this thing around - Avery or no.

I'm sure Hull hates the fact that his players are pulling a McCain campaign on the guy he vouched for, and that probably says something about the relationship Hull has with the players as well. Really there are very few moves left to make for this team. They have to play with what they have right now, and pray to God that Hicks doesn't use this fiasco as an excuse to run payroll below the cap in the years to come.

Rene said...

I'm amazed at the speed with which the team and management has pitched Avery overboard. I know from people close to the team that he was the consummate loner and never interacted with the team in any fashion, but who'd have thought that they all took that behavior so personally?

The NHL needs Avery, even if the Stars really don't. This has to be tremendously rough on Hullie - especially when you consider the fact that the comment, while off-color, wasn't some horrible thing. The team is clearly looking for a "we fired Army" kind of moment to spark it in the right direction, but scapegoating Avery isn't going to solve the talent, injury, and goalie problems that are hurting the club right now.

I think in hockey one person can destroy any team, but that guy is always wearing a mask. Marty's been playing far far below his capability this year, and he can't really blame that on Avery.

Avery was strong on the puck, and gave good effort. He was a pretty crappy finisher and setup man though, probably because he doesn't develop chemistry with anyone.

Avery clearly doesn't fit on this team. Tipp's a good coach, and Marty's a good goalie. But the fact remains that both have been underperforming this year, and both have to step up right now and turn this thing around - Avery or no.

I'm sure Hull hates the fact that his players are pulling a McCain campaign on the guy he vouched for, and that probably says something about the relationship Hull has with the players as well. Really there are very few moves left to make for this team. They have to play with what they have right now, and pray to God that Hicks doesn't use this fiasco as an excuse to run payroll below the cap in the years to come.