Today's daily dose of News That Should Not Surprise Anyone, but Will Make Headlines Regardless: pugnacious purveyor of poetic justice Sean Avery will not be donning a Dallas Stars sweater again in our lifetimes. It appears that he was not the popular, unifying locker room presence that no one thought he was, and that his teammates wanted him off the ice as badly as anyone.
Two things. First of all: this makes much more sense than did the initial suspension. There's no point in having a goon like Avery skate with your team if no one likes or trusts him -- especially for a team as abysmally shitty as Dallas. What's more disturbing, though, is that this absolutely reeks of collusion to me. It's clear that the Stars were experiencing some pretty significant buyer's remorse with Avery, and I can't help but wonder if there was some sort of behind-the-scenes agreement with the league to slap him with an arbitrary and excessive suspension that would give the team sufficient cause to publicly sever ties with him. With that in place, all they'd need to do would be to wait for Avery to do something stupid, which comes as naturally as breathing to him. The whole sequence of events is just so absurdly melodramatic that I find it hard to believe there wasn't some sort of premeditated decision on the part of both the NHL and the Dallas front office.
The question now, of course, is whether or not Avery's hockey career is done. (Jack Edwards' verdict: "Stick a fork in it!") There are some who think this was a part of his plan all along. Personally, I'd be sorry to see Avery leave the league when there are so many boring teams badly in need of spicing up. The fuck are the Predators doing these days? Holding their collective breath until Shea Weber suffers another season-ending injury? Or maybe we could ship Avery up to Montreal and force him to move in with Georges LaRaque à la Rob & Big.
Did I mention that the Thrashers are terrible, Michael Ryder had 3 goals this weekend, and Phil Kessel's point streak is now at 15 games? Or that the Celtics won their 14th in a row? Or that the Patriots scored 49 points yesterday?
Well, now I did. Cockknockers.