The Stars announced this morning they are parting ways with forward Sean Avery. Dallas will not challenge Avery's contract so he will still get paid.
EN Says: While this was expected to happen for some time, this is still just stunning for us. In the era of a a salary cap, it's amazing to see a team take a bath on a deal like this. The Stars signed Avery to a four year deal worth $15.5 and he'll only actually "earn" two months of it in terms of his playing time. We have to guess the Stars will get some sort of salary cap relief in regards to this deal but still, just giving up on a deal after such a short time is amazing.
This all really makes Brett Hull look bad. We remember reading an interview this past summer in The Hockey News with the Stars co-general manager on the Avery signing and Hull was doing everything he could to make it seem like the best move in the offseason. But it came off to us as a someone who was really excited to sign a friend, sound team management be damned. Hull's loyalty to his friend has blown up in his face.
As for Avery, were he in any other of the four "major" sports leagues, he'd still be employed. Avery's talented enough to be a first-line winger on some teams, including the Penguins-*. He has the skill set to be a 20-goal guy in this league and his credentials as an atagonist are obviously well-established.
But being a selfish pig has cost him a job in what might be the ultimate team sport. Perhaps to a detriment sometimes, hockey's culture doesn't allow for an individual to draw too much attention to him or herself. That's one of the major reasons the sport's fans are so passionate. Everything is team first. Avery violated that code and was shown the door.
Were he.... ooooh... a talented but immature wide receiver for a certain football team in his neck of the woods who has routinely disrupted every locker room in his previous three NFL stops, his behavior would be tolerated. But hockey doesn't permit that.
While it's hardly impossible, it's hard to imagine Avery getting another shot in the NHL. Hull was his only friend in terms of managment in the NHL. Why would a general manager without any emotional ties to Avery want to bring him in? He's been shown the door as well by his three previous NHL employers, including the Rangers, at team he unquestionably made better in terms of wins and losses. If this 2003, we could see the Maple Leafs doing something stupid and court Avery but these are different times. Frankly we shocked the clown college in Tampa Bay never considered him. Their salary cap woes will at the very least prevent them from doing so. But we can't imagine a sane general manager with the financial means would examine adding Avery to his roster under any circumstances.
Frankly, if Avery just went away, we're sure most hockey people would be just fine with that.
*-In no way shape or form are we suggesting the Penguins pick up Avery. We'd rather see Adam Graves in a Penguins uniform and/or pour hot sauce into our eyes.
(Photo: Bill Waugh/Associated Press)