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Archive for the ‘(I Hate) Sean Avery’ Category

The Dallas Stars obviously want to break up with me, but I just can’t let that happen.

• They fired Doug Armstrong and hired nutty Brett Hull.
• They traded Jeff Halpern and Mike Smith.
• They let Nik Hagman just walk.
• They signed Sean Avery (admittedly, they almost got rid of me with that one).
• They traded my beloved Philippe Boucher for a bag of pucks Darryl Sydor.
• Instead of just firing Hull and letting Les Jackson take over, they demoted Jackson, too.
• They hired my original favorite player, Joe Nieuwendyk, to take over, which cannot end well favorite-player-wise.
• They fired my beloved coach, Dave Tippett.
• And if that weren’t bad enough, they hired Marc Crawford to replace him.

They’re obviously trying to get rid of me.

Well, it won’t work!

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I think I’m starting to get a bead on what the Stars really are. They’re, um, not very good.

It’s strange that Morrow and Turco and Richards and Ribeiro and Modano and Eriksson and all the rest are suddenly not very good. Last season was bad because of all the injuries, but I’m convinced that a lot of the Stars’ problems this season come back to coaching.

There have been too many games where Crawford claims they did everything right but just couldn’t win. That smacks of a bad plan.

Installing a system that the team isn’t built for is a recipe for failure. If they’re planning to adjust the personnel once they’re allowed to spend money, that’s fine. But in the meantime, maybe they could play a kind of hockey they’re good at. Just to tide themselves over.

Lately, the few wins we’ve had have hinged on some spectacularly bad luck for the opposition. The wins against the Ducks had comical goals — the kind that the Ducks could legitimately laugh off as fluky. That’s how we win now.

If we have to rely on flukes in our favor, that’s not good.

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One of my all-time favorite movie lines was from the original Fun With Dick and Jane with Jane Fonda and George Segal. They’re in the bank, applying for a loan, and the loan officer says, “Let’s take a look at the pluses and minuses,” then starts listing all their problems. They get a little irked and start to leave, and he says, “I haven’t come to the pluses. Would you wait for me to come to the pluses?”

I think I want to do the minuses first, so wait for me to come to the pluses.

Minuses:
Sean Effing Avery — I’ve said plenty about how I feel about Avery, so I’ll try not to start all over about the whole thing. The Stars players and management and broadcasters don’t want to put the whole blame on him, but I do. If everything had gone well and he was still on the team, I would have still been miserable about it and I would blame him. As it is, of all our options, the way it played out was probably the best. Since listening to everybody tell you it’s a mistake to sign him at all (let alone for four years and 15 million) was an option they chose to pass up.

Other inexplicable summer moves – Okay, Ulf Dahlen’s leaving to coach Frolunda is probably not the fault of the GMs. But the loss of his special-teams genius was felt from game one. Their main inexplicable move was letting Nik Hagman walk. He was our best penalty-killer (especially after they traded Jeff Halpern the season before). He scored goals, killed penalties, agitated opponents, and was just generally the bomb. Of all the guys we lost between the Brad Richards trade and the summer “see ya’s”, he’s the one I miss the most. The PK dropped from second to 24th.  It was a bad move.

Marty Turco’s historic struggles – There’s a pattern I’m starting to see in Marty. He gets the big head, apparently. (more…)

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I tripped over this column by Iain MacIntyre, with the Vancouver Sun about the Stars-Canucks game last night. I just felt like pointing out that not everybody thinks that Avery has proven he’s been misjudged all these years, based on seven games with the Rangers. Like some people.

Add to this train wreck Avery’s fall freak show and you figure the Stars should be chasing top draft prospect John Tavares instead of a playoff spot. With Tuesday’s loss, they slipped from eighth to a tie for ninth.

For the sake of our humanity, here’s hoping they make it. Any team willing to stand up to a jackass like Avery, whom they waived at great cost and embarrassment, deserves everyone’s support.

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Back when it all went down, I didn’t dream anybody would take him off our hands, even at half price. Even the Rangers.

But Glen Sather pulled through for us. I was hoping some lower-rung team would pick him up, just so he doesn’t get to go back to New York, but I am trying to keep in mind that back when it all went down, I didn’t dream anybody would take him off our hands, even at half price.

Avery ends up with everything he wanted. An outlandish contract and life in New York City. And, I suspect, revenge on the Stars for trying to send him to Manitoba way back in November.

But I don’t care. He’s gone.

I wonder if Brett Hull is still friends with him.

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Dallas 4, Nashville 1

Before I start on the Preds game, I just want to talk a little about the game against the Rangers. I’m still stunned by that game.

I’m still giddy. I misspent a lot of time over the weekend reading Rangers blogs and comment threads and a message board or two. I actually started to kind of feel sorry for them. Rangers fans are NOT happy with their team. Or their coach. Or their manager or their owner.

The Rangers are supposedly interested in picking up Sean Avery off re-entry waivers once he gets through all the steps. Don’t forget, they won blah blah games more when he was in the lineup than when he wasn’t. Nobody has any other stat than that. Doesn’t that tell you something? For one thing, he has no other stats to speak of.

Anyway, I was cracking myself up thinking that the Stars were inspired to pound the Rangers so they’d be even more inclined to get Avery. Maybe pick him up off the first waivers and take his whole contract. The “experts” seem to think the Rangers could use a “spark.”

The Rangers were awful Friday night. They lost interest in the game after that 4th goal where Ribeiro just sidled up to the net and whipped it right in. To be honest, I would have, too.

The arena was wild.

You might have been able to understand if the Stars didn’t do so well against the Preds. It was their third game in four days and there was the possibility of a crash off that high of scoring 10 goals.

But while they might have seemed a little sluggish (I didn’t notice it), they still won.

When Sutherby got the shorthander five minutes in, I knew it was going to be okay. Brian Sutherby is turning out to be a really good pickup. He’s caught up now, it seems, and he’s really chipping in, both with offense and with energy.

The penalty killing is improving and the power play is really doing well lately. They got a shorthander, a power play goal, an even-strength goal, and an empty netter. The only goal missing was a penalty shot.

Okay, who’s next?

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I’m not gonna lie. The comical implosion of the vaunted Dallas Cowboys was more than even I could have hoped for.

I am not a football fan, as I’ve mentioned before. And if I were, I think it would have been beaten out of me by living in the same town as the Dallas Cowboys. I don’t follow the team, but I listen to The Ticket all day long, pretty much every weekday, and that’s all they talk about. So, while I wouldn’t recognize DeMarcus Ware if I met him at the QuikTrip, I can tell you that he’s one of their better players and one of the few leaders on the team and Jerry Jones should keep him around.

I also know that Jerry Jones just loves to sign troublemakers. Three years ago he signed Terrell Owens and last year he signed Pacman Jones. I would not be surprised if he met Michael Vick at the prison gates on the day he’s released, to sign him.

Terrell Owens, it seems to me, has divided and conquered the Cowboys locker room. When they signed him, I thought it was funny, because I very rarely believe that a player that has already ruined two teams is not going to ruin the next one. Owens made a spectacle of himself in the first year, then they were 13-3 the next year, then he decided it was time to demand his stats.

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