by Forechecker on 12/05/08 at 02:09 PM ET
Amidst the pile of hyperbole that the mainstream media and NHL officials are stacking up over the Sean Avery situation, one point that’s being overlooked is exactly why the Dallas Stars agitator dropped that verbal bomb in Calgary. The general assumption is that he was attempting to steal the spotlight in a bid for personal attention.
It’s clear to me, however, that instead, Avery looked around the room, saw a last-place team that is the laughing stock of the Western Conference, and asked himself, “What would Reggie Dunlop do?”
She still calls me, you know…
Just recall Dunlop’s jabs at goalie Tommy Hanrahan (beware, naughty language) at the beginning of hockey’s greatest film, Slap Shot, and you’ll see exactly what Avery was attempting.
He tried to add some spark and excitement to an otherwise banal Tuesday night game on the road. Now, he’s being made out as the arch-villain of the league, responsible for both alienating the general public and the lackluster play of a team that may be close to getting their coach fired. The tone out of Dallas these days is one of pure panic, as an organization attempts to make a scapegoat out of Avery for what is a colossal flop of a season.
In the immediate aftermath, his teammates offered nothing other than the standard, milquetoast “I don’t worry about that, I just play the game, you know?” type of comments that keep the NHL off the cultural radar here in the States. They may have convinced themselves that getting rid of Avery will solve their internal problems, but I don’t think he had much to do with Marty Turco’s goaltending, Brenden Morrow’s propensity to leave his teammates shorthanded, or the variety of injuries that have hit the team.
Now that the NHL has dished out its punishment to Avery, what are they going to do about Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller, and his incessant stream of “Your mama” insults? Especially in this election year, doesn’t the NHL care about Hockey Moms anymore?
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