On Sean Avery…

Look, I like Sean Avery. As crazy as it sounds, I am a Dallas Stars fan who likes him. I think that Sean is so different from most hockey players that people don’t know how to handle him. The Stars certainly didn’t.

So many Stars fans are quick to jump the gun and blame Avery when asked why we sucked in the 08-09 and 09-10 seasons. Well…it’s not quite like that.

Yes, signing Avery was a mistake. He just didn’t fit in personality-wise and hockey-wise in Dallas. I was all too happy to cut ties with him after the ‘sloppy seconds’ incident. Not because I disliked him, but because I didn’t like him on the team. That signing was doomed from the start (partially because Brett Hull was a fool who let his prior friendship with Avety get in the way of his duties as GM).

The thing is, one player does not make a team. It’s unfair to lay all of the blame on Sean Avery as to why our team was so mediocre the past two seasons. Things did NOT get better after he left. Honestly, the Stars were just a mediocre team

After making a miracle playoff run to the West finals, Mattias Norstrom and Stu Barnes had retired in the off-season. Antti Miettinen and Niklas Hagman were lost through free agency. These losses hurt more than people realize.

Another issue was the fact that Marty Turco kind of lost his mojo, and we didn’t have a proper backup. Goaltending is HUGE, especially in the Big Bad West. Marty failed to win games we needed him to win for us.

The great Sergei Zubov barely played that season, too. You don’t really appreciate guys like Zubie until they’re gone. He had season-ending hip surgery and left for the KHL the following summer.

Last season brought about a new GM and a new coach. I believe that the adjustment to a new system was the cause for our mediocrity last season. It’s tough to adjust, especially when pure offense has never really been the norm in Dallas.

Now that we’re good again, does the Avery mess even matter anymore? Those two seasons of mediocrity were a necessary evil of growing pains. But they aren’t Sean Avery’s fault. He might have made our lives a little tougher, but it’s not 100 percent his fault.

Tomorrow night, Avery plays in Dallas for the first time since November 20, 2008. Boo him if it’ll make you feel better. Whatever. But after tomorrow, it’s time to move on.

Don’t live in the past. Live in the now, because things are so, so wonderful for the Stars.


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