Save for some brief comments during our most recent podcast, I've ignored the Sean Avery issue, mostly by design. I've had to tread lightly on the topic because, as you may recall, after I wrote this Greener suspended ME for three weeks.
But now that all the hearings are over and the punishments have been handed down, the most interesting aspect of all this is what becomes of Sean Avery's career? Will he ever play hockey again? Almost certainly. But there's reason to believe he may never be worth another big contract, or even the price of admission for the curious sideshow seekers. Why? Because a pre-condition of Sean Avery's return is that he no longer be Sean Avery. In agreeing to go to counseling for anger management, Avery made a concession to save his job, but it might just cost him his career.
Phaneuf: "Good, Sean...but how does that make you feel?"
Game over. How can a guy like that get under your skin, when you've got that ammo in your gun. I don't care how dumb hockey players are, those comebacks write themselves. Let me tell you something, if it were me, the first time I lined-up next to Avery I'd have a fucking Rorschach drawing stuffed under my jersey.
Now you can argue, that Avery doesn't have to change on the ice, so long as he keeps his mouth shut off it. The NHL has never criminalized trash talking, and Avery's past transgressions in that area have gone largely unpunished. Furthermore, you can argue that Avery will probably never embrace, or take seriously, the anger management part of his "punishment". He probably sees it as a means to an end, a necessary evil to put up with until he gets back to the NHL. Surely there's a desperate team (see: Tampa Bay Lightning) with a contract and a wink-wink, nod-nod agreement for him, right? But that's missing the point. Without his "edge" Sean Avery is just a slightly above average NHL hockey player. Certainly not a $4 million-per-year hockey player.
Sean Avery has no desire to win anything. A game, a Stanley Cup, even his teammates respect. He draws his satisfaction from being, as he puts it, the villain. His antics are the product of needing to fulfill a personal desire for attention. In the past, his teams got a residual benefit from his shtick when he got opposing players off their game. But now it's certainly debatable as to whether he can even do that anymore.
But hey, don't cry for Sean Avery. Even if his hockey career never returns him to the level of prosperity he once enjoyed, he's pretty savvy. He'll find a way to turn this into a second career.
I know we here at HS/HS were excited when his agent contacted us. You see, we've been longing to tap into the lucrative adult entertainment market, and with Sean out of work for a while, we figured this was the perfect opportunity. We're pleased to announce the release of HS/HS's first...cumming of age film.