Sean Avery is done as a Dallas Star. The team announced yesterday that after serious internal dialog they were going to part ways with Sean Avery. Though they want to support him, it was decided that Sean Avery returning to Dallas was not in the best interest of the team.
It is pretty easy to see why Avery will not be welcomed back into the fold in Dallas. His coach has spoken out against him, his teammates certainly have not stepped up and defended him. The owner of the team expressed his disappointment in Avery’s actions. In fact, the only measure of public support Avery received was from Brett Hull, and that was probably only Hull doing damage control since Avery’s signing came at his strong urging. After all that has happened in the wake of Sean Avery’s sloppy seconds comment no one in the organization could fathom him coming back to the team without being a major negative distraction.
Now that Avery’s fate has been decided by Dallas management there is the issue of what to do with him. He still has the bulk of his 4 year $15 million contract that Dallas is on the hook for. They can try and trade him, send him to the minors, or buy him out. They still have not indicated which avenue they pursue.
For the time being Avery will continue with the anger management program the league assigned to him, but at some point in the future his hockey career will again be front and center. Is Sean Avery damaged goods beyond hope of repair, or will some other NHL team take a chance on him?
I find it hard to believe that any NHL club, after watching what has transpired in Dallas, would be willing to introduce that sort of potential distraction into their locker room. It would be one thing if the guy had the talent of Sidney Crosby or Jarome Iginla, but his skill-set has him hovering between the 2nd and the 3rd line. Dallas has been in disarray ever since Avery came on board, and fairly or unfairly, other teams around the league are going to see those results in a very poor light when considering whether or not Avery is a fit for their team.
Sadly for Avery this latest debacle may have been his very last in an NHL uniform. The most likely scenario will have Dallas buying out his contract, followed by Avery’s agent working double-time, trying to find a new home for his troublesome client. In the end I think all 29 other teams will take a pass on Avery this time around. They’ve seen the damage he can do to a team, and even if he comes out of counseling a changed man the negative stigma associated with Avery and his antics to this point in his career would make him difficult to market to any fan base in the league.
In my opinion Avery will likely find his way to Europe, and providing he keeps his nose clean and sticks to playing hockey, and eschews the sideshow antics he may find himself welcome in the NHL some time in the distant future.