Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Post Bertuzzi NHL

We all know by now the story that is front and center in the NHL right now involving Sean Avery. I think it's only fair for me to comment on Sean Avery in general, before I talk about what I think is bigger issue left in the dust in the past 24 hours events. Sean Avery is unlike anything the NHL has ever seen. As a hockey player he a piece to the puzzle every hockey team looks for. I'd argue that Sean Avery is the best player, at his role, in the NHL today. The problem is, obviously, he comes with a bunch of issues that quickly take away from the value he brings to the ice. Which brings me nicely to what the real issue, in my mind, of what went down yesterday in the NHL.

What Sean Avery said and did was beyond dumb, but not anything that wasn't already talked or thought about by thousands of hockey fans already across North America. It was also easy to say that a guy that is on thin ice with the NHL like Sean Avery was, should have thought comments like this through a little is a fair statement as well. What I want you to ask yourself though, is why was Sean Avery suspended? It isn't because of Sean Avery's comments about "Sloppy Seconds". It's also not because of Avery's checkered history since his time in the NHL started finally catching up to him. The reason Avery is suspended is deeper then Avery just being the dumbass he is off the ice.

This suspension is because we are in a post Bertuzzi NHL.

This league has been living in fear ever since the Bertuzzi/Moore incident. The suspension that came down last night was because the league was afraid of what might happen in that hockey game on Tuesday. They will tell you otherwise, but don't believe it. The reason I can make that statement is simple, I was going to watch that hockey game last night. The chances of myself taking the time to watch a hockey game between the Dallas Stars and the Calgary Flames on any normal night are about as good as Avery having lunch with Elisha Cuthbert next week. So why was I going to watch that hockey game ? There was an outside chance that the game could have been a blood bath and I wasn't going to miss it. Simple as that. I can't remember a Flames hockey game being talked about in Edmonton as much as this game was until the the suspension announcement came down. To be honest, I think the NHL crapped the bed on this completely. If they felt that Avery needed to be punished they should have fined him, but taking him out of that hockey game was counter productive to the league. They had people across the board jacked up about a hockey game, and the league threw cold water on it. You want people to talk about hockey, publicity is publicity, and the chances of yesterday's game turning into a Bertuzzi type situation where so low, the NHL should have rolled the dice.

The hockey purists amongst us are ready to riot at this point I'm sure, as most would say Sean Avery has nothing to do with good hockey, and the neither did the hype leading up to last nights hockey game. Most would say that Sean Avery has no place in the NHL. The problem is, I'm pretty much a hockey purist on most issues as well, so I understand how one thinks. If your a hockey purist your part right about the hype leading up to this game being based on totally the wrong subject, but you also believe that players should police themselves. The players should have had that chance last night, but the NHL didn't let it happen, and I think that's a mistake.

Then again, this is just a damned opinion.

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