Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Happy Trails Sean

The Dallas Stars signed Sean Avery to a four-year, $15.5 million contract today at 1:22 pm.

And so, the Avery era in New York comes to a close.

It's hard to fault Avery because he had an idea of what he was worth and he went out and got it. An athlete's career is short and he has to get his money while he can - especially after interning at Vogue, where he saw that most writers don't make spit. With his recent spleen injury, I am sure that the value he set was a hard number that he wouldn't budge from. And, unfortunately, the general manager that he was negotiating against is a firm believer that he is the king of the hill and that no player is bigger than the team.

In this case, he may have been incorrect.

Over the year and a half that he was a Ranger, Avery twice inspired a miraculous run to the playoffs after the team was stuck in the doldrums. The numbers don't lie - the Blueshirts were 50-23-13 with Avery and 24-35-9 without him. And don't be fooled by Sather's rhetoric either, the Rangers would not have made the playoffs the last two seasons without Avery. They would stumble time and time again after taking 2-0 leads in '06-07 - a horrible, heart-wrenching trend that changed when he came to town. He also scored the game-tieing goal in the pivotal 3-2 shootout win over the St. Louis Blues that marked the season's turn-around.

Aside from losing the sparkplug that got the engine going, the Rangers are also losing their best public relations agent. Avery helped renew the faith of the Blue Seat faithful by spending time with them. He also helped get the Blueshirts out of the sports section in New York and got more eyes on the team. The NHL's p.r. task has been to show people who aren't tradition sports fans that hockey is pretty cool and Avery did that better than any Ranger since Ron Duguay. Adam Graves can go around and brighten the smiles of thousands upon thousands of children but Avery could get millions of girls to look at the Rangers.

I would say that is well worth the million dollars or so per year that separated the two parties in the contract negotiations, wouldn't you?

But, you know what? It doesn't matter, Sean Avery is now a Dallas Star. At least he went back out West and won't be around to put the dagger in the Rangers should fall flat on their face next spring ...


Brother P said...

Sather is a piece of shit! Is Avery worth 4 million a season? answer no, no he isn't but I sure as hell wish it was the Rangers paying him that 4 mill a year instead of the Dallas Stars. If the reports are correct, then Sather let Avery walk for a total of 3.5 mill over the course of 4 years. TERRIBLE! With price we pay for tickets a few mill should never make the difference! Sather over pays for a 31 year old defenseman on the downside of his career in my opinion (and I hope I'm dead fucking wrong since he is going to be here for 6 looooong years) who will be 37 by the time his contract is over and lets the 28 year old hard nose, give it a 110% every time he is on the ice guy leave for a few mill. I'm sick to my stomach.

Scotty Hockey said...

Can't disagree brother p, can't disagree ...

Anonymous said...

Sather has know clue what he just lost. Avery was the heart and soul of our team when he was out we sucked when he played we at least had a chance. Avery was worth whatever he wanted he was the best asset the Rangers had. As for blaming Avery you cant blame Aves for this Sather screwed him. He should have been signed right after the season ended for us. Instead you wait till free agency alright fine but at least sign the guy. He even said he wanted to be back in New York that he loved the fan support. AVERY YOU A RANGER NOW AND FOREVER NO MATTER WHAT!!