Sources tell TSN that Avery's personal publicist reached out to the Stars' organization first thing Wednesday morning in an effort to get Avery an audience with his teammates so he could apologize to them.It's been a few weeks since we first heard some rumblings of discontent from Mike Modano about Avery's antics, and it was hard not to notice that none of his teammates have jumped to his defense in the last 24 hours. It's lonely being Sean sometimes.
The Stars made it clear to Avery's representative that the door was not open for that to happen at this time and perhaps not at all.
The Stars, it would seem, are not in the mood for reconciliation. The Avery-inflicted wounds - in the dressing room, in the coaches' offices, in the front office and the ownership suite - are just too raw and fresh at this point. And they may never heal to the point to allow him a way back in.
Among the options the Stars are considering: a lengthy suspension of their own; a possible contract buyout; a voiding of Avery's contract; or, the option I consider most likely, burying Avery in the minors, something the team could do very easily by putting him on waivers. If nobody picks him up -- something I'm sure the Commissioner could assure with a few phone calls -- it's hello AHL! Because the team doesn't have an AHL affiliate at this time, the Stars could literally send Avery anywhere in the entire league, a prospect that must have him salivating. I wonder if they get Men's Vogue in Quad City?
In a way, it's interesting how the Avery Crisis plays to the team's advantage. They've stunk all season long thanks to a significant turnover in personnel, disruptions on the blue line, some key injuries and some horrid goaltending from Marty Turco. Whatever you might say about Avery, you can't pin the team's lousy start on him, but that wouldn't prevent them from using a force departure to declare that the team is turning the page and making a new start.
As for Avery, I think he's got plenty of reasons to be worried, and here are the two words that ought to be foremost in his mind: John Rocker. I'm sure I'm not the only blogger who remembers him, but after his crack about the No. 7 train to Shea Stadium, Major League Baseball couldn't bury him deep enough. And in terms of athletic ability, Rocker filled a far more valuable role with one of the best teams in baseball than Avery does right now with Dallas.
As ridiculous as it will seem if Avery is forced to sit through a lengthy suspension while others get wrist slaps for taking shots at the heads of their opponents, the folks who run the game more than likely believe that Avery isn't bigger than the game. After a career where he's dished out more cheap shots than we can count, I'm sure some will see a sliver of cosmic justice if Avery's career is disposed with via a shot just as cheap.
UPDATE: Avery has issued an apology, but it doesn't matter. I think Bettman is really going to stick it to him.
(HT: Paul Kukla)