Friday, December 5, 2008

Sloppy Seconds Anyone?

This is our second installment about the current ongoing drama with Sean Avery.

The NHL announced today that it has suspended Dallas Stars forward Sean Avery for 6 games because of comments that he made this week about his former girlfriends, specifically Elisha Cuthbert.

I've only got one thing to say about this.....ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

I have an hour long drive to work everyday and on the way to work today I was thinking about worse things that Avery could have done to get a suspension. Things that would have caused a much bigger problem for the NHL.

Here is a not so short list:

1) He could have made a racial, religious or sexist slur. Think about this. Imagine if he called someone a racial name to the cameras. Or a religious slur. He could have made a comment about homosexuals or lesbians. Or he could have just flat out said that his former girlfriends were either sluts, whores or skanks, which in my opinion is alot worse than making a comment about "sloppy seconds."

2) Avery could have pulled a Marty Mcsorely or Todd Bertuzzi. Is a guy making comments about "sloppy seconds" really as bad as what the two previous goons have done. I shouldn't even have to explain this. What Mcsorely and Bertuzzi did was just god awful and although many hate Avery, he still plays within in the rules to an extent. He is by no means an angel, but he certainly hasn't done somthing like the two above mentioned players. If I was Gary Bettman I would much rather have guys make comments that you could fine than what these two nuts did. Whats worse, explaining to your kids what sloppy seconds are or having to explain why some guy just whacked the head of another player with his stick with an intent to injure?

3) What if he had started a brawl that rolled into the stands (yes I am refering to Ron Artest and the NBA!) This is hard to do in hockey because of the boards that seperate the players and ice from the fans. But in all seriousness this if he had started a brawl with some fans in the stands, that would have been far worse than anything that I have mentioned yet. How do you explain that to your kids? Thankfully I don't have any (that I know of). But imagine the NHL responding to that. I know that Avery has had fueds with fans, especially in Philadelphia, but he hasn't ever thrown a punch at one at the rink. He hasn't attempted to assault a fan at the rink. But other players or coaches have. Just a few nights ago a coach was in an argument with a fan, and I bet that it wouldn't have been to pretty if the NHL had to explain why one of it's coaches assaulted a fan that is in a sense paying the guy's salary.

4)He could have been betting on the game of hockey. This is the worse thing that any player in any sport could do. Imagine if he came out and said "I gamble" or "I bet"? I know that is a poor example because no player would ever come out and say that, but just think about it. Baseball has banned Pete Rose for life. And don't forget that Rose is MLB's alltime hits leader. The NBA just went through a nasty betting scandal with one of it's referees, which may not be over yet if others come forward. This is like the mother of all bad things an athlete could do. If Avery had done any of these things, I could see him getting suspended or worse, kicked out forever.

The bottom line is this. The only reason Avery is suspended for his comments is because he is a guy that speaks his mind and sometimes does things that he probably shouldn't do. I honestly can't confirm what this guy has and hasn't done in his career that would be detrimental to the league or game of hockey. But it's very clear that his history of comments and actions was what got him fined whether he deserved it or not. I used to hate Sean Avery with a passion, but now that he doesn't play for the New York Rangers, I don't mind him as much. Yeah he can be a jerk and yes some of the things that he does aren't good. But last night when I was watching "Inside Edition" they had a piece on the Avery situation and I laughed my ass off. First they blurred (I doubt thats the right term, but I think you all know what I mean) Avery's mouth when he said the SS word. Then they had some reporter with huge jugs go and cover the thing. She wasn't dressed professional and she had no clue what the hell was going on. That is the sign that this was blown out of proportion and is a circus. Don't forget this either. The media is the gatekeeper of what we see and hear and if this was as bad as it is supposed to be, then they should have never let us see it in the first place.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I've Got Avery On My Mind

Sean Avery is at it again. The Dallas Stars forward was suspended before last nights game against Calgary for comments he made to the press.

Here is a quick rundown for those that don't know what is going on. Avery used to date hottie Elisha Cuthbert and now she has broken up with him and has since dated two NHL players the most recent being Calgary Flames defenceman Dion Phaneuf.

His comment was somthing along the lines of "It's become a common thing in the league for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds."

This was obviously a well executed stunt by Avery. But I don't think that it was all that bad for the league. He did make a comment that presents the league in a bad light, but I bet that some people may pay a little more attention to hockey now. Probably not much but maybe a few. It definately won't drive anyone away. It only makes some people hate Avery even more.

I'll admit that it was a crappy comment. Elisha Cuthbert is probably a nice girl and had her feelings hurt. But this is what celebrities do and I am sure she will have a comeback for him.

For the record I never cared much for Avery but he isn't a bad player. If he would just get on the straight and narrow he would be a little better off. And yes, I would take Avery's sloppy seconds any day of the week.

Monday, December 1, 2008

3 Things To Make Hockey Better...

I love hockey. I mean, I really love hockey. Probably more than Bice likes little kids. But anyway the NHL has a real problem.

The problem is that it just isn't as exciting as it could be. Think back to the days (if you are old enough) to when Gretzky and Lemieux were lighting the lamp every night probably two or three times easily. That may be a bit of an exageration, but think about the point totals that we saw in the 1980's and 1990's. While Wayne Gretzky was scoring well over 100 points season after season, the other players were doing the same. Take the 1985-86 season. Gretzky lead the league in scoring with 215 points. We may never see that kind of total ever again, but look at the next four. Lemieux with 141, Coffey with 138, Kurri with 131 and Bossy with 123. Scoring leaders today are lucky to get those totals. Last season Alexander Ovechkin led the league with 112 points.

1) The NHL needs to do somthing to increase scoring. Nobody likes to see games that end 1-0 or 2-1 for that matter. Things need to be like they were back in 1980's and early 1990's, with games ending 6-4 or 8-6 or even 10-9. That would increase intrest and popularity and it would be exciting. Somthing must be done to let the stars of the league score. The goalies are way better these days and their equipment doesn't need to be so big. The NHL could start with that.

2) Each conference should only have 2 divisions. It is rediculous that sometimes the third team that wins a division has the least amount of points than the other 7 teams in the playoffs and another decent team gets left out. This way two division winners would be the top two in the conference and after that the best teams would make out the playoff teams. This is the way it was through the 1980's and most of the 1990's and it worked out well.

3)Some teams need to relocate. This may happen regardless, but it is obvious that the NHL isn't doing well in places like Miami and Nashville. I don't doubt that hockey fans exist in those markets, but unless those teams start selling out arenas, it won't work. Canada needs another team or two. Quebec or Winnipeg would be good places to start and I am willing to bet that Kansas City or Seattle would be lucky to get teams too, but NO EXPANSION. It already hurt the league once, and it cannot happen again. But Canada needs another team or two so I would bet that the teams that could relocate would be the Florida Panthers, Phoenix Coyotes, Nashville Predators and Atlanta Thrashers. They probably all should because nobody goes to games in those cities anyway. If you watched the last Penguins game when they played in Atlanta, you know what I mean...the place was empty.