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Quest for the Cup

Right now a Detroit Red Wing is napping next to a 116 year old trophy. Maybe he’s taking it fishing or stopping by his childhood rink? No doubt, some small child in British Columbia is getting their picture with Lord Stanley’s Cup this summer.

And while the Cup makes it’s travels to Russia, Sweden, Slovakia, Canada, and the USA, NHL teams are working on ways to stop the “Big Red Machine” (hasn’t that name been taken before?). Take for example the retirement community of Tampa Bay, FL where a new coach, #1 draft pick, and highly sought after free-agent from Pittsburgh (Ryan Malone) have changed the landscape on a cellar-dweller of the league. Or if you look out west, Vancouver vies for Mats Sundin, perhaps the league’s classiest and most decorated (statistically) captain.

 

July 1st always brings excitement. And even though you expect, and know it’s coming, you’re still anxious to see who gets who, and who will land where. Most importantly, your banking on your team’s ability to set themselves up for success in May and June.

Which brings me to “my” Dallas Stars. With the recent signing of Sean Avery, we’ve now become the league’s most hated team! (don’t even try to argue it). His antics in this years playoffs spawned the “Sean Avery Rule” after waving his weapon in front of the game’s best goalie, Martin Brodeur (check spelling below). Steve Ott is certainly an aggitator, but at least he’s a RESPECTED aggitator! Man, I love that guy.

Forget the fact that Mr. Avery is interning in New York this summer with Vogue Magazine. Disregard the fact that he dates starlets like Rachel Hunter, Elisha Cuthbert, and (cough) that prostitute linked to Elliott Spitzer. Ok, maybe they’re not ALL starlets. He was also featured on MTV’s “Cribs“, as well as Kelso’s brain-child, “Punk’d“. Needless to say, this guy brings much more to the table than generic Canadian hockey-skater-player-guy. He’s building the foundation early for his next “career”.

The Stars have made a name for themselves as the hard-nosed, hard-working, hard-to-play-against team of the NHL, and if you could find an ego (not Eggo) on the team besides Mike Modano, you’re just probing to closely. They epitomize what you’d want in teamwork, leadership, and chemistry; I’d hate to see that jeopardized.

 If I can continue, we’re also going to pay this guy $15.5 million over the next four (4) years! For a quick breakdown, I’d like to offer this statistical information:

  • That’s $3.875 million per year
  • 15 goals is Mr. Avery’s career high (2004 & 2008), 39 total pts.
  • If he matches that high, we’ll pay $258,000 per goal…$99,358 per point!!

Granted, he’s not paid for goals or production as much as the “full package” be brings to the ice. Plus, it’s fairly hard to put a dollar amount on hacking the opponent off every night. But I do know it’s not worth $3.875 million a year. I fear baggage that needs to be left in N.Y. and L.A. I fear a disrupted locker room. I fear playing short-handed. If he brings grit, physicality, and tenacity to the rink everday, good move for the Stars (kinda). But if Brett Hull and the front office want to compete against Tony Romo or Dirk Nowitzki, I hope the Rangers (NY) or Kings don’t mind a reunion tour at the trade deadline. 

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