Sean Avery scored 33 points in 57 games for the Rangers this season. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
The Sean Avery show is hitting the road once again and this time the No. 1 agitator in the league is heading to Dallas.
At four years and $15.5 million, this signing is downright reasonable, especially considering the insanity of the opening day.
Reputation aside, Avery provides speed and grit, something the Stars just lost yesterday when Niklas Hagman took off for Toronto. He also provides a nice offensive option for likely center Brad Richards on the second line.
It was largely assumed the fashion-conscious Avery would have preferred to stay near New York City for next season, but Dallas may be as beneficial to the notorious forward as he will be to the Stars.
In co-GM Brett Hull, Dallas has a sort of mentor for Avery, though Hull’s outspokenness as an NHL personality has never come close to the acidity with which Avery frequently spews. Nevertheless, perhaps the highly coveted chatterbox will learn to further harness his powers under one of the game’s best-ever scorers and media quotes.
On top of that, Avery joins a squad laden with veterans, from Mike Modano and Brenden Morrow to Philippe Boucher and Marty Turco. In a similar situation with the Rangers the past two seasons, Avery thrived, even though injuries felled him at some rather cruel junctures (such as this year’s playoffs, when a ruptured spleen took him out of the Pittsburgh series).
No one else in the league is going to like this signing – and perhaps a few Stars fans won’t either until they seem him play – but a lot of that will be envy, not to mention the fact Avery and new teammate Steve Ott will probably have a running contest to see who can provoke the most maniacal reactions from opponents next season.