Archive for the ‘Sean Avery's massive ego’ Category

Trade fakery: putting the Penner to paper

February 6, 2009

With the trade deadline about a month away, the crazies are coming out of the woodwork. Not to be out-crazied for one moment, Cycle like the Sedins will periodically try to dig up completely fictional (and sometimes farcical) trade rumors for giggles.

The sky might begin to fall if any of these come true.

Every now and again in sports, a player signs a contract that dwarfs their actual talent to the point of near-paralysis and franchise malaise. For example, in the NBA, the $100 million contract Juwan Howard signed years ago comes to mind. Howard seemed like a decent human being (and not a bad basketball player) but his albatross contract absolutely became a sad punchline. Allan Houston’s contract with the Knicks is another example: when the NBA allowed buyouts without salary cap penalties some people referred to it as The Allan Houston Rule.

For years, the NHL’s blunt answer to Howard and Houston was Alexei Yashin. His deal saddled the New York Islanders and was perhaps the worst move in an Stoogey Murder’s Row of transcations made by Mike “The Pansifier” Milbury. In fact, that buyout still negatively affects the cap for the floundering franchise in Long Island.

Still, Yashin is gone to bask in his ludicrous riches and supermodel wife. To take his place is power forward in the making turned sour forward Dustin Penner.

Penner took advantage of a Stanley Cup run with the Anaheim Ducks and was offered an excessive offer sheet from Kevin Lowe in Edmonton, a move that would live on in infamy. Signing Penner destroyed Lowe’s friendship with noted scholar and hothead Brian Burke, but worse yet: it’s been pretty much a disaster for the Oilers.

Outspoken Oilers coach Craig MacTavish bashed Penner in November and criticized his play this month as well. It’s been a pretty miserable stay in Edmonton for Penner (who makes $4.25 million per season on average), even though it seems a little unfair. His statistics actually have been pretty much the same as he was as a Duck.

Sometimes, you are what you are. Which pisses off the Oilers to no end.

So, it pretty much goes without saying that the Oilers would like to ship Penner out of town. But the problem has been: who would take him? Perhaps it would be fun to take a look at some deals that while admittedly Bruce Garrioch-like, could probably work in some bizarro world in which Mike Milbury still had a job:

Semi-ludicrous Penner deals that maybe aren’t that crazy after all
Stars trade Sean Avery for Penner (similar cap values … Penner makes about a half million more)

Trading a cancer for a floater; this trade would do what many have before it: reshuffling the chairs on the Titanic. Really, the main thing this would accomplish is to make both teams more interesting in NHL ’10. Plus it would give us something to laugh about.

Penguins trade Ryan Whitney for Penner (nearly identical cap values)
Another laugh riot. From one of the Puck Daddy chats, it sounds like the Penguins aren’t interested in moving Whitney which is marginally surprising. Still, this could work on some level: the Penguins need a big guy to play the Ryan Malone role and the Oilers could need an offensive D since Lubomir Visnovsky might be out for the season.

It scares me that this scenario almost makes sense, even though Penner lacks Malone’s testicular fortitude and Whitney might not have any toes on that injured foot for all we know …

Avalanche trade Ryan Smyth for Penner (Smyth makes about $2 million more per year)

The Avs need to get rid of Smyth’s ugly contract. There probably wouldn’t be too many takers, but the Oilers obviously have some pretty mushy feelings for a certain garbage goal specialist with that throwback mullet. The Avs would shed a few million, get younger and … worse. Quite a bit worse. The Oilers would reclaim their former heart and soul.

Panthers trade Jay Bouwmeester for Penner and draft picks (J-Bo gets about a half million more on this, the last year of his contract)

This is where these faux trade rumors go from highly unlikely/dumb to flat-out cruel. It shouldn’t be funny to imagine the downfall of a franchise, but that would be darkly comical. Going to stop now before the guy from The Litter Box murders me.

Thrashers trade Mathieu Schneider for Penner (Schneider’s expiring deal is $5.75 million, about $1.5 million more than Penner’s average cap hit)

A lot like the Whitney idiot-deal, but probably a) dumber and b) paradoxically, more realistic. Since just about no one wants to play in Atlanta, Penner could wallow in 40-50 point mediocrity with limited abuse. Schneider would fit that offensive D mold as the Oilers shoot for a playoff berth (and then he conveniently comes off the books).

Ugh, I could see that happening. No offense, hopefully, to HOTlanta fans (offense intended only for Don Waddell).


Again, keep in mind these trade rumors are willfully unfounded. I shudder to think how close this is to the process a beleaguered hockey beat writer goes through. Hopefully, my blind “throwing at pictures on a dartboard” method is just comic relief.

It’s odd how easy it is to talk yourself into some bad deals, though, isn’t it?

All-Decade Team: Loudmouths

January 15, 2009
The plan was to go down the list from serious to silly, but on the heels of The Hockey News calling Jeremy Roenick the best interview in the NHL it seems totally natural to take a peek into the biggest loudmouths of the ’00s. The center post seemed fairly comprehensive, but this is definitely a topic that needs reader input.

Which guys are the direct opposite of “Quoteless Joe” – for better or for worse?

Jeremy Roenick
Quite possibly the most outspoken player in the NHL, Roenick is more than just a provocateur since he can back up his verbosity with hard hits and game winning goals. Roenick’s checking and yapping got him into some binds over the years. It seems oddly poetic that when Derian Hatcher extracted revenge from JR, Roenick’s jaw was broken in the process. The good money is that a broken jaw still didn’t stop him from talking.

Honestly, from listening to one game with JR as a color commentator, he ended up being suprisingly bland. Everyone seems to peg him for a career in the booth (and one game is not a great litmus test for someone who will call more than 82 games) but it does make you wonder if he’s going to be like Joe Namath. Namath seemed like a natural choice but ended up being far less flamboyant with a headset than a helmet.

Brett Hull
Surely not the only hot air that has exited Hull’s mouth

The Golden Brett avoided taboos about as often as he passed up shots. It only make sense that the irreverent son of Bobby Hull would go on to be named “The Ambassador of Fun.” Considering the meek showings by Brad Richards and the implosion of Sean Avery, many Stars fans wish he remained fun ambassador.

Sean Avery
Hull ended up dropping a bloated contract into the lap of the most hated man in hockey, Sean Avery. His “sloppy seconds” line might be in the lead of his obituary some day, but keep in mind that there was a top 10 countdown of Avery’s antics before he publicly disparaged the likes of Elisha Cuthbert. (Whatever he said to Darcy Tucker, we can safely assume it was morally questionable … at best.)

John Tortorella
If Coor’s Light would run those lame clips of coach’s press conferences for the NHL instead of the NFL, you can bet the former Tampa Bay Lightning coach would be a favorite. With his “75 percent rule” for goalies and hotheaded interviews with the press, hockey fans couldn’t be blamed for rooting for a Lightning loss just to see him flip his lid.

If this joke ends up becoming a reality, I’ll be more ashamed than the guy who wrote the lyrics to “Cherry Pie.”

Don Cherry
Unsubstantied rumor: Cherry’s tailor is Satan.
The only thing louder than Canadian icon Cherry’s suits is his voice. Avery made the point of saying Cherry knows very little about hockey, but one of the Rules of the Universe is that those who know the least say the most at the highest volume. Cherry abides by that rule, while dressing ridiculously and insulting French-Canadians. (Hey, at least that’s one thing Avery and Cherry can agree upon)

Those are the notable loudmouths in my mind, but there’s a good chance a deserving candidate went unrepresented. Leave your choice(s) in the comments.

Making lemonade out of Avery’s lemons

December 4, 2008


This Sean Avery story sure has legs, doesn’t it? Before this it seemed like the only time the NHL was the top story was if Todd Bertuzzi broke someone’s neck (although hockey being a lead story only when something bad happens still rings true).

On Wednesday, the Avery coverage just wrecked every other big story. It was:

  • The lead story on “Rome is Burning.”
  • No. 4 on ESPN’s insufferable “Around the Horn.”
  • The first topic during “Pardon the Interruption.” Among others …

Is it a slow sports day or is everyone just tired of talking about how much of a dumbass Plaxico Burress can be? (And where the hell does the name Plaxico come from? I guess I’d have a bad attitude too if my name was a combination of a plaque-killing mouthwash and Mexico)

ANYWAY, since this story is quickly getting beaten into the ground, why don’t we have some more fun with it? With that in mind, the NHL should take advantage of it’s rare moment in the sports spotlight. Here’s a few suggestions free of charge:

Sean Avery punching bags – All the satisfaction of slapping the taste out of Avery’s mouth without the momentum killing penalty minutes! Deluxe version includes simulated Avery whines and whimpers. Tears of pain and overpaid athlete blood not included.

All this punching bag needs is a designer shirt, molester mustache and a shit-eating grin.

A “Sloppy Seconds” Charity Dinner – With Thanksgiving only a week old, perhaps a hearty helping of the last remaining leftovers is in order. And if the NHL really wants to make Avery regret his comments, why not make the mainstream media’s favorite agitator the bus boy? Other recommended celebrity bus boys: Theo Fleury, Claude Lemieux and Barry Melrose.

Avery endorsed “hot water bottles”Because no one knows them better than the King of the Douches.

Dion Phaneuf made guest editor of GQFirst, Phaneuf steals his girl. Then he becomes the cover star of NHL 09. And the final insult: Phaneuf completes the “anything you can do I can do better” trifecta by trumping Avery’s scrawny Vogue internship by guest editing a superior magazine. Admit it, that would be awesome.

Gary Bettman starts his “hey, I’m not THAT bad, right? RIGHT?” tour of Canadian cities without NHL teams – The Napoleonic blunder should seize Avery’s “indefinite” suspension by going on a tour to polish his image. Sure, Bettman is to the NHL as George W is to the USA but … he’s not napalming cities, right? For every Joseph Stalin there’s an Adolf Hitler.

Apologies to Stalin’s mustache for that unfair Bettman comparison.

Even Hitch’s ‘stache cannot hang

Avery, Cuthbert, Phaneuf and secret guest Avery’s childhood baby sitter appear on Dr. Phil – Sure, Dr. Phil is a choad. But can you imagine his twang-heavy chiding of Avery for the sloppy seconds remark? And then a further examining of Avery’s alleged cross dressing youth? Gold, you miserable sons of bitches, gold!


Finally, I’d like to apologize for Benedict Arnold-ing the NHL 09 club. But, dammit, I’m impatient and it was hard to get all the ducks in a row. Anyone who joined the club/was thinking of joining the club is more than welcome to join me on the whacky new team I’ve on. Please, alleviate my guilt.


Come on now

December 3, 2008

Sloppy seconds? Seriously? The NHL’s collective feathers are ruffled over this?

Still, reactions from Marty Turco, Mike Modano, Brad Richards and Mike Ribeiro show that this Sean Avery experiment isn’t exactly going well. We’re only in December and the team is already clearly exasperated.

Obviously, Avery needs father figures and/or players who obviously wear the pants. In Detroit, he was just some annoying gnat of an undrafted free agent in a locker room full of larger than life personalities. After that, he’s been in big markets where hockey isn’t exactly the main event (LA, New York and Dallas) so he could cultivate his bad boy image without the necessary “But he’s actually not all that productive” backlash.

It keeps feeding that gluttonous Avery ego. Don’t expect it to stop anytime soon.

Is it already safe to call this a lost season for Dallas?