Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Why The NHL Needs Sean Avery

There was a question posed to me by a friend about what I thought about the whole Sean Avery fiasco that seems to be happening now in the NHL with his antics against Martin Brodeur in the first round of the playoffs. The more and more I think about it, the more and more I think the NHL needs more Sean Avery-esque players in the league. Not many more, but just enough to keep the drama of each game at a high level and makes people more inclined to watch.

Avery is a different type of player. Sure, he's an antagonist, but much more than that-- he can actually play the game. Avery is a scorer, passer, and can draw penalties to give his team a man-advantage, which more often than now-- they'll convert on.

The whole "Avery Rule" is blown out of proportion. It's not like it's a new rule, it's the same old Rule 78 that has been on the books for as far as many people can remember. The NHL just told the refs to actually call it and enforce it. What Avery did was so unorthodox and out of the blue, no one could really know what to do. At that point, you just look on in amazement of what's happening and then just take it in stride.

Avery is the guy who you'd love to have on your team, but hate him when he's playing against your team. He gets under people's skin like no one else and really bugs the hell out of the opposition so much that it often throws a team off their game plan, which opens it up for Avery's squad. Granted, he beaks off more than some people can stomach, but that's what makes Avery who he is.

This is why when the Rangers moved onto the second round-- the main focus was on what the Penguins would do to Avery. Now how they'll contain Gomez and Drury, not how they'll solve Lundqvist-- but what would they do to Avery. It takes all the pressure off the top guys for the Rangers and focuses on what can be done about Avery.

Plus, more people will be watching to see what happens. It has been hyped up and people will be inclined to watch. This is why more players like Avery will be needed. They'll draw attention to the game and allow the drama of "What will happen next" to any game, which will boost ratings, and give more attention to the sport.

Just because he doesn't have the accomplishments of others who beak off as frequently as him, Avery is make out as a villian by fans and media alike. I'm sure he could care less because what he is doing is effective enough to get his teams wins and that's all that is needed for him-- to win the game.

Plus, he dated Elisha Cuthbert, so he's alright in my books.

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