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Okay… Having watched the Sabres play against Sean Avery’s multiple teams numerous times, and then seeing his antics with many players throughout the league, especially those with Martin Brodeur, I can honestly say that he is one of the few players in the league that I have no respect for.

Having said that, his “method” of antagonizing other players, and thereby teams, is definitely affective. (The Good)

I don’t agree with whatever he does, because he doesn’t leave it on the ice. I stand by the principle in hockey of “leaving it on the ice.” Don’t bring an argument with other players into their personal life, or vice versa. Leave it on the ice. If you’ve got a problem with another player, drop the gloves with him. Don’t take shots at his girlfriend in the press.

That being said, I’m not entirely sure that I think a hearing should be held for Avery, or that he should miss more games, other than last night’s. I feel slapping him with a hefty fine for violating a code of conduct would suffice. Because a suspension, and the attention, is exactly what Sean wants. He wants to know that he’s getting under the skin of everyone in the NHL–the players, the coaches, the owners, the commissioner, etc. And by suspending him, and holding a hearing, he’s getting everything that he wanted. He asked for that, and the NHL is merely appeasing him, whether they realize it or not. (The Bad)

(And now, the Ugly)

Usually, when a player gets in a fight, or has words with another, their teammates will back them up. That’s the case with your Matt Barnaby’s, Michael Peca’s, etc.

But it speaks volumes about Avery when the guys he shares a locker room with are disgusted by his antics.

Brad Richards, Marty Turco, and the like all said, basically, that they’re unimpressed, disappointed, yet not shocked about anything said yesterday.

Dave Tippett, coach of the Stars, had this to say:

“I think everyone in our room believes there is an integrity that has to go along with the game, respect for the game and respect for your opponents and Sean crossed that line.

“I think the words, the words and disrespect for an opponent like that is something … there’s lots of trash talking that goes on on the ice. But then to announce something like that for everybody to hear, to me that crosses the line and the League — and our ownership felt that, too.

“Sean crossed that line. He won’t continue with us on the trip. We’ve always professed that there is nobody that’s ever bigger than our group or bigger than the team.

“Sean said something that just doesn’t paint our organization in a good light, and appropriate steps are being taken.”

I think Barnaby said it best: “As a former player, I don’t agree with the suspension. Trust me, I said a lot of nasty things to a lot of different players but everything stayed on the ice. Bringing it out in the media is classless and stupid.

“I’ve played in that organization and it is a class organization. I think he’s played his last game as a Dallas Star.”

I, for one, will not be upset in the least bit if those sentiments hold true.

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This is going to get lengthy…

So I woke up at 8:00 am for nothing because right now it’s 8:35, and still no Derek Roy report.  They just told me that he’d be on after they played Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours,” which is fine by me because I love him too, but after that, they’re now playing “Sexy Can I?”  I’m a little miffed.

ANYWAYS…
There is some silver lining, in these finer points provided by today’s TBN:
–  Ryan Miller, on his teammates, specifically the ones he played in Rochester with, and the ones he now plays with:  “I’m sitting here sever years deep with a few guys, and I consider them some of my best friends.  It’s just kind of the attitude.  You’re around them, you get to know each other, you have a history.  I know just a ton about these guys, where they come from, what they’re all about, what they want to do in their life.  Not just in hockey, but everything, because you have time to talk.  You’re sitting on the bus, and you’re talking about everything.  You’re on the plane, you’re goofing around, and you’re talking about life.  It’s what you do with your friends–your best friends.”

–  Ryan and Paul traveled across Europe together this past summer, and there were “standing next to [each other] in the fall of 2005, when their lifelong dreams were fulfilled…  One day Lindy Ruff summoned them.  Surrounded by uncertainty, they marched to see the coach.  Guys, he said, it’s time you found a place to live.”

–  Lindy Ruff:  “We had a winning year last year; but it wasn’t a playoff year.  In my book, winning is calculated by being able to play past the regular season.  We didn’t quite make it, and the character part of this is you learn from your disappointments.”

–  Despite playing only 48 games last season, Tim Connolly was 6th on the team in scoring (40 points), 3rd in assists (33), 4th in home scoring (29), and 3rd in home assists (24).  I guess when he’s really, really bad, he’s actually really, really good.  That could explain A LOT.

–  Connolly had this to say:  “I’m by far in the best shape of my life, bar non.  All the physical testing results are the highest I’ve had in my career.  It was a long summer of rehab and training and getting ready.  The goal is playing every game.  Contribute at both ends of the rink and contribute on the special teams because I feel like I can make the team better in those areas.”  A later quote said this:  “I’m not authorized to talk about injuries,’ a smirking Connolly said.”  HE SMIRKED.  THIS IS NOT OUR TIM CONNOLLY.  He must be an imposter.
–  Matthew Barnaby will appear on SportsCenter on Wednesday and Thursday nights and also make rounds of ESPNews an ESPN radio and write for ESPN.com.
–  AND YAY AND PROPS TO FELLOW BLOGGERS HEATHER B AND KATEBITS FOR HAVING A SIZABLE ARTICLE WRITTEN ABOUT THEM!!!!!
Derek Roy FINALLY had this to say:
–  The team is ready and raring to go.
–  The team has been focusing on defense.
–  The officials are going to be cracking down on obstruction.
–  His goals?  “Pretty much the same…  More leadership.”
–  “Not just making the playoffs, going deep in the playoffs.”
–  Craig Rivet “is great.”
–  Craig Rivet is “a 30-year-old trapped in a 14-year-old’s body.”
–  They’re going to play tricks on the newbie.
–  He’s expecting to be on the PK.
–  He likes to block shots.
–  Who’s available to date?  Himself, Ales, Tim, Drew, Adam, Paul, Pat K…  They stopped there.  (He lied though, because we’re dating.  And MJ is with Adam, and Kim is with Paul, so…  But he did confirm that Danny is engaged.)
–  “That’s a random question.”
–  Wants a cure for cancer.
–  Perfect pizza?  Taco pizza.
–  Most embarrassing moment?  Had an empty net in a championship game and missed.  Shot into the corner, and then fell down and ran into the post.
–  Worst pick up line he used or heard?  “I don’t use them… but ‘How much does a polar bear weigh?’  ‘Enough to break the ice.”
–  Believes in ghosts.
–  Identifies most with Vinnie on Entourage.  His brother (which one?) would be Drama.
–  Identifies with the Roadrunner.  Because he’s fast.
–  Likes to play Guitar Hero.
–  Has a guitar, but admittedly needs lessons.
Oh, and Clint Malarchuk shot himself in the face.  Don’t worry; he’s okay.  At least, as okay as he can be.  Apparently he was shooting rabbits on his Nevada property and was reloading the gun and it went off.  At least, that’s what they were saying on Kiss before Derek came on.
And the TBN also had this in the Life & Arts section:  Country star Kellie Pickler last year battled depression and suffered severe reactions to antidepressants after struggling with family problems and an emotional breakup with her boyfriend, professional hockey player Jordin Tootoo.  I’d be emotional, too, if I had just broken up with him, although I feel my emotions would be the exact opposite of Kellie’s, because I’d be absolutely elated.  Whatever, though.

Take a gander at this.


I’m all for second chances, but I think this is a bit extreme.  If it were enough to punish him for intentionally throwing his stick–into the crowd where, hey!, there are fans sitting and watching hockey–by suspending him for life from the ECHL, I’m not so sure that he should be back.  I’m sure that was a heat of the moment thing, but then again, Chris Simon, Chris Simon (twice, I know), and Chris Pronger would know a thing about that.

This story makes me think of a Buffalo/Toronto game I attended when I was a kid; I forget what happened, but somehow Wendyl Clark’s stick ended up in about the fifth row in the stands.  He was being a whiney bitch about it, and eventually demanded that the fan who caught it throw it back to him.  When this happened, apparently Matt Barnaby was outraged.  He, sitting on the Buffalo bench, got up and grabbed one of his own sticks, skated across the ice, and tossed that one to the fan.  That’s Class (notice, with a capital C).

Now, on a completely different subject, Kim and I were picking up a few things at the Amherst Street Wegmans yesterday evening, when walking by the beer section we pass this guy who I absolutely SWORE was Paul Gaustad.  It wasn’t, unfortunately, but it had to have been his evil twin.  He looked just like Paul did with his playoff beard, but we figured it probably wasn’t him before we passed again because, despite his similar height, he was hunched over a bit, carrying crappy beer, and was wearing Tommy Hilfiger khakis (I just think Paul would have a better label on his environmentally-friendly self).

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