I'm not big on dwelling on the past and I have already moved on from the Sean Avery fiasco. But seeing as we're all new together here at DBD I figured one Avery story wouldn't hurt much. I promise to minimize these posts as much as possible. -BW
Today after the morning skate Mike Modano spoke to the gathered media and gave his thoughts on the Sean Avery saga.
"I think we would have analyzed (the signing) a little bit more over the summer before you go into the free-agent market. Do a little more homework and detailed analysis (and get the opinions) of players who have played with him, or how guys feel about it," said Wednesday the 19-year veteran.
"It could have been avoided, I think, but I think (co-GM) Brett (Hull) felt having him as a teammate (while with the Detroit Red Wings), he saw something in him.
"Talent-wise, he's a very skilled kid. But I think character-wise and his personality didn't blend with the criteria that we've always had as Dallas Stars. Since Bob Gainey was here, we implemented a kind of personality and character-figure in Tom Hicks. That's kind of where it went off and tail-spinned, and got corrected," Modano added.
Modano expressed the exact same sentiments I felt when the Stars initially signed Avery. I wasn't a big fan of his type of play when he was (most recently) in New York and I was unsure that his style and personality would be welcome in the Dallas locker room. Brenden Morrow specifically said last season that Avery was a guy he would never want as a teammate; well a few months later his nightmare came true.
I don't fault Brett Hull for trying. The last big splash the Stars had made in free agency was the signing of Hull himself and the co-G.M. was only doing what he thought would help this team get better. Hull was a teammate of Avery's in Detroit and no doubt saw something in him as a young and skilled player that he thought would help the Dallas Stars be successful down the road. Unfortunately, it had been a few years since Avery and Hull were on the same team and Avery was well down the road of selfishness and too worried about his public persona. It was evident when he was in New York that Avery had started to put too much emphasis on his activities outside the sport and Hull thought he could bring him back around to being a team player.
There's no doubt there is a difference in this team since Sean Avery was suspended on December 2nd. The Stars have slowly started to find their identity and have seen young players such as Loui Eriksson and James Neal become playmakers and leaders on a team in need of both. Mike Modano has returned to his play of ten years prior and Brad Richards has been the team's most consistent veteran. After being buried at the bottom of the Western Conference the Stars now find themselves four points out of eighth place and are primed for a run at a playoff spot.
Finally, here is some concrete evidence of how the Stars have improved since Avery's departure: