I'm sure a lot of you have already seen this morning's blogpost by Mike Heika concerning the comments from Brad Richards and Steve Ott on the failed Sean Avery experiment. I came aboard this blog after Avery had been claimed by the Rangers so I didn't feel the need to drege that topic back up.
But now that it's been broached, again, with Avery preparing to play the Caps while his former teammates are on the golf course...
First, it appears that on the coaching staff and teammates front, every opportunity was given to Avery to make him feel like a part of the team, and it just didn't happen as Tippett notes:
"Everybody had the intention that it was going to work, and it just didn't work. When we signed Avery, it was a situation where we thought it was going to enhance our team, and it ended up going the other way. Tobias Stephan came in and we thought he was going to have a better training camp than he did...he didn't. And those are situations where you look at your personnel coming in and you try to make it work, but those were just two situations where it didn't work."
But despite all the best intentions from the Stars side, it was just something that had no hope of working out according to Brad Richards:
There are a lot of different things going on with Sean. I don't think you're going to find another situation like that. It works for him in New York because I think he is very comfortable there and that's where he needs to be. It's not the fault of anybody. It just wasn't going to work out."
Steve Ott wonders 'what if Hully had just talked to us prior to making the signing?'
Hopefully, when it comes to re-signing guys or bringing in guys, everybody from the core group to the coaching staff to the general managers is a part of that. ''
When word that Dallas had interest in Avery first came down last summer, I shot the idea down because I felt the Stars already had that kind of an agitator in Steve Ott. And unlike Avery, I don't think Ott had fully grown into that role as he proved this year by scoring a career high 19 goals.
Part of that, I'm sure, was helped by the edict thrown down by the medical staff and the coaching staff that Thou Shalt Not Drop Thy Gloves When Thy Hand is Injured. But still, the numbers here don't lie. Ott was just as agitating as Avery AND also managed to put the puck in the net quite a number of times this season.
I also felt that signing Avery wouldn't have addressed one of the most pressing needs of either finding a scoring winger, or keeping the one they already had in Nik Hagman.
The evidence after the fact suggests the Stars should have used that money to re-sign Niklas Hagman, who had scored 19 goals through 58 games before a Brendan Witt elbow to his head knocked him out for a little over a month.
After he came back, he had potted just one goal in six games before netting a pair of goals in the season finale against the Senators to give him a total of 22 goals this season. For comparison sake, Sean Avery scored three goals as a Dallas Stars and five as a New York Ranger in a combined 41 games of action.
Obviously, that's exactly a half season. So if you extrapolate those totals out to an entire 82 game season, Avery's goal totals still only get to within six the number of goals Hagger scored in just 65 games.
I don't even want to begin to think how many extra wins that would have been worth.