Has Avery Just Played Himself Off This Team?
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03-17-2011, 11:04 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: New Jersey
Avery hasn't been neutered by Torts, he's been neutered by the NHL and himself. And it shouldn't be any big surprise. We all knew going in when Sather claimed him a few years ago that he was going to be held to a different standard and that would most likely affect his game...and it has. He gets away with nothing. The refs have their eye on him at all times and are always quick to blow the whistle. There is no playing on the edge for him. The edge that he always knew and made him effective, is now way over the edge. He can't be the same player he once was without spending the entire game in the box.
At the same time, he's also lost his effectiveness as an agitator. These kinds of players have a shelf life. After a while, the other teams FINALLY start to realize that the best way to handle guys like Avery, Ruutu, etc is to ignore them. Let them play the role of a pest and take penalties, rather than going back at them and getting called on a reaction penalty or a frustration penalty.
When you take Avery for what he is and not allow him to play his mind games he becomes just another hockey player...and not an especially good one. For $2M a year, it's not bad. The problem is that he just doesn't fit a role on this current team since we have people to do it cheaper and better.
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