Apologies for the lateness on yesterday's big BoC signing (today: Rob Blake...HAHAHA) Sean Avery. Not since Mike Ribeiro signed a contract extension have I been so compelled to break this thing down in a "Good News - Bad News" format.
The term is four years. Sure, Avery is not especially old and four years isn't exactly a Wade Redden/Ryan Malone/Alexei Yashin type prison term. But for years, the name Avery has been synonymous with instability (along with scandal and boiling hatred). In an ideal world, Avery would be on a perpetual Teemu Selanne plan of 1-year contracts.
The Stars were already a tough team to play against, but Avery gives the Stars the potential to have four borderline power forwards. Avery and Steve Ott serve the purpose of distracting the opposing team with borderline hits, face washes (and in the case of Avery) a whole lot of irritating yapping. Add them to former Selke winner Jere Lehtinen and garbage goal expert Brendan Morrow and you have a very, very nice collection of sandpaper guys.
The Stars have little to no cap room remaining, so that $4 million per year won't be going to a guy who can put some pucks in the net. Honestly, the Stars would be lucky to squeeze 20 goals per year out of that thick-skulled fashionisto.
In some ways, he's a one of a kind combination of versatility, acidic douchey-ness, moderate offensive ability and solid defense. He's even got a slight bit of Claude Lemieux in him, with 5 goals and 12 points in 18 career playoff games.
Avery isn't quite the "missing ingredient" but he's an interesting addition. His versatility will be useful since the Stars have a couple injury-prone forwards. Really, he could be a good fit with every line. He could help give Morrow and Ribeiro some valuable space. He could give Brad Richards and Loui E a big body and crease crasher to go along with two dipsy do dunkeroos.* He could even center a line with Steve Ott and thus allow Mike Modano to skate alongside Richards.
Of course, he has an incredibly high chance of getting injured for huge chunks of his contract. And an incredibly high probability of getting kicked out of Mike Cuban's private box. It seems almost certain that he'll infuriate a Dallas debutante.
He might just be what he is: an injury prone player with a 20-goal ceiling and a penchant for suspensions, stupidity and bad penalties.
But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't intrigued.
* - Scientific term via Dick Vitale.