I asked a few people yesterday if there were any lessons to take from the Sean Avery situation, and there were some interesting responses.
Center Brad Richards said:
``That situation is on an island. It's not going to happen again. I am not going to sit here and bash Sean, I never have. I don't think it was right, right from the start. I don't think he felt comfortable and I know he wasn't accepted into the team the way other players have been. There are reasons for that. He's done things that would cause that. 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."
Winger Steve Ott disagreed slightly, inferring that there could have been more input from the players before the signing:
``It's tough. I think that's more for the general managers. 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. ''
He said he felt the players did their part after the signing:
``We went over and above to do anything to make him a Dallas Star.''
When asked about the communication between the GMs and the coaches on both the Avery situation and the Tobias Stephan situation, Stars coach Dave Tippett said he felt the lines were open:
``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.''
I think Richards' nailed it as far as lessons learned _ Avery is a unique situation. But I also think there does need to be more communication with the players going forward in situations like this. I know free agency is hectic, but you should go into like a draft where you have your preparation done ahead of time.
_ Mike Heika