In Michael Connelly's novel, THE POET, a journalist helps the FBI track down a serial killer. At one point the question is asked -- how can someone be so evil? The agents say that killers like the one dubbed "The Poet" are "from the moon," because there is just no other way to explain their behavior. They are just not from this world.
Now, trying to explain why Sean Avery does and says what he does and says is a lot like trying to figure out what makes a man like Charles Manson or Ted Bundy tick. But I'll give it a shot.
By now, you've heard what Avery had to say to Canadian television before the Stars' game Tuesday against the Flames. It was calculated, deliberate, offensive and shocking. That Gary Bettman suspended him indefinitely surprised almost no one, despite the fact that this may have been the first time in league history -- or in any league's history -- that a player was suspended for an off-the-field comment.
So other than the fact that it was Avery being Avery, why would he say such a thing? I have a theory that's a little wacky, but then again, so is Avery so there's a good chance I'm right.
You know the term "suicide by cop?" It's where someone commits a crime to put himself in a position to be shot by police and, hopefully, killed.
Well, I think Sean Avery is a very troubled and conflicted individual. And saying what he said prior to the game against the Flames was an attempt at "suicide by Phaneuf." Because if Avery had played, he would have ended up a smear on the boards or a spot on the ice after Phaneuf got through with him.
Maybe Avery was simply trying to get in Phaneuf's head and get him off his game, or get him to retaliate and get tossed, which would theoretically help the Stars' cause. But there could be more going on here. Read Scott Burnside's take on the situation, which references an ugly incident with a fan in Boston. He notes that there are those who think Avery needs professional help. Add me to the list.
Sean Avery, Darcy Tucker, Dale Hunter -- all players who are nasty but have often been called players you hate, but you'd love to have on your team. You can have them.
Ask the Stars if they still want Avery.