Why is VERSUS Afraid of Sean Avery?

We all know that VERSUS has had it rough as the carrier of the National Hockey League.  Much of the criticism is unwarranted.  This might be one such case. 

There were complaints all week as to why none of Sean Avery’s return to the New York area has been televised.  We can understand them not showing the game against the Devils, as it was on a Wednesday.  But to not show him against his old team, the Rangers, on a VERSUS gamenight (Monday)?

Well, the truth is, the Stars profile has dipped on National TV the past few years.  Coming out of the lockout season, the Stars were on TV a count of seven times, one below the NHL-limit.  Look how it has dipped after the jump.

Dallas Stars Appearances on VERSUS 
2005-06 – 7
2006-07 – 6
2007-08 – 5 
2008-09 – 4 

You see the trend, and for the first three years, you understand, because the Stars were considered an unreliable team, who’s fanbase had gone all Atlanta Braves on it, and started ignoring the team until they decided to get their shit together and win a playoff series.  

Well, in 2008, that happened.  The Stars made it to the conference finals, and put a pretty good late scare into the Red Wings in that series.  Ask any Detroit fan, they were scared to death when that series went back to Dallas.  But the point is, the Stars had won their fanbase back.  Not only that, but they added two of the biggest NHL newsmakers of the year to their team in Fabian Brunnstrom and one, Sean Avery, seen here in the eskimo douchebag section of Manhattan:

So why is it, that with the Stars and their fanbase on an upswing, that the network that carries the NHL ignores it?  Not just VERSUS, mind you, NBC only has them up for 1 potential flex appearance, and it’s up against a Detroit-Pittsburgh game on that day.  Wonder what game is getting picked?

Anyway, I don’t think any network in their right mind chooses Florida-Montreal of Dallas-Rangers, like the VERSUS network did Monday.  It simply doesn’t make any sense.  I think that the NHL is doing it’s best – in all it’s misguided stupidity – to keep Avery from getting too far out of hand, and by doing so, their stifling their cable network’s chances to draw some casual fan buzz and maybe a few less “Where’s that channel?” jokes.

Oh well, Cats-Habs on a Monday sounds just DANDY.

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