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Stars' Sean Avery -- Chapter II

Ricky Gervais, left, as David, and Mckenzie Crook as Gareth in the BBC America production of The Office.

DALLAS -- Well, that solves that problem.

It was really going to be hard not to flip the channel tonight on press row during a timeout -- luckily, there are many of them in the NBA -- to find out whether the Stars' Sean Avery survived the Dallas-Calgary game with his body parts intact. That game was set to start an hour after the Clippers-Mavericks contest.

Must-see TV, indeed. But NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman acted decisively and suspended Avery indefinitely, so, no, there would be no chance to see if the Flames would go after Avery.

Colleague and hockey scribe Chris Foster has an excellent take on the Avery situation, and fills in the background on how Avery has proved to be detrimental force on his previous teams, and now Dallas.

We can't, and won't, repeat what Avery said about the girlfriend of the Flames' Dion Phaneuf, who was once Avery's girlfriend. This has caused quite a bit of discussion in newsrooms throughout Canada, whether to use the offending phrase or not.

I first heard the demeaning phrase on the old BBC comedy "The Office," when the resident lout Gareth used it when he was talking about a character named Rachel. Doubt that Avery got it from the show, but then again, he does seem to have more in common with Gareth than he does with his teammates.

-- Lisa Dillman

Photo: A 2004 file photo shows Ricky Gervais, left, as David, and Mckenzie Crook as Gareth in the BBC America production of The Office. Credit: Jack Barnes / BBC

 
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