New York Rangers coach John Tortorella met with the media today to discuss the pending return of Sean Avery. According to Torts, the knee injury to big forward Mike Rupp was the driving factor in the decision to bring the controversial forward back up from the AHL.
“Rupper has a lot to do with this. We’re concerned about that,” Tortorella said, as reported by NHL.com. “This is the right decision. It’s the right hockey decision now and it was the right hockey decision when we sent Sean down. That’s where it’s at.”
When Avery was cut and sent down to the Connecticut Whale following Rangers training camp, the explanation from Tortorella was a blunt one: “I think we have better players than Sean Avery — plain and simple.”
Apparently that’s not the case anymore. With Rupp out indefinitely and Dale Weise (waived) in Vancouver now, Avery is the next best option to play the energy role the lacklustre Rangers need.
“Sean’s biggest strength are his legs. He’s a terrific skater,” Tortorella said. “A big part of his game is his forechecking and his play underneath the hashmarks. We want him to play to his strengths and also work on the other parts of the game away from the puck.”
Tortorella didn’t say it, but there’s probably another thing he wants out of Avery: Not to be a self-absorbed clown.