Tag: Sean Avery

Sean Avery

Report: Sather keeping Avery from other NHL teams


Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports Rangers GM Glen Sather is intentionally keeping Sean Avery in the minors — this despite two NHL clubs looking to claim him off re-entry waivers.

According to Brooks’ sources, one team has flat-out asked the Rangers to recall Avery while another team is prepared to make a claim should he become available. The catch, though, is that if Avery comes up from AHL Connecticut and gets claimed, the Rangers would be on the hook for half his salary (approx. $445,000) — which is essentially dead cap space.

Ergo, Sather is looking to trade Avery rather than pay him to play elsewhere.

More, from the Post:

When Sather was asked yesterday by The Post if the Rangers would agree to put Avery through the re-entry process, the GM replied via email: “Not now.”

The NHL has calculated that scenario would theoretically cost the Rangers $2 million in available space at the Feb. 27 trade deadline: $1 million of accrued space for which the club would be charged plus $1 million it therefore would not save.

Let’s be clear here — despite the optics, this isn’t a vendetta to keep Avery out of the National Hockey League. It’s merely some pre-trade deadline maneuvering by Slats (that just happens to involve a polarizing figure.) The Rangers have been up against the cap ceiling all season and need available cap space to potentially make a deal by Feb. 27 — which, given their spot atop the Eastern Conference, is an option they’d like to have.

Columnist gives detailed analysis of NHL rats

Sami Salo, Brad Marchand

Toronto Star columnist Joseph Hall has compiled an interesting list of hockey rodents.

Yes, rodents. They’re all the rage right now thanks to two incidents — one, Toronto GM Brian Burke’s “the rats will take this game over” rant from last week and two, noted Boston Bruins rat Brad Marchand getting suspended five games for low-bridging Vancouver’s Sami Salo.

Bottom line: It’s a rat’s world out there. Everybody else is just living in it, trying to get by, scraping cheese off the tops of discarded pizza boxes.

In his piece, Hall identified eight top rats — or “agitators,” a label they’d probably prefer — as well as a host of honorable (dishonorable?) mentions. See what you think.

Vancouver: Alex Burrows, Maxim Lapierre

Quotable: “Burrows, an effective scorer, has been accused of performing penalty drawing dives — a signature rat stunt — while Lapierre has a trash-talking reputation and has dished out his share of questionable hits.”

Pittsburgh: Matt Cooke

Quotable: “Cooke has cleaned up his act considerably this year after Penguins management told him the routine would end his career.”

Dallas: Steve Ott

Quotable: “Unlike many in this category, Ott will throw down this gloves. But he’ll take it to the gutter.”

Tampa Bay: Steve Downie

Quotable: “His coup de grace came in 2007 as a Flyer when he launched himself off the ice to take the Senators’ Dean McAmmond into the boards.”

Chicago: Dan Carcillo, Dave Bolland

Quotable: “With his maniacal, gap-toothed grin, Dan Carcillo resembles a young Bobby Clarke, the prototype in this category. Teammate Bolland is know for both his lively stick and mouth.”

Buffalo: Patrick Kaleta

Quotable: “[He] was suspended three games in November for head butting Jakub Voracek — the third time in two years he’s been caught using that technique.”

Hall also tagged Columbus’ Derek Dorsett, Nashville’s Jordin Tootoo, New Jersey’s David Clarkson, Ottawa’s Nick Foligno, Phoenix’s Raffi Torres and Toronto’s Colby Armstrong as “Agitators All”. Even if you disagree with the classification, you have to admit there’s a large number of ratlike agitators in the league right now and, compellingly, a number of quality teams employing them.

Of the current top 10 teams in the league, Vancouver, Boston, Chicago, Ottawa and Nashville have players on this list (also: the first-place Rangers only recently parted ways with Sean Avery; fourth-place St. Louis has Scott Nichol.)

It’s interesting to see more and more teams go this route, and it begs the question: Like they once did with enforcers, will every team soon employ a full-time rat?

Briere supports fighting as rat deterrent

NHL fight

We’ve heard a lot from the anti-fighting crusaders lately. Now here are a few opinions from the other side, starting with some rather pointed comments by diminutive Flyers forward Danny Briere.

“For people who haven’t played, sometimes it’s tough to understand,” Briere told Fox Sports. “But most players feel fighting leaves the game cleaner.

“Guys like Sean Avery, Patrick Kaleta, Max Lapierre who run around and do dirty plays have to answer for their acts. You take fighting out, every team would have four or five of them.

“Fighting makes those guys pick their spots. And when they cross that line they have to answer the bell.”

Of course, hockey players don’t have to answer the bell like they used to – not with the instigator rule. And for Hall of Fame forward Bob Clarke, that’s a bad thing.

“The game was safest when players were allowed to defend one another,” said Clarke. “The league has taken all that out.

“Two referees were put in not to make the game better but to make sure players couldn’t get even with each other. Players who never threw a check now hit because there are no repercussions. The league has been suspending players forever and it never has stopped the goofiness.”

Fox Sports also spoke to Edmonton GM Kevin Lowe, Toronto GM Brian Burke, St. Louis president John Davidson and legendary enforcer Dave Schultz, but we won’t steal all the quotes.

None of the pro-fighting arguments are particularly ground-breaking, but they’re worth noting given they’re being made by people intimately involved in the game.

Avery: “I’m hungry to prove people wrong”


A day after being waived for the second time this season, New York Rangers forward Sean Avery had some parting words for the organization and its head coach, John Tortorella.

“I have a lot to prove, and I have a lot of game left after not being allowed to play my game for the last four years,” Avery told the New York Post. “I guarantee that I’ll play my [expletive] off and give everything I have for the team that will give me the chance I wasn’t getting [from coach John Tortorella].

“That team will be getting a guy who has a lot to prove.”

The 31-year-old winger claims to have plenty of game left. While he never seemed to escape Torts’ doghouse this year, Avery was moderately effective after being recalled from AHL Hartford, scoiring three goals and recording a plus-2 rating in 15 games for the Rangers. Brooks noted Avery “played energetically, effectively and with discipline, taking one penalty that left the Rangers shorthanded.”

Avery’s agent, Pat Morris, has been granted permission to seek a trade for his client, and Avery’s comments suggest any team that acquires him would get more sandpaper than what he showed on Broadway.

“I can be the type of difference-maker I was in New York when I was there the first time and allowed to play my game,” he said. “And that’s what I’ll be for any team that’s willing to look beyond the rhetoric and see my value on the ice. I’ll give everything I have to help that team win.”

Rangers waive Sean Avery for second time this season

Toronto Maple Leafs v New York Rangers

New York Rangers GM Glen Sather got his way earlier this season by bringing Sean Avery back up through waivers, but it only seemed like a matter of time before he’d be out of favor once again. That time appears to be now, as ESPN New York’s Katie Strang reports that the Rangers waived Avery – again.

Any of the NHL’s other 29 teams are free to snatch the infamous agitator at his “full” price of just under $2 million.* If past league behavior is any indication, it’s unlikely that teams will have much interest in him unless he goes on re-entry waivers (again). Even then, most – if not all – of the league’s other GMs are unlikely to want to deal with the Avery circus.

The well-publicized pest has three goals and zero assists in 15 games, with a relatively subdued 21 PIM. It’s fairly well known that he essentially lives in John Tortorella’s doghouse, though, which is illustrated quite clearly by the fact that he received less than 10 minutes of ice time in all but two of his appearances this season and has been a scratch for nine consecutive games. It’s reasonable to wonder if he could be more effective if given a more legitimate chance.

Avery probably loves playing in New York, but for the sake of his career, he should root for another team to pick him up on waivers or re-entry waivers (if they call him back up). He’ll be an unrestricted free agent in July and his value will be at an all-time low if he fails to prove that he can still be a viable asset at the NHL level.

* – His cap hit is $1,937,500, to be exact. Full is in quotations marks because the Dallas Stars are actually responsible for another $1,937,500 thanks to their mishap with Avery.