View Full Version : Avery's Back: Alert Page Six!

10-20-2008, 02:05 PM
October 20, 2008
New York Post

"Sean Avery returns to the Garden tonight as an anti-hero. Number 16 in the Stars' lineup understands that. What he does not understand, however, are implications from one-time teammates that the Rangers are better off without him.

"If anyone feels that I was disruptive or had my own agenda, I wish those guys would have the [guts] to say it to my face," Avery told The Post by phone late last week. "I don't think I was disruptive or selfish.

"All I did was give everything I had for the team, I don't think that was a question. If my [former] teammates feel that way about me, that would certainly be very disappointing.

"I played hard for my teammates."

Steve Valiquette and Brandon Dubinsky have been the two Rangers most outspoken in drawing a contrast between last year and this year. Valiquette has referenced "guys pulling in different directions." Dubinsky has cited "a lot of personal agendas."

"I don't want to single out Sean, but there were conflicts of personalities in the workplace," Valiquette told The Post on Friday when asked if he had been referring to Avery. "Some friction can be constructive for a team, but there was too much of it last year and it had an adverse impact on our season.

"Sean was great for us on the ice. I'll leave it at that."

When Dubinsky was asked following Saturday night's 5-4 overtime loss in Detroit to whom specifically he'd been referring, the sophomore center declined to name a name.

"I'm not going to tell you," he said. "I personally enjoyed last year - personally.

"But this year is a lot different."

Last year, Avery was the People's Choice. Tonight, he could get booed. He gets it.

"I would hope I get a good response from the crowd because I certainly gave my all for the team and the fans, but the great thing about New York is how loyal the fans are," said Avery, who signed a four-year, $15.5M free agent contract with Dallas after rejecting Glen Sather's four-year, $12 million offer.

"So if I'm booed, I guess it wouldn't upset me, knowing how much they love the Rangers. It's one of the reasons I loved playing here so much," he said. "To tell you the truth, I'm trying not to think about it. I'm going to have to watch my emotions.

"I'm definitely going to have to watch myself. I don't want to do anything to hurt my team." "

Click here for full article

10-20-2008, 03:18 PM
The Avery legacy: It’s complicated

October 20

Now that Sean Avery is gone, there is a growing sense from his old teammates that his act in New York extended beyond the eye-rolling, boys-will-be-boys variety—something Larry Brooks touches upon today.

For instance, following the Rangers’ home-opening win over Chicago, Brandon Dubinsky made the remark that this year’s team relishes being together, and that “that’s certainly something that has changed here.”

When I asked Dubinsky that night what he meant by that, the sophomore center said he wasn’t looking to disparage last year’s team, but this year’s group is simply closer. If you need to do the math, consider that Dubinsky this year has already spoken glowingly about Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan, but not about Avery (yes, he could also be dissing Martin Straka, Marek Malik, and Jason Strudwick, but let’s just say I doubt it).

Throw in some pointed remarks about Avery to Brooks from the otherwise genial Stephen Valiquette, and I detect at least one trend: Dubinsky and Valiquette sat on either side of Avery in the MSG Training Center locker room, so they probably suffered the brunt of Avery’s running commentary.

None of this is necessarily a surprise. Even when Avery is here, there was always the sense that his presence in the locker room was a complicated balance. I have never questioned that he made the Rangers better, because I think we all can agree that he made them a far more difficult opponent to face. But I also thought the team made the right move in not re-signing him to a long-term deal because his personality and his vulnerability to injury made him an unwise investment.

It certainly helps the Rangers get over Avery when they’ve started 6-1-1 and they guy they essentially brought in to replace him, Aaron Voros, is currently among the NHL’s leading scorers. Maybe we should revisit the topic in a couple of months, but given the significance of Avery returning to the Garden tonight, the move looks pretty good now.