The Problem with Sean AveryAugust 17, 2010, by
People keep saying Wade Redden needs to be in Hartford, that the Rangers don’t have a plan B if he plays well. There are concerns that Redden could be a bad influence on the kids in the A if he does go there. Well, there’s another player that maybe the Rangers haven’t accounted for and that’s Sean Avery. The Grate One has never seemed to click with Tortorella; left wing seems crowded with Prospal, Frolov and Dubinsky all competition at the spot and then there’s Avery’s infamous personality.
It needs to be repeated that Avery can be a very effective player for the Rangers. It could be said that Avery needs to be effective for this year’s club to be a playoff team. The problem is, where will he play? Avery needs minutes. Tortorella banished him to the 4th line once before and he was ineffective. Avery is best when he’s on the 2nd line making a nuisance of himself, going to the corners and being pro active. A line featuring Avery and Callahan on the flanks makes for a nice two-way, forechecking compliment to the Gaborik/Frolov line. Will it get a chance? Time will tell.
Avery needs to make the team or surely he won’t be in New York. Regardless of Redden’s cap hit going to Connecticut it’s hard to see how the Rangers can afford Avery’s cap hit to linger if he isn’t playing. It’s also hard to imagine they want his personality to linger if he’s not playing but right now there really doesn’t seem an opening for him. This is an issue that potentially won’t go away until either Avery plays on opening night or he’s moved (an unlikely scenario). The Coach keeps insisting he sees Dubinsky at wing, Frolov wasn’t brought in to be anything less than a primetime scorer and Prospal won’t be outside the top six (regardless whether that be at center or wing) so really it seems Avery is being tabbed, at best, for a 3rd line job however there seems to be an awful lot of players competing for spots on that line. If Avery doesn’t play do we really see him making his way to Hartford? It’s not a good scenario for any party involved.
Sean Avery and everything that he is, is a distraction. When it’s to the opposition it’s a good thing and the Rangers are better for it but if he doesn’t play, doesn’t play well and often he will become a distraction to the Rangers, and the NY media. It would be an unwelcome distraction.