The Problem with Sean Avery

August 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.


  1. MIke says:

    I have to disagree with you. Since when a 10-13 goal scorer( can you tell about Aves like that?) a 2nd liner? Aves is very moody and inconsistent person. Is Torts fault that NHL put Shean in his problems? Having instigator on 2nd line it’s absurd. He has to fight for his spot at best 3rd line.

    • jurgenno88 says:

      He’s not just an instigator though. He’s actually a very talented player. He can hold his own on a 2nd line. Its not always about have the most skilled player on each line but which combinations work best.

      In his first stint in NY he was an impact player and almost point/game. In his first year after that he was on course for 45 points if he hadnt got injured.

      When he came back from Dallas he was an impact player (12pts in 17 games)… Too many people’s personal opinions about Avery the person cause them to forget the guy can actually play. and yes, play upto a 2nd line level.

      As a Ranger he has 96pts in 176 games. That pro-rates to a 46pt season. Throw in his agitating skills and thats not enough for a 2nd line player?

      If he can show his off his whole game in camp he deserves a shot on the 2nd.

  2. Section 121 says:

    If White plays then Avery’s spot is in jeopardy as surely Dubi will play wing. If White is done then top six will be AA, Cally, Dubi, Frolov, Gabby, and Prospal.

    I agree that Avery and Cally on the flanks would be very effective but I think this is a 3rd line tandem with Christensen in the middle. This could be a great high energy, forechecking, momentum turning line with goals generated off of high pressure and turnovers.

    The problem is that no one can play 2nd RW except Cally right now. Here’s my latest realistic line combos for the start of the season (assuming White is done).


    If Avery is not effective, then perhaps Drury would play third line LW except for defensive zone draws where he would move to center.

    A trade still seams emminent with the glut of players up front and cap space needed.

    • Section 121 says:

      oh yeah, seems – nice one

      2013 Stanley Cup Champion?



      Who will be captain?

      Give Dubi the “A” now as this will be his team in two years when Dru is gone.

      • Dave says:



        That’s no knock on Dubi, I just think Werek is going to be that good. Also, Stepan’s FO skills are pretty terrible, he may be a wing soon.

        That’s one hell of a top-six either way.

        • Section 121 says:

          So for the start of the 2012-13 season we would have players at x years old;

          AA – 24
          Cally – 27
          Dubi – 26
          Gabby – 30
          Grachev – 22
          Kreider – 21
          MZA – 25
          Stepan -22
          Werek – 21

          With the top six avgerage age of approx 23 and two of our first liners potentially as rookies?

          Call me crazy but I think Dubi approaching his prime at age 26 will be better than Werek at 21 as a rookie.

          I’ll say it again; if Dubi plays first line center this year, he will score 60. If he plays wing, he’ll stay hovering around 40 to 45.

          • Dave says:

            Good point, but it can be done. Kane/Toews were top liners at 18. Sure, Kreider and Werek aren’t on the same talent level, but having two young guys on the top line can be done.

            • Section 121 says:

              Yeah, Kane was #1 and Toews #3 overall and in their rookie yrs they put up 72 and 54 pts respectively and the team did not make the playoffs.

              Our situation is a little different; I wouldn’t expect too much if Werek and Kreider are leading our team in 2013.

        • Section 121 says:

          Oh yeah, who will be Captain? In my opinion, you have to build the team leadership down the middle (i.e. 1st line center as Captain).

          • Dave says:

            Cally would wind up being captain at that point. I would give Dubi and Staal A’s.

    • Dave says:

      Those are essentially the lines I have too, with Boyle flanking as a 13th forward.

  3. Adam says:

    If Avery isn’t a Ranger on opening night, that might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for me with this team. There’s no way trash like Drury, Todd White, and some scrub midget like MZA deserve a spot over Aves. It was well documented last year that Avery developed a leadership role and Torts HATES him, he doesn’t wanna see the team follow his lead.

    • jurgenno88 says:

      i certainly wont give up on the team but i would be disappointed if Avery isnt here. I feel he has alot to give but he and Torts dont seem ideally suited. Hopefully Avery has a great camp, and forces Torts to give him good ice time.

  4. Gleb says:

    I think Avery is a little more then a 13 goal scorer, of 45 point player. First of all production-wise he can do much more (IMHO)and score 20. Second he is a real difference maker. He can single-handedly turn the game around. I’m sure many remember newly acquired Kovy getting major penalty few minutes before the end of the game, in which Kovy really was expected to score

    • Section 121 says:

      That’s right! Kovolchuk was (or still is) a head case whom Avery exploited beautifully that game.