Update 3:00pm: Per Larry Brooks, looks like he will retire when his contract expires.
Update 12:10pm: Per Mark Spector, Avery’s agent Pat Morris has denied that Avery has retired.
Avery said Monday night during an After Show segment of Bravo TV’s Watch What Happens Live that he was leaving the game. When asked about his hockey future, Avery said, “I am officially retired. I threw my skates in the Hudson.”
This is not surprising for Avery. The Rangers were the only team to give him a third chance in the NHL when they claimed him off re-entry waivers in 2009. He was not the player the Rangers traded for in 2007, showing that his reputation was too much to overcome. He was no longer the agitator that through the opposition off their game, he was no longer the penalty drawer that made him so valuable. He became a spare part, and was thus sent to the AHL.
When he arrived in the AHL, Avery could have been another Wade Redden. A player that the kids could look up to and could learn from. He did not take that road. Instead, Avery was suspended for disciplinary reasons, then was made a healthy scratch for the remainder of the season. When the Clearing Day rosters were announced, Avery was left off the Whale’s roster.
So this is an unceremonious end to the Sean Avery era in the NHL. There will be no jersey retirement, there will be no tears amongst the masses. There will still be those that cry foul, but Avery did this to himself.
I liked Avery in 2007, I even liked what he could bring in 2009. But he did not bring that. He is not the player he once was, his reputation getting in the way of his effectiveness. It’s too bad really.