While we await the results of the Sean Avery arbitration hearing and marvel at “the harsh treatment”:http://www.nypost.com/seven/07312007/sports/rangers/rangers_rip_avery_in_faceoff_rangers_larry_brooks.htm the left wing is receiving from Rangers management, let’s try to put things in historical perspective.
For much of his tenure in New York, Glen Sather has been known, depending on who you ask, as either a bold, careless, or at times, even passive executive. And yet what’s easy to forget is that the shrewd negotiating tactics we’re seeing from Sather right now were very much his trademark during his heyday in Edmonton.
Bear in mind that Sather was renowned for building up a player during the season, and then tearing them down when it came time to negotiate a contract that summer. It was the reason for the departure of Paul Coffey in 1987, when the relationship between the defenseman and Sather had soured enough that Coffey was eventually traded to Pittsburgh; and it came up with a number of other players in that era as well.
I mention this not to endorse what Sather may be doing, because for one, I’m not sure it’s the right tone with a player as tempestuous as Avery. But it may help explain some of what’s going on.