The Kings and I


A Ranger for exactly a year now, Sean Avery was given the chance to look back at his tenure on the Left Coast. The verdict: good lifestyle, decent fans. As for his two head coaches there — Marc Crawford and his predecessor, Andy Murray — Avery wasn’t so generous.

Bear in mind that while Avery still holds firmly to a reputation as an agitator and overall wildcard, he seems to have shed the locker-room cancer tag he brought with him from L.A. And some of that, he said, has to do with how he’s been treated in New York compared to the three-plus seasons he spent with the Kings.

“I certainly enjoyed living there. I thought the fans were, considering the atmosphere and where it is, were pretty suppotive. I didn’t necessarily see eye-to-eye with some of the coaches I had there,” Avery said.

“It was just more trying not so much change me as a player but change me as a person. I think a lot probably has to do with Tom and coming into a situation and being treated like a player and an adult and a man, and kind of working with me.

“It’s kind of like the analogy would be a parent. Instead of trying to change the kid by telling them you’re going to change them, if you’re smart,you’ll trick them into changing. And I think the other two guys who coached me in the past weren’t smart, and I think this one was.”


Dane Byers will skate on the left side with Blair Betts and Colton Orr.

Brendan Shanahan didn’t skate today, while Ryan Hollweg, Marek Malik, and Marcel Hossa were all pushed through Perry Pearn’s dreaded conditioning drills after the team’s formal skate.


Why you should root for the Thrashers (especially since they have no more games against the Rangers this season): The longer Atlanta hangs around the top of the Southeast Division, the harder it is for Don Waddell to justify trading Marian Hossa.

This serves the Rangers on two fronts: it eliminates even the temptation for Glen Sather to go after the high-flying wing; and naturally it keeps Hossa out of the hands of one of the Rangers’ Eastern Conference rivals.

And seeing how the Thrashers aren’t very good even with Hossa, you don’t really have to worry about them.

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  1. avery has been nothing but good for this team…when he’s in the lineup and doing his job, this team plays much better. there’s no question about it. he’s oft injured and i just wish he’d take the extra week to let it heal rather than hurt the wrist again every couple of weeks but it’s just the way he plays…he’s a perfect team player while on the ice, and he has some offensive skill. you heard what jagr said….if avery decided to focus his game on offense and not the way he does now he’d score 30 goals a season…i love to watch him play and really think they should keep him…did straka really say he wants to go back to europe? how did i miss that?!?

  2. ok guys…you just heard it from the horses mouth, so to speak. Players (UFA’s) will sign here b/c they know that the coaching staff understands what is necessary. I’ll probably regret bringing up the coaches, but if that’s not the proof you need, then … well, then I’ll just have to ignore the ignorance.

  3. Whatever. If some idiot on a ‘board doesn’t agree I could care less really. If the players and the GM agree…well, there’s a little more credibility there.

  4. Beer Me! – In the opposite corner from Emrick in the “shlong with glasses” bout, I present to you John Clayton, the NFL “insider” (as they call him) on ESPN, who does the “Inside The Huddle” segments during _SportsCenter._ That guy has a freaky pinhead.

    longtimerangersfan – Please don’t think Carolina is ahead of us when they have four points less.

    alfHamilton – Good call on CuJo. I noticed that, too.

    Sam – Be careful; somebody might be upset that you used the word cancer in your post. Also, the first sentence of the last paragraph of Avery doesn’t really make sense, but I think I get it.

  5. pig – clayton and emerick may have been separated at birth. good catch.

    I hate afternoon games. I’ve been staring at boxes of hardwood flooring that are awaiting my attention. Its a 2-day project(due to size) and a 2 1/2 hour break is not going to help the cause!

    Sam – great catch on the atlanta situation. Now I know why I come here… And it’s not for the chicken nugget analogies!

  6. I don’t care how this team wins right now. I don’t care who scores the goals. All I want in a solid 60 minutes of hockey and 2 points. This is a team sport. Probably the ultimate team sport. Look back at when the Devils were the dominant team in the east. They had three dominant players in Brodeur, Stevens, and Niedermayer, and the rest of the team was balanced with good two way players. They didn’t have someone who you would deem a SUPERSTAR goal scoring threat. When this team plays a responsible 60 minute game, and takes care of both ends of the ice, and stays patient I believe they can skate with any team in the league. They are starting to see the benefits in playing such a way. Let’s hope they can keep up the good work.

  7. This doesn’t really relate to anything on here, but the announcer/sports caster I hate most in the world is Joe Buck.

  8. It will be nice to see Byers get into a game. He’s a big boy who likes to throw his body around plus he has some offense in him. I’m hoping he plays so well that Renney has to think twice about getting Hollweg back in there.

  9. Nasty- Good Post. Totally agree there I really think there confidence is taking shape. I’m anxious to see how they handle the games against LA and Anaheim. Someone said it yesterday tonight could be a letdown game so it will be interesting to see how they come out playing. The Anaheim game will be a great test because they are without a doubt the nastiest team in hockey and they can beat you in every way. I would trade Orr for George “70’s Porn Mustache” Parros in a second.

  10. longtimerangersfan on

    Nasty, I wasn’t being negative just pointing out the realities of life…by saying that, I meant that, yes, the Rangers must take care of their own business and of course, hopefully, the others will lose.

    Spider, Carolina IS ahead of us in the standings not by points but by virtue of leading their div.

  11. Sam – How are Avery’s hands doing? It looks like over the past few games he stick handles with one hand and keeps taking his left hand off of the stick. It also looks like he is passing more than shooting.

  12. Parro’s stash is hilarious!!!

    If tonight turns out bad, god forbid, at least the points are going out west and not to an eastern team. I know, sometimes I make MYSELF sick with how positive I stay with these guys.

    nasty – I hate joe buck too. But compared to ‘shlong head’, I’d rather have joe buck be the godfather of my unborn children than listen to that a-hole!!!!!

    btw – There’s word that this is Selanne’s return. Could be bad news for us with extra fire power, or good b/c it will require line juggling by Anaheim.

  13. longtimerangersfan-

    I know you weren’t really being negative, but I just felt like being a little sarcastic with my response. I am just in that kind of a mood today. But come on, you must have had a little laugh out of that?

  14. Great to see Byers get a chance, albeit if for only one game before he is returned to the Wolfpack. He could be the muscle power forward of the future for this team.

  15. Ryan Callahan, “The knee’s 100 percent…I got my whole game back under me down there.”

    Ok Ryan. Then if you play sh-tty from here on out, there no excuse. Let’s see that game we saw down the stretch last year.

  16. BeerMe just had to go and take a Sean Avery soundbyte on coaches… quotes like that really bother me because they essentially drive my point home under a certain veil that gets percieved a certain way. Yet, it’s no surprise to me that players are attracted to coaches that are known for being “really understanding”. WTF is that?

    So since you asked for it, I will dish it. If you want a project, try this one: How many quotes can you find from Stanley Cup winning teams saying “our coach is a real good/nice guy, he understands how I like to be stroked, etc etc etc? That really contributed to winning this year”. You think the ’94 guys liked Keenan? You think The Oil liked Slats? You think Bowman was not a bastard when he needed to be? Nice guy coaches are great for keeping your players *comfortable*.

    But last time I checked, you don’t win much at all by staying in your comfort zone.

  17. To speak to that point…the line of defense I would take would be to say that in the present, the time of UFA’s & a Salary cap, it’s tougher to lure talent and build those winning teams. Granted, the players brought in in ’94 weren’t exactly expensive guys.

    “But last time I checked, you don’t win much at all by staying in your comfort zone.”

    Well Salty…I think we’ll find out soon enough.

  18. True, but if you notice the practice after the loss in Carolina, Renney supposedly let his players have it and really got on them about pucks to the net and going for rebounds and second and third chances. Since then it seems they really had a wake up call. So maybe Renney should have done that earlier in the season, but at least he finally did do it.

  19. I apologize for bring that up. Really, I do. Let’s save it for our next loss. Since it will undoubtedly Renney’s fault. Funny how none of the wins are b/c of him though….hhmmmmmm

    In the words of the great Rocky Balboa –

    “We all can change!!”

  20. I hope Hollweg gets an additional couple of games since it’ll help our team out. We’re a better team with him out of the lineup (I think) so the NHL would be doing us a favor.

    And this game scares me a bit. The Kings are a really good team on some nights and don’t show up on other nights. First time for a lot of their players in New York, the young stars they have will either shine or fold. Can’t have a let down today. Hopefully Jagr can get some points since hes pretty much doing everything else right, including crashing the net which I rarely saw him do. Hopefully it pays off for him. And keep it up Dawes and Drury.

  21. Since it always comes up with one player or another, and since it’s Avery’s 1 year anniversary in NY…here’s another one.

    Hossa has missed the last 9 games. We are 6-2-1 in those 9 games. loser.

  22. Beer me,

    To be honest, Hossa had nothing to do with the problem. I’m not gonna lie I’m a fan of his, but when hes in the lineup, I think we’re a bit better defensively just because he is a pretty solid player overall. I mean we get it, hes not Marian, but it doesn’t mean he sucks. I’d rather have him over Hollweg anyday because at least theres a little bit of upside there plus we’ve seen him as an offensive threat last year.

  23. I wasn’t really speaking of if he is ‘good’ or not. But we always see that type of stat thrown at us. And I think we said here the other day that you can make that case one way or another with the entire roster.

  24. Or was it the ‘loser’ comment? In that case…there are probably 100 guys out there that could take his place.

  25. Beer Me, the only issue I have, and I am generally a Hossa fan, is that he sometimes plays like he forgets where he is and what he is doing. A lot of times he is in fantastic position, makes very heady plays in the D zone, takes the body when he has to, and occasionally plays Jagr-like keep away down low.

    But then there are times when he takes brainless hooking or tripping penalties, usually in the offensive zone. Then there are other times where I see him totally avoid making a check or taking the body in a mid-ice situation or to break up a play. That is when I am puzzled by him.

    In a substitution for Holly, I would argue that the “# of stupid penalties taken” will go down some but not as much as we all might hope. His offensive ability is nearly a complete upgrade. His PK ability is way better. But his ability to hit people, make opponents keep their heads up, and deter opponents from taking runs at our guys is non-existent. So I think the Hossa for Holly switch is good one and generally an upgrade, but it is not quite as lopsided as one might think.

    Also btw, not to look past the Kings tonight, but Anaheim is slumping. I think they have scored 1 goal in their last 3 games.

  26. Funny how none of the wins are b/c of him though….hhmmmmmm


    Dude, don’t even try it. I personally credit him largely for the last 3 wins, and I gave you shit for almost *not* giving him credit on it (I remember this verbatim!). He’s allegedly finally manned up and “gotten tough”, and it *shows*. *This has been my whole argument!* He should have *been* this way for a long time now, not just desperate measures with the gun to his head.

    DO NOT tell me I don’t credit him for wins (these recent wins), I absolutely do. I’m just not going to *fellate* him for being a johnny come lately, and I do not like coaches that only get aggressive when they are truly desperate and worried.

    The only thing I can imagine you may have misunderstood is when I did question you about “who you credit the win to?” because it sounded like you were giving credit mostly to Renney ….. however when I asked you…you said you credited the players more, I was simply going to call you out for largely giving the credit to Renney when you have already made it a very strong point of yours that you believe coaching accounts for only 2% of what happens on the ice or something…. something I will disagree with until the day I die….or get murdered.

    I credit Renney both ways, but you won’t see me praising a guy who I’ve already said can only get his guys going 40% of a season

  27. Sorry…I re-read the above posts and Beer Me! was kind of on the negative side of Hossa. So I might be agreeing with him to a degree.

    Where I think he might have some value though is packaged with a guy like Malik or Mara for one solid D man. We totally have the depth up front and an extra tripod or two on D to make a 2 for 1 swap.

  28. Ok valid point. I just thought it was more of a thing to bash him like most other fans do just because he isn’t a world class player in the playoffs. If it means anything, Marcel shut him down every time they’ve played against each other. Other than that hes just decent when hes away from Jagr.

  29. Johnny D-
    We are talking about Marcel. Did you misread a post? We are talking about Marcel’s value to the team. Not Marian.

    Let’s do it for Johnny man! Do it for Johnny!

  30. Wait. Johnny D, I am confused by your post. Were you trying to say that Marcel shut down Marian whenever they play?

  31. ok, lets see. To clear up my hossa comment. I want to change something…There are 101 people out there that are better! Look, I’m not bashing the guy, I really try not to bash any of them. But when I see Avery get praised for our record being so good when he’s in the lineup…it immediately sends up the B.S. alarm. That stat is used to show when a player helps the team, but never when a guy might be hurting a team. Again, that stat can go against, or help a # of guys.

    newman: “..the only issue I have, and I am generally a Hossa fan, is that he sometimes plays like he forgets where he is and what he is doing.” LMAO!! I have no choice on this one but to sound negative…if anyone ever says that about a professional hockey player, there’s no upside to them. If that is truly part of your assessment of him(which I don’t disagree with), I don’t see a ‘hossa’ jersey in your future. I know there was more to it, but that line is still making me laugh!

    Salty – relax man. My comment: “Funny how none of the wins are b/c of him though….hhmmmmmm” Had absolutely nothing(or little) to do with you. It’s usually the press and casual/typical fans that fault renney first after a loss, but when we’re winning you never hear his name mentioned first. So why after a loss? Chill out. We’re obviously never going to come close to agreeing on this, so what’s the point, right?


  32. That selanne question to me? should have read:
    “There’s word that Selanne’s returnING THIS WEEK. Could be bad news for us with extra fire power, or good b/c it will require line juggling by Anaheim.
    Mentioned 0 about signing anywhere.

  33. Haha. I got what you were saying and to clear up my point about Hossa: MARCEL shuts down MARIAN everytime they play.

  34. I was just trying to see how quickly and quietly I could stir up a Selanne/NYR rumor. The way this board goes he’ll be in the line combos within the hour. Jagr has already been quoted as saying he has always wanted to play with Selanne and Selanne has always contended that Jagr is th eplayer he has most tried to emulate his game after, so make what you will of that. Selanne has also said that since coming to the States his favorite colors are Red, White, Blue, Navy blue, and silver and that he would be happy to wear those colors given the opportunity. He also said his dream is to become the catalytic spark to a struggling team of star studded veterans with a coach who supplies lollies when you break a sweat in games.

    In regards to Renney, I cannot relax! I know you saw a softball pitched up from the Avery quote, and in turn you pitched one up to me….although you did know what you were doing….

    Quite frankly I get a mixed message from you on the topic. Despite what you say “on the record”, it still seems you do want to credit Renney with wins and not losses. However, I’m with you…it goes both ways….and we’ve seen a legitimate Dynasty collect Championships across the river with far, far, far less talent than we have.

  35. I think Moore should take Hollwegg’s spot in the lineup. He deserves the ice time and he can play another role if someone gets hurt during the game.

  36. Selanne Gomez Jagr
    Straka Drury Shanny LOL….ok that’s enough.

    ok, I think you know partly what I’m sayin on it. When we see jags out there with a lead at the end of the 3rd(TB game) and we lose, it’s Tom’s name you see first. When we see the line combos change and Drury, dawes, prucha come to life, the 1st names you see are….drury, dawes, prucha. That’s all I’m sayin there. I KNOW who I hold responsible, and neither one of our opinions mean F’n Sh-t, so who cares? haha

    happy aniversary Sean!!! this one’s for you pal..

  37. So since you asked for it, I will dish it. If you want a project, try this one: How many quotes can you find from Stanley Cup winning teams saying “our coach is a real good/nice guy, he understands how I like to be stroked, etc etc etc? That really contributed to winning this year”. You think the ‘94 guys liked Keenan? You think The Oil liked Slats? You think Bowman was not a bastard when he needed to be? Nice guy coaches are great for keeping your players comfortable.

    But last time I checked, you don’t win much at all by staying in your comfort zone.


    exactly. remember nice guy dave lewis following scotty bowman in det.? a disaster

    remember brian trottier, and ron low, etc

    nice guys finish last, said leo durocher.

    look at the 2 coaches in the super bowl. both hard asses.

  38. Bring back Lohan on

    Reading some of those last 25 or so posts gave me a headache. Marian is Marcel, Marcel is Marian. “LACES OUT MARCEL”!!!

  39. and that’s a Hossa of different color.

    Our Horse was very strong last year against Atlanta and then non-existent against Buffalo in the playoffs.

    Either way, he’s an upgrade to Hollweg

  40. Bring back Lohan on

    So I am going to the game tonight, got invited to one of the corporate luxury boxes. Call me a sell out if you want but I will take up any opportunity to sit up there for free and eat unlimited chicken fingers and beer. Anyone know how the view is up there? Can you see anything? Or should I just concentrate on the HOT sales rep who invited me???

  41. Beer Me I know where you are coming from… I just am not about to let you slip that by without a full shakedown of course, especially when you acknowleged what you were doing!

    Timay, A+

    “unlimited chicken fingers” I don’t know why but this makes me laugh…. “unlimited”

    like “nah nah, keep em comin'”


  42. longtimerangersfan – Yeah, I know that, but we don’t need to worry about catching them, since we can’t. They can only catch us if they and Wahington (or Atlanta) both go on a run.

    Beer Me! – I haven’t been reading any of the local newspapers’ postgames recently, since I usually don’t, but can you seriously say that they didn’t mention the fact that Tom Renney switched the lines, since Drury has been scoring?

    So it all comes back to chicken fingers, eh?

  43. Before the Philthy-Anaheim game on Saturday, those two teams had the most fighting majors in the league, so maybe we should be careful what we wish for when saying we want Hollweg out for more than one game, especially with Philthy coming right back on Saturday.

  44. Spider….Orr, Struds, Byers, & even Dubinsky and Callahan have been known to drop the gloves. I think having the human punching bag Hollweg in the press box for a game will be good for him and the team.

  45. I don’t even want Hollweg to drop the gloves. I just want him out there because he intimidates the other team most with his style of hitting, besides maybe Tyutin.

  46. Doodie Machetto on

    Here’s to Byers on his NHL debut! Let’s hope it’s permanent! I’ve been saying it all season that he should replace Hollweg. I’m PRAYING that he scores!

  47. Nobody is intimidated by Tyutin…the guy can hit when he wants to, but for some reaosn he just doesn’t carry that kind of attitude…nobody on D does…Byers…what’s his game?

  48. I wish Avery was completely healthy, he’s definitely been holding back since he returned…but I’ve got a feeling against LA he’ll play more wrecklessly, which will be fun to watch so long as he doesn’t reinjure himself

  49. im sorry but I don’t think too many players are scared to fight ryan hollweig nor are they really intimidated by him. he’s too small to fight any enforcers and any skilled player (who are still probably bigger than him) is not going to fight him. I guess players could be afraid he is going to cheap shot them, but thats about it. Byers should be able to do all that and he may have some actual hockey skills

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