Sean Avery already owes Henrik Lundqvist dinner.
At the end of practice, the two had a shootout (that’s it in the pic) with a meal as the wager. The newly re-Rangered Avery needed to make just two goals to win it, but he only got one.
“It’s fun to see him again,” Lundqvist said. “A lot of good times when he played here.”
Avery was back on the ice wearing a blue jersey, and he said walking in that the Rangers feel like coming home. He alternated in a line with Petr Prucha, Nigel Dawes and Lauri Korpikowski. And he could play tomorrow. Late in the 40-minute practice, Rangers coach John Tortorella took Avery aside near the marker board at center ice.
“I don’t want to bombard him,” Tortorella said. “He’s a few days behind as far as the system we play. I just wanted to touch base with him today it’s probably been a little bit of a ride for him the past 24 hours, so just going over some of our team concepts so day of the game I don’t have to give him so much.”
Here’s Torts on how Avery needs to bring his personality but keep it from being disruptive.
Avery said he was a different person now, but didn’t want to get too explict about the behavior counseling program the NHL compelled him to attend. He did say he was glad to be back with a second chance playing a sport he missed more than he realized he would.
Here’s a clip where he starts by answering the question, Do you feel like a new person?
Avery said he was worried on Sunday whether the Rangers would pick him up. Tortorella had said he wasn’t crazy about Avery while he was a broadcaster for TSN, but Tortorella said he would play with Glen Sather’s pieces and work with Avery. As for his part, Avery said he wanted to prove himself. And he certainly sounded like he wanted to make the most of his second chance with the Rangers.
“To have (hockey) back and have something refreshed inside of me is something I’m extremely grateful for,” Avery said.
But he will still bring it on the ice.
“I think a milder version of Sean Avery is still not that mild,” Avery said.
Other lines were the same as the ones Tortorella has been playing, but if Avery will play that will change. As usual, the coach didn’t tip his hand, saying he’d seen Avery practice for 40 minutes and wasn’t ready to cement anything.
Oh, one more thing. Aaron Voros, apparently unclaimed and still Rangers property, skated with the team this morning.