Regarding Sean Avery …
I don’t think he was/is going to play much at all this season if he stayed/stays. Mike Rupp, for one, completely takes away his position in the lineup, and is a much, much better and more versatile player. Mats Zuccarello had a great camp. You could argue Avery over Erik Christensen, but I don’t think the Crusher is going to be seeing much ice time, either, if any.
I think Avery might be worth keeping around only if the Rangers believe he could accept a very limited role, and likewise, they can’t keep him around if they think he wouldn’t accept that. He might be better than the next callup at forward, but he might not be any longer. And he can still play in those “tough” games that come only occasionally in today’s NHL. And he always was there for teammates on the ice, even when his minutes were minimal.
I think they waived him so he can be sent to Connecticut and his contract comes off the books, with the outside hope that somebody will claim him (they won’t, IMO).
I don’t think it hurts the team much at all if he isn’t around. But it sure hurts the blog. And sometimes the entertainment value.
I think a lot of people are going to blame John Tortorella for Avery’s decline as a player, and I think that’s idiotic. Almost as much as this idea that Avery could have played left wing on the No. 1 line.
I wonder how some of the key players who seemed to like him will respond, and by that I mean Lundqvist, Richards, Gaborik, etc.
As far as Dale Weise, I’m sure that’s an asset the Rangers would rather have kept … but losing him certainly isn’t the end of the world. The guy was going to spend way more time in Connecticut than New York, and though a useful callup, they have Kris Newbury, Andreas Thuresson, John Mitchell, Bell Biv Deveaux, and a bunch of new, fast rookies who might be called up during the season. I liked Weise’s game, even if he lost every NHL fight he had after beating the cooke out of that piece of Carcillo.
Special thanks to the guest bloggers the last few days. They did a great job. I’m stuck in Hockeytown with the Yankees.
Also, Avery-themed poll over there————>
UPDATE: Here is Dan Rosen’s story from NHL.com.
And here is the transcript of the Tortorella presser, from Steve Zipay’s blog, and via Dan Rosen.