In a city full of noise, fashion and opinions, some could argue Sean Avery was the quintessential mascot for the New York Rangers over the last five seasons.
On Tuesday the Rangers waived the attention-seeking winger. Should he clear waivers, he may look to play in Europe, according to agent Pat Morris.
Avery, known as “the pest” around the league, is owed $4 million this season with a cap hit of only $1.93 to New York as the Stars are still paying him for his brief stint in Dallas in 2008-09. Should Avery clear waivers, the Rangers will likely send him to their AHL Connecticut affiliate. But Europe just seems a much better fit for someone with Avery’s knack for making headlines, doesn’t it? (Besides, Avery probably won’t be overly eager to pull on a silly Whale sweater.)
Larry Brooks of the New York Post broke the news on Tuesday on his Twitter account.
In 2008 Avery was suspended by the NHL for a now-infamous comment about Calgary teammate Dion Phaneuf and his current — and Avery’s former — girlfriend, Elisha Cuthbert.
Last spring, Avery spoke out as a proponent of gay marriage in New York. Then in August, he was arrested and charged with battery of a Los Angeles police officer during a party at his Hollywood Hills home. And just last week he was in the news again when he told reporters Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds called him a homophobic slur during a preseason game. The league failed to find sufficient proof of the slur being uttered and did not punish Simmonds, who had a banana thrown at him during a penalty shot the previous week.
Avery scored only three goals in 76 games a year ago while racking up 174 penalty minutes — the most in a single season during his stint in New York.
Known as a pest and an instigator around the league, Avery has totalled 1,512 penalty minutes during his NHL career.
Rangers coach John Tortarella opted to keep forward Erik Christensen over Avery, who was a healthy scratch in the team’s last two preseason games. Tortarella never seemed to find a place for Avery in his lineup and Avery’s sporadic ice time was evidence the two never meshed.
Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski dug up the words Tortarella used to describe Avery following the Phaneuf-Cuthbert incident in 2008 when Torts was a commentator on TSN.
“He’s embarrassed himself, he’s embarrassed the (Dallas Stars’) organization, he’s embarrassed the league and he’s embarrassed his teammates, who have to look out for him. Send him home. He doesn’t belong here.”
If this truly is the end of Avery in the NHL — which doesn’t seem possible — a long list of goalies and star players could stop taking their blood pressure medications. Eh, Marty?