Friday, December 12, 2008

Six Degrees of Sean Avery

There is some excellent Benihana-style slicing and dicing of NHL stats at For example, what player born in 1980 has scored the most NHL goals?

However, looking at the numbers accentuates the negative if you're a Rangers fan.

The Rangers offense stinks, but it becomes painfully obvious when looking at the Rangers players in comparison to the rest of the league and then projecting their goal scoring for the remainder of this season.

QuantHockey: Regular Season Scoring


1986Evgeni MalkinF28113546220.3931.250

1987Sidney CrosbyF28132841260.4641.000

1985Alexander OvechkinF27152237340.5560.815

1985Ryan GetzlafF28122335430.4290.821

1977Jarome IginlaF29141933180.4830.655

1988Patrick KaneF26132033180.5000.769

1980Simon GagneF26141933100.5380.731

1977Marc SavardF2882432380.2860.857

1979Joe ThorntonF2782432260.2960.889

1985Mike RichardsF27111930230.4070.704

1987Devin SetoguchiF2713173040.4810.630

1984Nikolai ZherdevF3191625190.2900.516

1973Markus NäslundF31101222140.3230.387

1979Scott GomezF2651318240.1920.500

1986Brandon DubinskyF3151217430.1610.387

1984Daniel GirardiD313121580.0970.387

1976Chris DruryF31871560.2580.226

1977Wade ReddenD3021315180.0670.433

The season is 38% over (31 out of 82 games) for the NY Rangers. Adding insult to the dismal showing by the Rangers, is the fact, that they also have 3-4 games in hand over most of the other teams. Here are the projected goals for the full 82 game season for the Rangers leaders:

  • Nikolai Zherdev -- 24
  • Markus Näslund -- 26
  • Chris Drury -- 21
  • Scott Gomez -- 13
  • Brandon Dubinsky -- 13
  • Daniel Girardi -- 8
  • Wade Redden -- 5

So either Zherdev or Näslund will need to catch lightning in a bottle (against a more difficult schedule) or else the Rangers will not have a 30 goal scorer this season.

Putting things in context, Sean Avery scored 15 goals during 57 games for the Rangers in 2007-08.
The NHL is becoming like the movie business, but instead of "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" we get six degrees of Sean Avery. Because, in the end it all comes back to Avery.

So that brings us to this flight of rumor mongering that must be checked out just on the headline alone and for the Kafkaesque scenario it presents. The idea of the Rangers bringing Sean Avery back to New York in order to dump him in Hartford and gain traction in the Mats Sundin chase is an idea based on a half bottle of Jack Daniel's. But, doesn't Slats like his Jack?

Greg Caggiano / The Bleacher Report:
Sean Avery Headed Back to the New York Rangers? --
... the Rangers will trade Redden or Rozsival to Dallas in exchange for Sean Avery. Is this a trade I would make? Absolutely.

I have made it known that I am not Avery's biggest fan, and even after saying that, I would still make this trade. As mentioned by ESPN's Rumor Central, the Rangers would then waive Avery upon his acquisition and upon clearing waivers, be sent to the Rangers' AHL affiliate in Hartford, thus making a major salary dump and clearing approximately five to six and half million dollars.

And who knows, if Avery goes through with his anger management classes and reshapes his lifestyle and become a more tolerable person, the Rangers could call him up (prefferably waiting until next season) and still have Avery on contract for the remaining three years on his contract...
Scott Burnside / ESPN:
Stars bosses meet to discuss Avery, options --
Sean Avery's future with the Dallas Stars may have been brought a little more into focus Wednesday, but the decision won't be shared at least until Avery's six-game suspension comes to an end next week.

Stars owner Tom Hicks told reporters at the board of governors' meetings in Florida earlier this week that he would meet with president Jeff Cogen and co-GMs Brett Hull and Les Jackson Wednesday to discuss options for moving forward with Avery.

Jackson said the club won't make any public announcement on Avery until next week...
USA Today:
Stars coach indicates Avery done in Dallas
Sean Avery may be out of a job with the Dallas Stars, regardless of how the NHL disciplines him for his comments about actress and former girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert.

Stars coach Dave Tippett indicates Avery likely won't be welcomed back by the team, saying, "I find it hard to believe that Sean could come back in that dressing room and we could find that continuity again."...
If Avery is ejected from Dallas where could he end up?

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  • Section 335 said...

    Two comments.

    I made this point about scoring before the year started. I could not project 260 goals for this team.

    I advocated bringing back Avery the moment he was in trouble at Dallas right here in a post. I would not put him in the minors - I would play him. This team needs a good kick in the pants. And, I would have Dallas pick up half his salary and throw in Trevor Daley in return for Rozsival.

  • jb said...

    sec 335,

    Yep. No doubt you and Mike have been big Avery fans.

    It would probably irk the NHL/Bettman in a big way if Avery returned to the media glare of New York. One reason Dolan might support it, just to stick it to Bettman.

    I do remember our discussions of how much the Rangers "underspent" on offense relative to defense.

    Why does a GM, who is paid big money make such poor decisions?