Sunday, October 02, 2011

Odd Man Out

So the facade is almost over with. It has been perfectly orchestrated. Some meaningful ice time, not much, but some. Periodically some praise, but nothing effusive to guarantee a spot. He reserves that for his boys. As predicted in this space a while back Sean Avery will be a Ranger no more, culminating a three year campaign by the disagreeable one to rid the Rangers of this scourge to society.

I know he is still on the team. He is fighting for the last spot with Erik Christensen. Huh! Imagine a player like Avery losing a spot on the team against the likes of names like Christensen, Wolski, Zuccarello and Fedotenko. He is probably the fastest skater on the team. The first to step in for a teammate, who half the team don't appreciate. Only four forwards on the team had more assists than he did and when you consider the limited ice time he got that says something about the rest of our forwards.

It won' be a clear cut. It will be one of those slow releases. It will be the Rangers version of waterboarding. This time one of Avery's biggest boosters, The Stealth, will not interfere. He will be told by the Stanley Cup winning coach of yesteryear that this is what is needed to get this team on track to the Cup. Nonsense.

This team is on track for another fight for 6th, 7th and 8th or maybe 9th or 10th. The ghosts of Frankie Boucher and his ilk are smiling broadly on this team as they head in the tradition of the ice follies of old. But when personal vendettas are more important than team performance that's what you get.

So now the columnist Larry Brooks, who never issued an apology for his smear article on Avery, will get in bed with the devil himself. And they say politics makes strange bedfellows. He will have to start stroking the disagreeable one and then maybe he will answer his questions and then he will become one of the most knowledgeable men in hockey again. Until then we will only see the smile when the Rangers win and the smugness, nastiness and rudeness when the Rangers go down. We are in for a lot of rudeness.

But don't feel sorry for Sean. His restaurants are both thriving and the way things are going he may be to hockey what Toots Shor was to baseball.

Sean Avery, we hardly knew yee!

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  • mhurley said...

    Dear Mike,

    I agree with you to a certain extent. The fans are going to be shortchanged by not being allowed to see what might happen if Avery were let loose on the first line with Brad and Gabby. That's a real shame.

    It's not going to happen because of Tort's prejudice and, more importantly, certain fan's prejudice against Avery.

    That said, Avery really has made his own bed. And, after being paid $4 million dollars for the last 4 years, he's laughing all the way to the bank.

    I think rather then Toots Shor, Avery's restaurants will have more the cache of Elaine's. :)

  • mike said...

    mhurley-Can't see the Elaine's crowd in a Avery hall. jb thinks a Jack Dempsey type or I like the long gone Luchows, German restaurant on 14th Street. Noisy, good music and food and surly waiters.

  • mhurley said...

    I remember Luchow's but none of the cheapskates I went out with took me there. I once dated a guy with a half season plan who actually took me to Tads!TADS!

    I dumped him at the end of the '80 season.

  • Jeff L. said...

    The only 'disagreeable one' 'round these parts is you, Mike. Your non-stop cynicism is more evident than ever- the fascination with Avery has reached new levels with your obvious obsession.
    What has Avery done for this team in the past two, almost three seasons? Nada.
    Meanwhile, you lash out in your anger over the (correct) decision to cut ties with a player who 1) can't handle the puck, 2) Can't pass the puck unless it's a no-look behind-the-back drop- more often than not landing in the opposition's lap- 3) Can't stay onside if his life depended on it, 4) Is seemingly disgruntled and disinterested in hockey, using the game as his very own stepping stone to 'bigger and better things' (read: fashion).

    Yes, we all know Avery can skate, and indeed he is one of the fastest skaters out there. But what good does this do for us in light of the obvious deficiencies in every other area of his game?

    It might soon be time for you, Mike, to 'hang 'em up', for better or worse. You're quickly becoming the epitome of an embittered, cynical Rangers fan (or anti-fan, as you seem to prefer).

    As for "the likes of" Christensen, Zuccarello, Fedotenko: every one of these players had significantly more tangible contributions to the Rangers last year. Christensen and Zuccarello literally earned us points that got us into the playoffs and it's very likely that without one or both, we'd have finished on the outside looking in.

    Zuccarello is a better player in ALL areas than Avery, period.

    Christensen has more value to a team with little stick-skill.

    Fedotenko was an integral part of the team last year and is a utility type player who can play in all situations.

    Avery can skate, that's it.

    So what's your rationale for keeping Avery over any, let alone all, of these guys?

  • Tony V said...

    Great call on what finally transpired today. I am not happy with the way Tortorella handled it. He mentioned that the team has better players than Sean 3 times.

    I think that was unnecessary. People understand this is a business. Tortorella is no Tom Renney, a gentleman and class act who threw no one under a bus and never threw a water bottle at fans.

    Let's enjoy this season and make sure you enjoy your health.

  • jb said...

    Jeff L.,

    First, I think Mike was articulating that the handwriting was on the wall, regarding Avery getting cut. Mike was absolutely right, the axe came, Avery has been waived. Yes, a correct and timely call by Mike on what was a sad day for many of us Rangers fans.

    I say many Ranger fans, because I scrolled through the Avery thread on Outside the Garden (your presumed homebase) and many of the comments over there reflect Mike's feelings about Avery. Some snips from OTG:

    "This is a bad move - EC and WW really ? "

    "disappointing for sure"

    "I'd rather have him than christensen."

    "Erik Christensen was easily one of the worst players this preseason."

    "This move makes absolutely no sense. EC is going to be booed unmercifully."

    "Can we waive Torts, please...... "

    "I am livid right now"

    "I'd ask Torts a serious question. Would you rather win with Avery or lose without him."

    So, it's a hotly debated issue just how valuable Avery is as a player. You are entitled to your minority opinion.

    I completely disagree with you that "Christensen has more value to a team with little stick-skill." I think they should have kept Avery and waived Christensen.

    The Rangers have tried Euro hockey before with all those Czech softies. The bottomline is that it doesn't work. Zuccarello and Fedotenko, two prime time Euro players might look good on the big ice over in Europe, but put Zuccy on the smaller NHL ice and he frequently disappears as NHL defensemen stuff him. I think he's great for shootouts, but I don't know if he'll show up for a full season.

    As for calling Mike an "anti-fan" that is BS. Mike loves the Rangers team, but has issues with the management. Again, that is a view I think most of us fans have. Love the team, dislike the guys running the operation.

    So, you can just keep carrying water for your boy Torts, until he drowns you in his swimming pool of an ego.

  • Scotty Hockey said...

    Ooo, "you can just keep carrying water for your boy Torts, until he drowns you in his swimming pool of an ego."

    I like that.

    I'm with Mike on this. Avery had heart and ability. Did things go poorly last season? Of course. But he still put up more than 20 points with a revolving role and cast of linemates. And he was still the best forechecker on the team not named Prust or Callahan.

    And if you don't have a bit of cynicism as a Ranger fan, then you haven't been a Ranger fan for very long. There is absolutely no question of Mike's loyalty. When you ride the roller coaster for a while, you come to be wary of the falls.