Tag:Sean Avery
Posted on: March 7, 2012 3:00 pm
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Avery not on AHL playoff roster; is career done?

Avery played 15 games this season with New York, scoring three goals. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

Is this it? Have we seen the end of Sean Avery the professional hockey player?

The AHL Connecticut Whale put together their playoff roster and Avery wasn't on it. What's more, they even told him he no longer needs to report to the rink for practices or games according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post. Sounds like a complete excommunication to me.

It's been one whirl of a season for Avery, who clearly has worn out his welcome with the Rangers. Just before the season Avery was cut and sent to the AHL at which point he considered possibly playing overseas. The Rangers then called up him due to injuries and early lackluster play but then sent him back to the AHL just before the new year. This from Brooks is what Avery has been relegated to since.

Avery has not played in a game for the Whale since Jan. 27 and has not practiced with the team for approximately three weeks, instead skating on his own under management orders.

He even has gone through waivers and obviously wasn't claimed, making you wonder if any team is interested. So is this it for Avery in the NHL? I mean, if he's done playing I don't get the feeling we're never going to see or hear from him again like a lot of players. The question is if we'll hear about him on the ice.

He is an unrestricted free agent this summer so I suppose some time might decide its worth taking a flyer on a two-way contract for cheap. I just have a hard time believing it will happen at this point.

But if there were a team interested, Sean Hartnett of CBS New York has an idea as to who it might be.

One team in particular known to gather players from their rivals is the New York Islanders. The Isles were believed to been interested in the 31-year old had he been passed through waivers.

We'll have to wait and see, but I don't think there will be many fans crying if Avery doesn't have an NHL job for next season.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Posted on: March 7, 2012 9:39 am
Edited on: March 7, 2012 10:09 am
 

Pregame Skate: Sabres, Leafs continue push

Lindy Ruff and Buffalo return home. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

The Pregame Skate is back. Every morning for the rest of the season we're going to take a look at the games that have the greatest significance in the push for the postseason for you to digest while you drink your java. We'll throw in some miscellany for the fun of it.

7 ET, Carolina at Buffalo

The first of only two games on an even quieter than usual Wednesday, all eyes will be on the Sabres after a good road trip. They went 3-1-1 on a trip that included stops in Madison Square Garden, Vancouver and Winnipeg. It resurrected their previously dead season.

However the question remains if it was more of an anomaly or the Sabres have turned the corner and shown flashes of the team many thought they would be. They can start to find that out with Wednesday's game against the Hurricanes.

Buffalo starts the night four points back of the Jets for eighth place in the East and tonight will play its one game in hand on Winnipeg. So not only would a win bring them to within just two points of the Jets, it would also pull the Sabres even in points with the Capitals in ninth.

The small bit of irony there is they would have to thank the Hurricanes for helping them achieve that as the 'Canes head to Buffalo just 24 hours after taking down the Caps in Washington with a bonus-hockey goal.

Obviously Carolina isn't going to roll over and the idea of an easy win in the NHL is almost non-existent, but this is a game the Sabres should and almost need to win. They can't make that road trip feel like it was for naught by laying an egg in their return home if they want to keep belief in a playoff berth.

7:30 ET, Toronto at Pittsburgh

The Maple Leafs are still trying to regain any semblance of their season. One way they were hoping to do that was with the hiring of Randy Carlyle. The good news? In the two games he has coached, the Leafs are outscoring their opponents by a goal. There's a plus.

The bad news is that they have still lost 12 of their last 13 games and only one of those losses came beyond 60 minutes. That's five out of the last 26 points up for grabs that they have taken. Is it any wonder then that they are almost as close to the bottom of the East as they are to Winnipeg in the playoff push?

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Now the good news is that it isn't too late to salvage their hopes even if the prospect is dire. But going into Pittsburgh and taking two points from the Penguins could potentially move them back over a pair of teams and just three points out. That's life at the bottom of the East this season, you have to fail really hard to make the playoffs out of reach.

It's pretty tough to go through a stretch of Boston, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia in five days but that's where the Leafs are. Then it's on the road for five straight. It's safe to say you'll see a very desperate team playing the Penguins tonight, but the Pens have been handling that a lot lately and are doing just fine.

Don't forget, the Penguins will be unveiling the much-anticipated Mario Lemieux statue outside of the arena.

Others were watching

There's nothing else. That's all we've got.

Your promised miscellany

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Posted on: January 30, 2012 11:55 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2012 12:01 am
 

Nyjer Morgan to practice with Sharks

MorganBy: Adam Gretz

If you've ever watched a baseball game involving Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan it's a good bet that you've heard an announcer make some sort of remark about his days as a hockey player. If you haven't? Pay attention the next time you do watch a game he's involved in, because it's sure to come up.

Before he was causing the kind of chaos that only he can provide as a Major League outfielder, he was a hockey player in the Canadian junior leagues during the 1999-00 season, playing seven games with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League.

So he knows his way around the rink a little bit.

Now he's going to have an opportunity to show what he can do against the best players in the world as he will practice with the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday morning.

Morgan, who was born in San Francisco, said in a statement that he followed the Sharks from the time the team arrived in San Jose back in 1991, and also added "I will never forget the George Kingston and Patty Falloon days. I'm not sure the guys are ready for me!"

Well, at least he knows the team history, making reference to the Sharks first coach, Kingston, and perhaps most well-known player in those dark early years (Falloon).

After Morgan stopped playing hockey and focussed on baseball full-time he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 33rd round of the 2002 Major League Baseball draft. He's since spent time with the Pirates, Washington Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers over parts of five, let's say ... polarizing seasons. You probably love his Wild antics if he plays for your team, but if he's playing for somebody else? Not so much.

Given his approach to baseball it's probably fair to assume that he would have fit in quite well as an agitator in the Matt Cooke, Sean Avery, Jarkko Ruutu mold had he continued to pursue a career in hockey. He did, after all, record 20 penalty minutes in his seven games with the Pats.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 14, 2012 4:19 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2012 4:22 pm
 

The Sean Avery soap opera rolls on

AveryBy: Adam Gretz

Sean Avery, currently playing in the American Hockey League for the Connecticut Whale, was a healthy scratch on Friday night for what was simply referred to as "disciplinary reasons." What he's being disciplined for at this point remains unclear, but in the wake of the benching rumors started to circulate that he had spit on his head coach, Ken Gernander, a rumor that the Rangers (and Avery) have since denied.

The Rangers claim the benching was based on a combination of things, but that Avery did not spit on his coach, or anybody else.

Avery then took to his own personal Twitter account (which he has since deleted)  to continue his defense and posted the following early Saturday afternoon: “Try not to BELIEVE everything u read. Gentlemen don’t spit.”

One of the NHL's most well known on-ice (and off-ice) agitators, Avery has appeared in just 15 games for the Rangers this season scoring three goals. During his brief stay with the big club he was used sparingly, playing just a little over seven minutes per game. He started the season in the AHL playing for the Whale, and was called up to the Rangers in early November.

The team placed him on waivers at the end of December, and there were reports this past week that at least one NHL team asked the Rangers to place Avery on re-entry waivers so they could claim him. The Rangers did not do so.

Controversy is nothing new to Avery as it's always had a way of following him around, one way or another, throughout his entire career. Between his back-and-forth from the NHL to the AHL, this latest incident, and his little run-in with the law (that he was eventually cleared of), this season has been no different.

Previously at Eye On Hockey

Rangers place Avery on waivers again
Interest in Avery goes up

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 12, 2012 11:44 am
Edited on: January 12, 2012 11:45 am
 

Report: Interest in Avery goes up, but no waivers

By Brian Stubits

The twists and turns of a Sean Avery season. Aren't they fun?

Even when he's down in the AHL (where the orange juice refills might or might not be free), he's making noise. Well OK, he's not making the noise, but noise is being made about him. Or something like that.

Twice this season, the 29 teams not named the New York Rangers had a chance to claim Avery off of waivers and have him for their own but passed. Not even two weeks since his most recent demotion to the AHL Connecticut Whale, there is reportedly interest from at least one team to get Avery now.

According to the New York Post, the Rangers have been asked to place Avery on re-entry waivers again so that he can be claimed and wear another team's sweater in the NHL. It's obvious Rangers coach John Tortorella doesn't have any room for Avery on his bench, so why not acquiesce and let Avery go on his merry way? Two words: cap space.

Sources have told The Post general manager Glen Sather rejected that request, instead offering to trade Avery in a minor-league deal under which the Rangers would take back additional dollars but the responsibility for placing Avery on re-entry would then pass to the acquiring club that would then bear the burden of carrying dead salary-cap space upon a claim.

...

Avery’s full cap hit for the remainder of the season is just a tick over $890,000 as of tomorrow. Therefore, the Rangers would be hit with approximately $445,000 of dead cap space upon a re-entry claim.

The NHL has calculated that scenario would theoretically cost the Rangers $2 million in available space at the Feb. 27 trade deadline: $1 million of accrued space for which the club would be charged plus $1 million it therefore would not save.

That's a pretty penny to spend just to let a player loose. Now we'll find out how interested this mystery suitor/suitors is/are by the willingness to give up something in return to the Rangers.

Trying to think of who could be interested in signing Avery, I would take a Wild guess and say we could exclude the Toronto Maple Leafs after Brian Burke's recent "anti-rat" rant.

I'm not a Rangers fan, about the only people who seem to still love Avery, but for some reason that I still cannot pinpoint, I've come to like Avery a little bit. Maybe it's just that I'm a devil's advocate. I'm not sure. But I'd be interested in seeing him get a fresh start somewhere else. When he was playing, Avery was in good behavior this season for the Rangers. There might still be a fourth-line spot for Avery somewhere in the league.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: December 30, 2011 2:06 pm
 

Rangers place Sean Avery on waivers again

By Brian Stubits

You could see this coming from a mile away. Ten miles even.

The New York Rangers placed Sean Avery on waivers on Friday, bringing an end to this chapter of his Rangers career. It clears the way for him to join another team -- if any are interested -- or go back to the AHL, where he started the season with the Connecticut Whale.

Avery was called up a few weeks into the season because of a host of injuries with the Rangers, most notably Mike Rupp. But now Rupp is back to being healthy and Avery hasn't played in nine games, a healthy scratch in each of them.

The Rangers started the season slowly -- which they obviously have remedied -- and it led to calls from Rangers fans to get Avery back with the team, they needed some spark. Avery was recalled and the team took off. It was more coincidental than anything, but it coincided with Avery's callup.

It could make for an interesting scene in 24/7, but I don't think it will get much of a mention. But that's one thing we've seen in HBO's Hard Knocks series, covering NFL teams in their training camps, seeing players get cut from the rosters.

So now what comes next for the 31-year-old winger who is more known for his antics and off-ice noise than his game? We'll have to wait and see. Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that Avery's agent was given permission to seek potential landing spots with other NHL teams during the recent roster freeze. Considering he has gone through the waivers process unclaimed already this season, it doesn't seem likely a team will take a flier on him now.

I still think Avery can have some value to teams. He is a high-energy player who was on his best behavior in his time with the Rangers this season. It might be hard for you to believe, but Avery only took one minor penalty in his 15 games with the Rangers, scoring three goals. But he is a bit toxic from some of his past. I'd be surprised if somebody wanted to take a chance on him.

Let's put it this way: Would you want Sean Avery on your team?

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: December 16, 2011 3:34 pm
 

Limited edition Artem Anisimov video game cover!

By Brian Stubits

One thing we learned from the first episode of this year's 24/7 series on HBO, it's that the New York Rangers got a pretty good kick out of Artem Anisimov's stick-shooting celebration that set off a bit of an uproar from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

One of the top three moments of the show was when the Rangers walked back into the locker room after the second period where Anisimov was serving his misconduct. The first player to walk in was Sean Avery, who looked at Anisimov with a Grinch-like grin and chuckle. Marian Gaborik was next and had pretty much the same reaction.

"You shooting at the goalie?" a teammate is heard asking Anisimov.

"No," Anisimov responds. "Just reload my weapon, you know?"

While Anisimov, coach John Tortorella and some of his teammates did come out and say it was wrong, that doesn't mean they can't have any fun with it. So the teasing continues.

The above photoshop was tweeted out by the Rangers' Mike Rupp, who describes this particular version of EA Sports' NHL 12 thusly: "It's good, kinda a Hockey/Call of Duty hybrid."

Love it. I don't know about the rest of you, but this is probably my favorite part about watching 24/7, seeing the guys having fun with each other and interacting. We usually only see these guys on the ice, so it's great to see sides like this. Of course, Twitter has helped in that regard, too.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: November 27, 2011 4:57 pm
Edited on: November 27, 2011 8:30 pm
 

Weekend Wrap: Sanford, Jackets starting to roll

By Brian Stubits

Amid Columbus' awful, awful opening to the season, the only bit of defense the team and its fans had was something along the lines of waiting for everybody to be healthy. The team was built in the offseason around the additions of James Wisniewski and Jeff Carter and for the first month and a half of the season; they had not played in the same game. Now they are both playing and the Blue Jackets are now winning.

But it was another injured player returning that has been even bigger. And this one wasn't really on anybody's excuse radar.

Turns out the return of goaltender Curtis Sanford has been huge. Or at least it would appear that way. It was no mystery that Steve Mason in goal was as big an issue as anything else in Columbus' struggles, but I am not sure anybody believed there was a possible solution within the organization.

It wasn't long ago that in this blog we were discussing the possibilities of the Blue Jackets getting a major shakeup in the front office and coaching staff. Some were just saying give it more time, all they needed was to trade for a good goalie. The only problem was the Jackets are right up against the cap and have no flexibility.

This feels as good as a trade right now.

In the five games prior to Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Blues, all Sanford starts, the Blue Jackets picked up at least one point. His record is now 3-0-2 after Columbus' 5-1 beating of the Buffalo Sabres on Black Friday. He entered Sunday with a goals against average of 1.27 and a save percentage of .950. Not bad. Not bad at all.

The recent run has done what not long ago seemed laughable: the Jackets had climbed out of the NHL cellar. With the Devils' squeaker over the Devils on Saturday, the Jackets returned to the basement, but they are hot on the heels of the Isles, Ducks and Flames to move (or down) the draft lottery list.

But the big acquisitions have been doing their part, too. Carter, back after breaking his foot, is finally looking comfortable with his new team. With two beautiful assists against the Sabres, Carter brought his total to five points (3-2=5) in the last five games. Wisniewski has also recorded five points in that span as he also contributed two assists to the win on Friday.

However none of that would matter much if they weren't getting better goaltending. Now, with Sanford getting the bulk of the work, they are. It's not too late to crawl their way back into the picture, but a lot of that will ride on Sanford continuing to play at a level this high.

If he keeps those ice blue pads, maybe he will.

Hangover Part II

Much was made about the champion Bruins' hangover to start the season. They came out slower than any team not named the Blue Jackets. Of course, that's long-ago history as the Bruins have won 11 of the past 12 games, earning a point in all of them.

But not as much has been said about the Canucks' meager beginning. After all, this was the best team in the regular season last year and was within 60 minutes of winning the Stanley Cup. Like the Bruins, the Canucks returned the core of their team and were expected to be powerful once again. Yet they were merely average.

That might be changing. With a road trip that included a 5-0 domination of the Coyotes in a "packed" (with blue) Jobing.com Arena on Friday and a gritty 3-2 win over the Sharks in San Jose on Saturday, the Canucks have won four in a row.

With the eight points in four games, they are now two points behind the Minnesota Wild, two points from reclaiming their seemingly rightful position atop the Northwest Division (they have lived in the Northwest penthouse for a few seasons).

In goal for each of those four games? That would be Cory Schneider, not Roberto Luongo. Schneider -- who had back-to-back shutouts in the four-game run -- was already seen by many to be the best backup in the game, rumored constantly in trade talks around the league over the last season-plus. Now the only goalie that Canucks fans want to throw around in those conversations is Luongo, the Vezina finalist from just last season.

There was already a goalie controversy in Vancouver even before Schneider began playing so well. The controversy? The fact that Luongo was the starter. That was enough to cause a civil war among the fans in British Columbia. This just makes it more heated.

It's show time

We got a taste of the Winter Classic on Saturday with the Flyers and Rangers waging battle in New York, a 2-0 Blueshirts win. Brandon Prust fought not once, but twice, much to the pleasure of John Tortorella.

It was also the first time this season that the league's highest-scoring offense, the Flyers, were grounded. It should come as no surprise that it was Henrik Lundqvist who was first to do it. They don't call him King Henrik for nothing.

But over the weekend, we also got our first taste of the HBO 24/7 series that's set to debut on Dec. 14. No, I'm not talking about the game, but HBO's 12-minute preview of the must-see show for hockey (and non-hockey) fans.

Warning: If you don't already have HBO in your cable/dish subscription plan, the following teaser might make you change your mind (video courtesy of nyrangersblog.com).

There wasn't even an appearance from Jaromir Jagr or Sean Avery in this tease, so clearly they must be saving the best for the show, a refreshing change from movie trailers that show you the only good parts of the movie.

Glory Toews

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews isn't going anywhere anytime soon. If they have their way in Chicago, he'll retire in the black and red.

But if he were to change work addresses, he just might move to Southern California.

The Blackhawks took their turn at the SoCal double dip with a game Friday in Anaheim and Saturday in Los Angeles. What did Toews do? Oh just help the 'Hawks take both games with three goals and three assists. One of those goals came 1960s style with Toews parked in the crease without a helmet and scrambling to hammer home the loose puck.

I have no doubt that when this season is all said and done, Toews will have his say in the Hart Trophy conversation.

Real quickly on the Ducks, this is just too atrocious to leave out (from Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register: The Ducks have now lost six in a row, 12 of 13 and 15 of their last 17. No other word for that than horrendous.

Florida flurry

It's not even December yet and the intrastate rivals in Florida have already met five times. For the second time in the first two months, the Lightning and Panthers had a back-to-back set beginning in Sunrise and finishing in Tampa.

This time, it was the Bolts getting the better of the Cats. One massive reason was the play of Steven Stamkos. He had three goals, including the game-winner in overtime on Friday night, and an assist. He was the best player on the ice on Saturday, no questions asked.

It continues to amaze me how little attention Stammer seems to be generating. After all, he proved last year he's one of the top three scorers in the league. He has quietly amassed 14 goals and 10 assists this season. Yet there seems to be hardly a peep about him.

A few more four-point weekends for the Lightning and I'm sure he'll start getting his due.

Capital punishment

At this point I'm starting to think this will be a regular section in the Weekend Wrap. At least as long as the Capitals continue to play the way they have been.

With their 5-1 beating in Buffalo -- where the Sabres' Zack Kassian scored his first career NHL goal -- the Caps moved to 3-6-1 in their last 10 games. In the past eight, it's been particularly awful.

Check out this stat from Stephen Whyno at the Washington Post. The Caps have now been outscored 34-17 in their past eight games. Minus-17 in the past eight? That's worthy of one big OUCH.

The upcoming week for the Caps has dates with the Blues and Penguins. So things might not get better quite yet.

Quote of the weekend

After the Penguins destroyed the Senators 6-3 and Sidney Crosby continued his stellar return with three assists, Sens forward Nick Foligno attacked Crosby for taking a headshot at him late in the game. He wasn't too happy with Sid, saying he was disappointed and more or less called Crosby a hypocrite.

While Crosby was quiet about the criticism, his coach Dan Bylsma wasn't. Here's what he had to say in response.

"We're talking about a player that bumped into our goalie three times. With the score 5-1 and intentionally going into our goalie, he can expect more than Sidney Crosby coming at him and talking to him during the game. That's how we feel about those situations. He was in our net falling over our goalie, and I don't think there was any question about the intent."

Photo: US Presswire

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com