On the Rink with Gootz: Why Sean Avery is Not the Answer

I thought it was time for a fresh voice on the blog to peddle the bemusement that we fans of the New York Rangers have experienced over the last few weeks. While in my last article, I briefly explained why bringing back Sean Avery (in response to fan chants on opening night) was a bad idea or just not going to accomplish anything, it seems that management is actually going to listen to the Garden Faithful (or as some say, Brainless) on this one, as they will be recalling Avery today. Should he not get claimed by another team, he would be available Thursday night against Anaheim.

To voice his frustration and critique on the matter, I have asked my good friend “Gootz”, as we call him, to contribute a guest post, and I hope that he will be a regular columnist on this blog, since it becomes rather tiresome voicing the same frustration over, and over, and over again. Gootz currently serves as the Assistant Director of Player Personnel for the Danbury Whalers of the FHL. Below is his posting:

By guest blogger Chris “Gootz” Hoeler

While attending opening night at the Garden this year, the ire of fans towards the New York Rangers’ organization about sending Sean Avery down to Connecticut was rather evident. A banner hung out over section 427 that wanted Avery back and suggested sending John Tortorella down to the Whale instead. Later in the evening, a loud “We Want Avery” chant went up, as the Rangers seemed lifeless. My reaction? Head in my hands.

Do I like Sean Avery? Yes. I like the way he plays and the way he jaws with other players. It gets things going and I like having characters in a professional sports scene where many people are very bland. But Sean isn’t the answer here.

He provided a spark to the Rangers when he first arrived in New York a few years ago and did so a few other times. But it is now over, Rangers’ fans. We all know that everyone believes that John Tortorella has neutered Avery and made him useless. If people believe that, then why bring him up? And even if you don’t subscribe to that belief, does anyone here really think Sean Avery is going to be the offensive dynamo that this team needs to start lighting the lamp consistently? Probably not. I was an advocate for having Sean on a line with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik and at this point, if Sean makes it up to New York, I am sure it will be tried. Would I like it to work? Absolutely. Do I think it is going to? No.

I want this team to be successful and am willing to try anything at this point because the team seems completely lost right now. Sean may or may not be apart of that but what bothers me the most about this whole situation is how many people seem to think bringing Sean back is going to magically bring this team to the top of the conference and everyone can tell Tortorella “I told you so”. The problems run a bit deeper than this. Marc Staal has seemingly fallen off the face of the Earth and no one knows anything about when he may be coming back. Addressing the defense and making that stronger will certainly help issues.

But Ranger fans need to realize that this is most likely the last we will see of Sean Avery in a Ranger uniform, assuming he doesn’t get claimed by another team. I would love to be totally wrong and see him come up here and spark this team but people need to be realistic and look at the bigger picture here. The Rangers have bigger problems on the ice than Sean Avery, who, as God-like as he is to some fans, cannot solve them with an almighty wave of his stick, like he did in front of Martin Brodeur’s face.


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