Sean Avery is a decent hockey player. He can score and pass and skate but his main purpose is to agitate. Nobody can deny that he does that well. Nobody can deny that he helped the Rangers turn around a dismal season last year. Nobody can deny that he disrupted the Thrashers in the playoffs and that it is quite remarkable that he drew diciplined Ilya Kovalchuk into a fight at the end of game 4. He plays his role and it helps the Rangers. He may be overrated and may be used to boost the ratings and may be the most hated, but he helps the Rangers.
But then he went too far.
If he did indeed make those remarks to Jason Blake, and neither you nor I know for certain, then he is in the wrong. It is okay to be a jerk. This is hockey. But there is a line. And Sean Avery may have crossed it.
Lets assume he did. He did a terrible thing. All NHL fans, (Rangers fans, Leafs fans and everybody else) are upset and perhaps angry that he said what he did. Yes, there are exceptions but the general opinion of the entire hockey world is that he did something terrible.
Yet, this is no worse than what Todd Bertuzzi and the like did. There are and have been NHL players who made huge mistakes. Who intentionally and physically hurt other people. Sean Avery said something extremely hurtful. Im not defending him but dont pretend like he committed the worst crime the NHL has seen. There have been worse acts committed this season.
That said, the fans and players are rightfully incensed about this. A Rangers player is rumored to have made comments about his anger about the topic. This represents the general view of the Rangers organization and locker room as well. Sean is not an locker room outcast now, but his actions are not taken well by his teammates.
Im the event that this rumor is false, the one who made it up did a terrible thing. To slander somebody in that way is awful. We can all make our own assumptions as to what occurred but until there is any solid evidence either way, any criticism should be prefaced with an "IF".
I feel sorry for Blake, hs situation to begin with and any added pain that was caused IF Avery did that. Of course, I personally am rooting for Blake. I hope he gets healthy real quick.
I hope we can all move on from this. It may be cleared up and it may not be. But its over. Either Avery did a bad thing or not. At the end of the day, hockey will go on, the Rangers will go on and most importantly, Jason Blake will go on.