Sean Avery made his debut for the Connecticut Whale last night, scoring an empty net goal and immediately having a fight as the CT Whale defeated the Adirondack Phantoms 4-2 to take over first place in the division. The news of Avery being back on the ice and scoring, even if an empty-netter, was welcomed by Avery's Army of fans. Glad Sean is back on the ice, but he still is not the answer for what ails the New York Rangers.
Avery at his best plays on the edge in all facets of the game. He has shown that in flashes over the past couple of seasons, but whether it be Avery himself or coach John Tortorella restraining him there has not been enough of that version on the ice. When Avery plays without his edge he serves little purpose to the team. He can still bring some energy and work the cycle down low, if the Rangers establish a forecheck, but it is not enough to warrant the level of cries for his return. At this stage in his career Avery is likely a fourth line or at best bottom six winger in the NHL. Yes, Avery can bring energy to a seemingly listless Rangers team at time, but when he is likely going to sit on the bench for 80% of the game it is questionable what if any difference he would tangibly make.