Not a lot of news surrounding the Rangers since Ryan Callahan re-signed last week, but there was this little story that broke earlier this morning. Slava Malamud of www.sport-express.ru posted a quote from former Rangers LW Alex Frolov on Twitter that caused a bit of a stir, when Frolov said that Sean Avery has used racial slurs to get a rise out of his opponents while on the ice, but that Avery has recently become a calmer and smarter player. Frolov was reached by the New York Daily News after the quote leaked and he has since denied the report, claiming he was misquoted.
You can read the full quote inside this post by clicking to read more.
"(Avery) isn't a fool. Lately he has become calmer, smarter. Before he'd get swept away w/ emotions and do something stupid. To mention each and every one of his stunts... Something always happens around him, it's a part of his job. He needs to be talked about. He loves it, he feels at home in the spotlight. Sometimes he called opponents 'black monkeys.' He did a lot of things, I can't remember all."
Frolov, meanwhile, had this to say when he was reached by phone in Germany by Jesse Spector of the New York Daily News.
“I didn’t say anything about Aves calling someone bad language – I was saying he’s really emotional and that in the past he could say the wrong thing,” Frolov told The News. “It wasn’t particularly about black people. He doesn’t have anything against black people. I mean, he’s a nice person, and he wouldn’t say something bad about black people or Asian people or any kind of people. It’s some kind of misunderstanding.”
My first reaction when I read this was questioning why this was even news at all. Avery has been accused in the past about calling George Laraque a "monkey" in 2005 and he was also accused by a radio station in Toronto of making fun of Jason Blake's cancer when he had the infamous pregame scrummish with Darcy Tucker back in 2007. Avery has denied both of those allegations, but my thoughts on Avery have always been pretty simple. The guy is a cult hero and one of my favorite players and I have loved having him on the Rangers because I think he's perfect for New York. That being said, Avery knows what his job is and I've always assumed he must be saying some outrageous stuff on the ice to get as much of a rise out of his opponents as he does. It would have been great to have had a live mic on him when he was in his prime as an agitator and super pest just to hear some of the things he must say when he's on the ice. I certainly don't support some of the things he's been rumored to say, but I guess it just doesn't surprise me. I think most fans are better off letting Sean Avery do his job on the ice without knowing the specifics of what his antics are because chances are it would turn even more people against him (if that's even possible).
One thing's for sure: you can call Sean Avery a lot of things, but "dull" and "uninteresting" certainly don't apply.