Sean Avery is no longer an active NHL player, but he's still saying things! Yesterday morning, he appeared on classic-rock station Q104.3, where he reiterated that he is indeed officially retired. (You may recall that after Avery announced his retirement on Bravo — i.e., in the most Sean Avery way possible — his agent said that his client hadn't made a decision about his future. But Avery said on 104.3 yesterday that his agent said that because otherwise there might have been a problem with Avery getting paid.) In any case, Avery chatted about a handful of topics, including all bars and restaurants he's officially and unofficially involved with, but toward the end of the interview, the conversation turned to hockey and Avery's old pals, the New Jersey Devils, and this year's Eastern Conference Finals. Said Avery: "I can tell you one thing. The New York Rangers would have beaten the New Jersey Devils if Sean Avery was on the team this year."
Is that true, though? First of all, what the Rangers most desperately needed in those playoffs was consistent scoring, and so the lack of Sean Avery wasn't nearly as much of a problem as the lack of, say, a healthy Marian Gaborik. (We've long maintained that Avery had more hockey ability than he was often given credit for, but we don't think he's moving the needle in a playoff series with his skating ability and passing.) Also keep in mind that, even if Avery was on the team, it's unlikely he'd have gotten a ton of ice time. Think back to the 2011 playoffs, when Avery did some quality forechecking yet only got more than thirteen minutes of ice time once, and that was in a game that went into double overtime. Even if Avery was on the active roster, he'd undoubtedly have gotten fourth-line minutes, and it's unlikely John Tortorella would have trusted him in any significant situations.
Of course, Avery is best known a world-class pest, and indeed, one could argue that this helped the Rangers in 2007 against Atlanta and 2008 against New Jersey. But a disciplined team wouldn't be phased by Avery, and as much as we'd have loved to see if he could have gotten under Martin Brodeur's skin, the Devils played some extraordinarily disciplined hockey during the playoffs last season, especially against the Flyers in the second round. Considering how little Avery would have played, it's hard to imagine that he'd have had a significant effect.
Anyway, the whole interview is below; it ends with Avery taking a shot at Cameron Diaz. Sean Avery's no longer a hockey player, but he's still very much Sean Avery.