Dreger: Avery is testing Tortorella

Darren Dreger
4/22/2009 10:41:00 PM
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Wednesday night was as close as we've seen Sean Avery to a meltdown in hockey since he's returned to the National Hockey League.

Rangers head coach John Tortorella is furious with Avery after he squirted water inexplicably at TSN game analyst Ray Ferraro in the first period of Wednesday's game.

In the third period, it really got ugly when Avery took a roughing penalty for his shot to the face of defenceman Milan Jurcina. He couldn't believe the penalty and went back to plead his case before being told to sit down and be quiet by Tortorella.

Late in the third period, with just over three minutes left, he high-sticks Brian Pothier and again Tortorella is left to scratch his head.

Tortorella has been incredibly patient with Avery throughout his return to the National Hockey League and for the most part, in three games of this series, Avery has been a very effective player for the Rangers. But he's testing Tortorella's patience. He's got seven minor penalties in four games, a misconduct, and the worst was Wednesday night on home ice.

Post 2010 Push

There are a lot of international meetings that are scheduled as part of the world hockey championships coming up in Switzerland and both the National Hockey League and the Players' Association are going to be represented there.

There's a joint proposal on the table between the NHL and the NHLPA pushing for a transfer agreement, so that will be on the agenda.

Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals has been among the most vocal in terms of insisting that the National Hockey League participate in the Olympic Games post-2010 in Vancouver.

And why wouldn't he?

Executive Director of the Players' Association, Paul Kelly, absolutely supports Ovechkin's cause and he will site the fall tour in a survey that the players participated in where 97 percent said that they wanted to participate in the Olympics after 2010.

So, Paul Kelly will address congress in Switzerland with the IIHF as part of his push one more time to insure that the National Hockey League is represented after Vancouver.

Darren Dreger


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