"I bleed Ranger red and blue...I feel I am a Ranger, and I have found a home here in New York."
Believe it or not, those words are from Sean Avery, the ex-agitator of the New York Rangers. Earlier this month, Avery abandoned his "home" in New York and moved to Dallas, where he will be under contract for the next four years.
Avery left many Ranger fans heartbroken, and the fans in turn blamed GM Glen Sather for not doing everything in his power to keep Avery in New York. But, in this case, Avery is the one to blame for his departure—not Sather.
This is not the same case as it was ten years ago with Mark Messier, when the Rangers' late offer of one year and $4 million was not in the same ballpark as Vancouver's minimum of three years and $20 million and maximum of five years and $30 million. The Rangers' early offer of four years and $12 million was not sufficient enough for Avery. and he elected to sign for four years and $15.5 million.
The bottom line is that everything that Avery said he felt towards New York was worth less than the $875,000 per year more he will be making in Dallas.
Sean Avery will now go to Dallas. There will be no more Avery chants, no more applause for getting in the face of Martin Brodeur, and most likely no more late Saturday nights with Hollywood starlets, unless his bad-boy personality can woo Jessica Simpson away from Tony Romo.
We will see if the affection he craves so much will be given to him, and whether he will have the affection of Stars fans like he did of Rangers fans. But one thing is for sure—Avery's blood is green for the money.
And if he doesn't get a coach who can get the best out of him like Tom Renney, or have a veteran like Brendan Shanahan steer him away from controversy, his time in Dallas may be much shorter than the four years he's signed for.
Then, he will have to ask himself—was this worth an extra $875,000 per year?
It should be an interesting return to the Garden for Sean Avery on October 20.