Did not venture into Manhattan yesterday to catch up with Sean Avery at the NHL Store, which was a calculated risk on my part since you never know what the Grate One is going to say.
However, the tireless Katie Strang of Newsday was on hand so we offer this link to her article. A lot of what Avery said is similar to his comments from the Rangers' break-up day but it is significant that Avery voiced what most Rangers' observers - impartial or otherwise - have been screaming about since Day 1 of the 2008-09 season: the team's glaring need for somebody, anybody, who can put the puck into the net on a consistent basis.
That was the first analysis John Tortorella was giving of the team after he took over, oftentimes saying after a (lost) game, "we need to score a damn goal." No doubt, this was Topic No. 1 - or at least as close to the top of the list as possible - as the team's brass gathered in California this week to plot the team's offseason strategy.
As to that and given the team's salary-cap restrictions and the desire not to trade away emerging young players such as D Marc Staal, C Brandon Dubinsky or RW Ryan Callahan, what would be your gut reaction to taking another run at Mats Sundin if the Vancouver unrestricted free agent does decide he wants to play next season - or at least part of it?
Pros: He showed he can still score with the Canucks, you wouldn't have to give up anything for him, and, if he's being sincere about money not being a determing factor, could slot into some of the money saved by Markus Naslund's retirement. Cons: He's 38 and the Rangers have certainly gone down this (unproductive) path of bringing in aging stars before.
Speaking of Swedes, you see that Helen Alfredsson tied a competitive course-record with her 10-under-par 62 in the first round of the Sybase Classic at Upper Montclair Country Club yesterday? Alfredsson is married to former NHLer Kent Nilsson and the stepmother of current Edmonton Oiler Robert Nilsson. A few years back, when the Sybase was still at Wykagyl in New Rochelle, I was talking to Alfredsson on the driving range. She noticed the pen I was using had a hockey stick-shaped clip-on and I had a New York Rangers' notepad. Naturally, we stopped all that silly golf talk and chatted hockey. Turns out she, naturally, is a big Henrik Lundqvist fan.