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article imageToronto Maple Leafs Should Target Soon-To-Be Free Agent Sean Avery

By Nawest Vazquez     Apr 15, 2008 in Sports
If you were to look up "douche bag" in the (urban) dictionary, you'd find a picture of Sean Avery. He is the ultimate douche. The lowest of the low. I hate him. And that's why I want to see him become a Toronto Maple Leaf.
Avery's been all over the news for his most recent antics on Sunday night against Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils. If you haven't seen Avery's latest douche-baggery, check it out, because it's pretty unbelievable what this guy is capable of.
Pretty wild stuff, eh? Not only did Avery screen Brodeur in a way no player ever has before, he ended up scoring on Marty after the fact. Salt in the wounds, man. And, as the picture above indicates, there isn't a worse goal-scoring celebration out there than Avery's. Dude is incorrigible.
The only people who can stand Avery and his shenanigans are his teammates and New York Rangers fans. Avery's the type of guy everyone hates. Unless he plays for your team. Then you love him. He is Darcy Tucker, circa 1998, on steroids.
I wasn't too fond of Tucker back in those days, when he was with the Tampa Bay Lightning. I remember a game against Toronto, back in good old Maple Leaf Gardens, where Tucker took a run at Mats Sundin. Steve Thomas came to the defense of the Captain and dropped the gloves with the feisty Tucker. Suffice it to say that after that game Tucker was enemy number one around these parts. Until he was traded to Toronto. I couldn't have been happier the day he became a Maple Leaf. Once in the blue and white, Tucker quickly became one of my favourites.
As much as I hate Sean Avery, I know I'd love him in a Leafs uniform. Hell, I'd worship the cat. Admit it, you would too. We all hate the Tucker's, the Boogard's, and the Avery's until they put on the uniform we cherish. Say what you want about Avery, but he's great at what he does. Nobody can get more under the skin of his opponents than super douche Sean Avery. It's a gift. He's the type of guy you hate to play against but would love to have on your side.
On far too many nights the last three years the Maple Leafs have been way too easy to play against. Especially on home ice. Avery's presence in the Leafs lineup would change that. No one likes to play against him. He chirps and chirps and chirps, even in the pre-game warm up (as we learned back in November). Avery draws the ire of everyone around him, from coaches to players and even play-by-play announcers. He even pisses Don Cherry off, and Cherry loves a good agitator.
While he is by far the biggest trash-talker in the league, Avery has proven he can play. He's a major reason why New York has a 2-1 series lead over New Jersey in their quarterfinal series - Avery's scored in each game so far, one of them a game-winner, and has added an assist. Not only does Avery piss you off with his extra-curricular activities, he's all over the score sheet to boot.
Avery has tallied 48 goals in the last three regular seasons, and put up a career-high 48 points with Los Angeles and New York in 06/07. This season he scored 15 goals in 57 games. Yep, that's as many as Jason Blake potted, and in 25 fewer games.
The Rangers' record with Avery in their lineup speaks for itself. When he suits up, New York has compiled a record of 50-20-16. In the 25 games Avery missed, New York won only nine games, lost 13 in regulation time, and lost three in overtime and the shootout. He's clearly a big part of that team.
Come July 1st, Avery will be an unrestricted free agent, his services available to the highest bidder. His salary this season? Only $1.9 million. That's less than what both Mark Bell and Andrew Raycroft pulled in this season ($2 million). While Avery is due for a raise, the Leafs will have the cap space to make him an offer. Toronto desperately needs to become a tougher team to play against. Sean Avery would go a long way in doing just that.
Don't get me wrong - I hate Sean Avery. But boy would I love to see him in a Maple Leafs uniform next season...
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