Avery made his thoughts known about his former coach and current bench boss of the New York Rangers, John Tortorella, shortly before the puck dropped in the game between New York and Montreal at the Bell Centre on Saturday night.
The tweet read: "Fire this CLOWN. His players hate him and wont play for his BS…. @imseanavery is #winning."
Rangers captain Ryan Callahan responded to the remarks through a release on behalf of his fellow Rangers:
"Sean Avery's comments solely represent his own thoughts and opinions. He did not speak for us as a team when he was here and certainly does not now."
Rangers centre Derek Stepan told the New York Daily News after the team's 3-0 loss to the Canadiens on Hockey Night In Canada that he didn't share Avery's tweeted sentiments.
"Our problem isn’t with our coaching staff, and it hasn't been," Stepan said. "And I think if you asked everyone on our team, they would say the same thing, that that’s not the case here … I don’t agree with [Sean Avery’s tweet] at all, no. I think it's safe to say that all 23 guys on our roster would say that's not the case."
Whether the team is behind their coach or not, the Rangers have been mired in an ugly season thus far, with their 16-15-3 record good enough for a tie with the New York Islanders for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
That result is a far cry from the expectations many had for the team that was tops in the East last season with 109 points, and made it to the conference final, before picking up superstar Rick Nash in an off-season trade.
Avery is no stranger to controversial comments. His second stint with the Rangers came about after the Dallas Stars placed him on waivers following comments he made about a fellow player's girlfriend in 2009, and was suspended indefintely for conduct detrimental to the league.Suggest a correction