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Avery "Shaken" by Arbitration Hearing

Just in case you've forgotten that pro sports are about money first and foremost, I offer you this story from today's New York Post:

Salary arbitration hearings are, by definition, adversarial proceedings, but yesterday's faceoff in Toronto between the Rangers and Sean Avery was difficult enough to have left the 27-year-old winger shaken.
For in seeking to give Avery just a $200,000 raise over the $1.1 million he earned last season, the Blueshirts simply hammered away at one of their most important players in an astonishingly short-sighted, penny-saved-pound-foolish attack.
For The Post has learned that in addition to referring to Avery as, "a reasonably effective player as well as a detriment to the team," in the team brief that was presented to the arbitrator, Ranger management also said:
"Avery is not a mature player. He plays, at times, like an individual rather than a member of a team. This is sometimes referred to as an inability to see the ice, and in Avery's case this seems to fit with his overall approach to the game."

I'm no fan of Avery's style of play, but did the Rangers need to go that far? Ouch.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 31, 2007; 12:14 PM ET
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