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Avery putting disappointing season behind him

Thursday, 09.02.2010 / 1:27 PM / 2010 Offseason News

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

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Avery putting disappointing season behind him
The 2009-10 season wasn't one to remember for the Rangers or Sean Avery, but the antagonizing forward is already hard at work and eager to start fresh.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Sean Avery remains disappointed with how his 2009-10 season unfolded, but the budding entrepreneur, who owns his own restaurant in Manhattan, hasn't spent the summer contemplating why or how things went south for him and the Rangers.

"I let it go," Avery told Thursday after a 75-minute informal skate with nine other teammates at the Madison Square Garden Training Center. "It's easy to do when you're excited about getting back to work."

Avery finished last season with 31 points in 69 games. He started on the shelf with a knee injury and ended the season seven games prematurely, again with a knee injury. He had to watch the Rangers lose out on the playoffs from the press box in Philadelphia.

In between, however, Avery never found himself in a groove or confidently playing his own antagonizing brand of hockey.

"I think everyone knows what my game entails," Avery said. "I'm just excited to get back to the way that I know how to play and enjoy playing that way."

Sticking with his philosophy of letting last season go, Avery wasn't in the mood Thursday to talk about what was missing from his game last season.

"Lots," is all he would say.

Was it a matter of consistency?

"That's your job as a pro to find that consistent level on an individual basis," Avery said.

Avery went through several long stretches last season without registering a point, but he doesn't care too much about that, or the fact that he finished with only 31 points, because he is not a self-proclaimed stat man. Those 31 points fell only eight shy of his career high.

Avery instead said he's happy with himself when he knows he's playing on the edge, toeing the line, frustrating the opponent without hurting his own team. When he's like that, the Rangers are usually at their best, too.

When asked if that's what coach John Tortorella talks to him about when they meet and discuss his game, Avery's response was terse.

"You can ask him that," he said.

The relationship between Avery and Tortorella appeared to turn dicey last season because the player couldn't find a comfort zone playing the way the coach wanted him to. But since Avery seems ready to turn the page on last season, it's not off base to think he's hoping for a fresh start with Tortorella, too.

Whether that's why he's already working out at the Rangers' suburban practice facility is not known, but the elongated summer has served as motivation for Avery not only to be in shape for training camp but ready to have a big season.

"I think it's definitely easier (to get ready for the season)," Avery said. "Just the longer the time off the more you start champing at the bit. I want to be ready when we start."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

Quote of the Day

It seems like I'm kind of making it a little difficult on myself here the last two games.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after tying the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with an assist on Duncan Keith's goal with 26.6 seconds left against the Anaheim Ducks Friday
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