New York Ranger Sean Avery
Sean Avery’s kid brother, Scott
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Don’t know New York Rangers forward Sean Avery, never saw him say hi to a goalie.
But for sure Sean’s kid brother, Scott is a real winner.
All I know about the fabled New York Rangers is that long ago when I was growing up in Halifax, my favourite Uncle Eddy was a real Rangers fan in the gone forever days of forward Andy Bathgate.
When the Rangers’ so-called “bad boy” Sean Avery was rushed to a Manhattan hospital with a lacerated spleen, apparently suffered in an unscheduled collision with a Pittsburgh defenseman in Tuesday night’s playoff loss to Pittsburgh, the New York Daily News (to my pride and joy) called Canada Free Press (CFP).
The Big Apple Boys called on CFP last August during the Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) brouhaha. Luck in that episode came from my Elm Street office landlord, whose brother owned the bar, where the very married A-Rod showed up with a Toronto exotic dancer.
This time Daily News editors wanted me to find a telephone number for the Avery family and to interview Sean’s Dad, Al.
The big city boys wanted me to first find the Averys’ home telephone number and then to arrange for an interview.
I had understood that the Averys lived within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Knowing that CFP’s lovable Ed Zawadski columnist, author of The Ultimate Canadian Sports Trivia Book would know where the Averys lived, he was the first person I called.
As it turned out Ed, when I reached him on his car phone, was tooling around town with his buddy Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun Sports Dept.
“Oshawa!” Ed told me. Sean and his family live in Oshawa, not the GTA.”
It was with trepidation that I first dialed the number at the Avery residence. After all, the print media already had the Rangers forward in cardiac arrest and unconscious.
Sean’s kid brother Scott, who will be 20 in August, answered the telephone.
When I explained my dilemma that I very much wanted some quotes for the Daily News, young Scott was most accommodating.
“My Dad drove my Mom to the airport and she should be enroute to Sean right now,” Scott told me. “Sean is lying in that hospital bed with his cell phone and I have been text messaging him.”
Scott, Sean’s biggest fan ever since Sean’s Ontario Hockey League (OHL) days, told me he knew for certain that his big brother was on the mend, “because now he’s getting angry that he’s out of the game even though the Rangers may be out for the season by tomorrow night.”
Scott, who is Europe bound next week, sent a text message to his brother saying, “See you in Paris.”
Avery, 28, was admitted to St. Vincent’s Medical Center early Wednesday morning after a CT scan identified the session-ending injury to his spleen, according to Rangers General Manager Glen Sather.
Avery was hospitalized about five hours after the Rangers 5-3 loss to the Penguins in a Stanley Cup playoff game at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers are down 3-0 in the best-of-seven series and face elimination tomorrow night.
“The Daily News broke the story shortly after 11 a.m. About an hour later, Avery’s mother, Marlene told the Toronto Sun the injury occurred during a first-period collision with a Pittsburgh defenseman.” ( www.nydailynews.com, April 30, 2008).
Scott saw his brother’s injury as “the luck of the draw”. “These guys play 110% in the game,” he said.
Sean’s kid brother has long been used to his brother’s celebrity status. “I hang out with the same group of friends I went to school with. We grew up with Sean in hockey ever since his OHL days.”
Endearingly, Scott’s email address includes the number 19 ever since the days his brother played for the L.A. Kings.
When asked about Sean’s reputation as an agitator willing to go into any corner, Scott said “all of that’s on ice”.
Off the ice, he described his brother as “the salt of the earth” and a “very calm person”.
“When he’s relaxing, he’s really into his music,” Scott said. “Everybody likes him.”
Down to earth and not at all full of himself, Scott proves that Al and Marlene have two outstanding sons.
Meanwhile, a lot of big brothers claim that they have the best kid brother on earth.
In the case of New York Rangers forward Sean Avery, that’s a fact.