Rangers acquire noted pain in the ass Avery

The New York Rangers just got a lot mouthier.

Looking to jumpstart their way back into the postseason mix, the Blueshirts acquired left wing and agitator Sean Avery from Los Angeles for forward Jason Ward. The teams also swapped some prospects.

What the Rangers get -- besides someone banging Elisha Cuthbert -- is the league's most penalized player since the start of last season, and arguably their biggest pain on the ice since Esa Tikkanen and Ulf Samuelsson were skating on 8th Avenue.

How much of a pain can the 5-foot-9 Avery be? Think of the little dog nipping at your heels while thinking its a Doberman.

Last preseason, Avery said a hit by then-Phoenix defenseman Denis Gauthier on then-Kings center Jeremy Roenick "was typical of most French guys in our league with a visor on, running around and playing tough and not back anything up."

In an October game, he was accused by Edmonton tough guy Georges Laraque of using a racial slur. Laraque now is with Phoenix.

Avery also was the first NHL player last season to be fined $1,000 for diving -- and hammered the league for it.

"How can a guy sitting in an office in New York determine if you dived or not by watching a tape?" Avery said. "They don't know if you had a bad ankle or torn bursa sac or something. I can't even tell you what play they are talking about. They don't have to tell you a play, just what game they are looking at.

Last week, New York's Brendan Shanahan was vocal about leading scorer Jaromir Jagr being mugged by opponents. While Avery doesn't fit the mold of goons of yesteryear -- he does have some scoring touch -- he may just be the kind of player Shanahan, a former teammate of Avery's in Detroit, wants on the ice.

Avery is slated to make in his Rangers debut Tuesday against New Jersey.

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