Tonight marks the return of one of the biggest fan favorites in New York Rangers history Sean Avery.
And if you think that's an overstatement you didn't watch a single game during Avery's one and a half years on Broadway.
He brought an electricity to the Garden every night. When Avery was on the ice you could feel the anticipation from the Garden crowd. And when he did score a timely goal or get into a scrap the crowd would roar with approval louder than with any other Ranger probably since Mark Messier.
His off the ice exploits, whether it was interning at Vogue or dating Barbara Bush, made him attractive to the non-traditional hockey fan. Which the NHL was very negligent not to cash in on.
While his on ice demeanor drew the ire of every hockey fan not wearing a Rangers jersey.
Its was a very sad day when Glen Sather decided not to re-sign Avery. The fury from the Ranger faithful was almost as bad as when Sather traded Brian Leetch. I said almost.
And when they brought in a cast of characters named Voros, Rissmiller and Jamtin to replace him we all cringed.
But its funny how things work out. We're off to one of the best starts in Ranger history and Voros has turned into an early season fan favorite, while the Stars have stumbled out of the gate and Avery is not living up to expectations.
And now we're hearing from players such as Brandon Dubinsky and Steve Valiquette that Avery was more than just a minor nuisance in the lockeroom last year.
We miss you Sean and the passion you brought the ice every night. But with the way things are turning out this year I'll stick with the memories and Dallas can have the real thing.