While the New York Post’s Larry Brooks reported earlier today that Rangers W Sean Avery was considered a libel charge against The Fan 590’s Howard Berger (above) following allegations Avery baited Toronto’s Jason Blake with cancer jokes (Blake suffers from Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia), the radio host in question attempted to clarify his take on the matter earlier today.
My reporting, yesterday, of Sean Avery™s alleged remarks to Jason Blake on Saturday night seems to have made headlines on both sides of the border, and I stand by absolutely everything I said. But, there has been a blatant misconception about how the information came my way. The New York Post and the Toronto Star both implied that a player in the Rangers™ dressing room fed me the news after the game. The Rangers, themselves, were of the same impression when I spoke with them yesterday. It isn™t true, nor was it the basis of anything I said on the radio. Anyone who was listening carefully would have heard me say, several times, that I went to the New York room with designs on corraborating speculation I had heard on the Toronto side. It was then that a Ranger player made the comment ” about Avery “ that œI was ready to strangle him, myself, when I heard it. Those were the exact words that were spoken to me, and the exact way I presented it on The Fan-590 yesterday.
Several people have phoned this afternoon, feeling badly over the manner in which Darren Millard and Nick Kypreos apparently took me to task about the alleged cancer remark, on today™s edition of Hockey Central At Noon ” simulcast on The Fan and Rogers Sportsnet. While I appreciated their concern, it was really nothing out of the ordinary, nor did it come unexpectedly. When you report on a controversial issue “ and the news spreads like wild-fire in two countries ” you™d better damned well be prepared to stand up for yourself¦ even on your own radio station. It™s nothing I haven™t been through before, nor is it likely to avoid me in the future.