There's still about two months until training camp, but the speculation over who will skate on the left wing on the top line with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik has started already. Some have suggested Wojtek Wolski, some have suggested moving Brandon Dubinsky to wing, but I don't feel either of those are the Rangers' best option. Their best option, as the roster stands now, is Sean Avery.
Now with the way John Tortorella jumbles lines, we know that everyone will get a chance to play on that first line with the dynamic duo. Who knows, maybe even Marc Staal and Michael Del Zotto will get a shot there (kidding, obviously). But after all of the jumbling is done, I think Torts may find that Avery is one of his top candidates to complete that line.
Larry Brooks wrote something similar in the New York Post:
Two-man partnerships are all the rage, but Richards and Gaborik will need a left wing to get in on the forecheck, win battles and deliver the puck to his skilled linemates. Brandon Dubinsky is a candidate, but if Tortorella has an open enough mind, Sean Avery will get an opportunity to fill that role.
As I've pointed out in the past, Tortorella has been anything but open-minded when it comes to Avery. Sean hasn't gotten the chance he deserves to succeed, and that has to be frustrating for him. But with Avery having a prior relationship with Richards, as well as experience when playing on a top line (Jagr), I think Tortorella will have no choice but to try it out.
Richards and Gaborik are skilled guys - finesse players - so you won't necessarily see them digging in the corners all of the time. Avery will do that, and in addition to the dirty work, he will keep up with Richie and Gabby and move the puck as well. Avery's capabilities are overlooked by many, and I think he is much more talented than he is given credit for. If he skates on the Richards-Gaborik line, trust me, you will see why.