averyref.jpgThe New York Rangers are on the brink of elimination in their 7-game series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but Rangers forward and "enforcer" Sean Avery is on a much more serious brink. Avery was hospitalized at St. Vincent's Hospital early this morning around 3 a.m. for a lacerated spleen and he remains there this afternoon. Which means Avery will be out for the rest of the season.

The Daily News had reported the much-maligned Avery was rushed to the hospital this morning in cardiac arrest while not breathing and unconscious. However, the Rangers denied that report, saying Avery walked into the hospital with the team doctor.

The medical emergency occurred just a few hours after the Ranger lost again to the Penguins, putting them behind 3-0 in the 7 game series. His mother said he was injured after a collision with a Pittsburgh defenseman in the first period.

Avery has been a lightning rod for controversy both on and off the ice. A rule was created after some of Avery's antics (the Nitwit or Sean Avery Rule). He also leads a high-profile social life off the ice, dating many Hollywood starlets and model, even being recently linked to a prostitution scandal (he shrugged it off as a practical joke by teammates). Next up for Avery, after his medical stay: Interning at Vogue.