Toronto radio station retracts claim Avery made cancer-related remarks

TORONTO -- A Toronto radio station aired a retraction Monday
for claiming last month that Rangers forward Sean Avery made
cancer-related remarks to ill Maple Leafs forward Jason Blake.

Avery exchanged words and shoves with Blake and his Toronto
teammate Darcy Tucker during warmups before New York's 3-2 shootout
victory over the Maple Leafs on Nov. 10.

FAN 590 reporter Howard Berger had claimed Avery made
"cancer-related remarks" to Blake during the altercation, citing
an unidentified Rangers player. Blake was diagnosed with a rare
form of leukemia in October.

Avery denied making the comments and his lawyers served libel
notices against the Fan and the Toronto Star over the matter.
Berger voiced the 46-second retraction that aired Monday.

"It was my intention only to report accurately on what
transpired during the pregame warmup," he said. "Based on Mr.
Avery's clear statement that he made no such remarks, my
information and therefore my reporting does not appear to have been

"I truly regret reporting that Mr. Avery made any such
comments. I apologize to Mr. Avery for having done so. And I hereby
retract my comments about what transpired during the pregame warmup
on Nov. 10, 2007."