Callahan responds to Avery tweets

Rangers captain Ryan Callahan released a statement Sunday distancing himself and his teammates from former teammate Sean Avery's tweet that called Rangers head coach John Tortorella a clown who needs to be fired.

"Sean Avery's comments solely represent his own thoughts and opinions. He did not speak for us as a team when he was here and certainly does not now," Callahan's statement said.

After Callahan released the statement, Avery appeared to fire a shot back Sunday afternoon as he tweeted: "Find myself #listeningto Gotta Get Up by Harry Nilsson.....Relax with the official statements its kinda embarrassing. :) :) :) :)."

Following the Rangers' 3-0 loss to Montreal on Saturday night, Avery, who played under Tortorella for four seasons, tweeted: "Fire this CLOWN, his players hate him and wont play for his BS.... @imseanavery is #winning." Avery also retweeted a fan who said he'd take Avery over slumping Rangers forward Marian Gaborik.

Avery, who last played for the Rangers last season before retiring, has had his run-ins with Tortorella in the past. After being waived last season, Avery said that he didn't feel he was given a fair shot by the coach.

Avery's tweets calling for Tortorella's head come at a critical time for the Rangers. The Blueshirts are tied for the eighth and final spot in the playoffs with the Islanders, but have been blanked 3-0 in each of the past two games and have lost four of their past five.