Sean Avery, here spending some quality time with Darcy Tucker of the Leafs, strongly denies involvement with a Manhattan madam's call-girl agency. ((Ed Betz/Associated Press))

Ranger forward Sean Avery is vehemently denying any connection to a high-end Manhattan madam facing money laundering and prostitution charges.

Avery's comments came in light of a New York Daily News story claiming his name and private cellphone number are in the client files of Kristin Davis, 32, and that he is listed as a $500 client of her service.

"For some reason, I highly doubt that," Avery told a Daily News reporter who phoned the number taken from Davis's files and had the NHLer answer. "It's April Fools' Day coming up, and I'm not going to fall for it."

In a later statement, Avery called the claims "false and defamatory," adding he "was never a client of Ms. Davis, nor of any prostitute."

Davis was arraigned on Wednesday in Manhattan and ordered held on $2-million bond. She is alleged to have operated a number of brothels whose employees charged anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars an hour, according to Artic McConnell, an assistant direct attorney.

Avery's publicist Nicole Chabot told reporters "we deny there is any truth to the story."

A 10-year NHL veteran, Avery is the former boyfriend of supermodel Rachel Hunter and actress Elisha Cuthbert.