As expected, Sean Avery is headed back to the New York Rangers.
The notorious agitator was claimed off re-entry waivers from the Dallas Stars today and comes at a half-price discount.
New York will be on the hook for half of the remainder of the four-year, $15.5 million contract Avery signed with Dallas during the offseason.
Of course, with zero interest around the league and the team’s payroll already precariously close to the salary cap, the dollar figures hardly amounts to a bargain. It’s another gamble by General Manager-for-life Glen Sather, whose penchant for rolling snake eyes has peppered his nine—yes, nine—year tenure in New York.
Earlier this season, while serving as an analyst for Canada’s TSN, new Rangers coach John Tortorella stated that Avery “doesn’t belong in the league.” So we’ve got that going for us.
In all seriousness, I’m curious to see what sort of impact Avery has on this lineup. I think the disruption he could potentially cause in the locker room has been overstated. I’m more interested to see what Avery can do on the ice, and whether he can still be the sort of difference-maker he was during his first tenure with the team.
Some housekeeping notes: The Rangers have reportedly waived Aaron Voros and Erik Reitz in order to clear some cap space on the active roster. The moves come a day after the newly-acquired Mark Bell was assigned to Hartford, and I wonder if something bigger is perhaps brewing prior to tomorrow’s trade deadline.
For reaction to Avery’s return from Chris Drury and Henrik Lundqvist, among others, check out Steve Zipay’s Blue Notes blog.