For all the debates about what Sean Avery can or can't do, what he does or doesn't provide to the New York Rangers, one thing that he has been successful at is providing energy when there is a lack of it.
The most recent example of this was when Avery was recalled from the Connecticut Whale in early November and the Rangers won the next five games to complete a seven-game winning streak.
After his recall, Avery was effective, generating chances, controlling the puck below the hashmarks and providing energy on the 4th line.
But his ice time, limited as it was, gradually decreased starting in December, and has been a healthy scratch for the last three games.
With the Rangers offense struggling to score (one goal in the last seven periods) the question of whether or not Avery should be reinserted into the lineup has arisen again.
Today, he told Dan Martin from the New York Post that, "I know I can help. It’s (being scratched) not easy, but it’s part of the job have and you have to deal with it. I want the guys to play well regardless of who is in the lineup, but it’s tough."
However, with other Rangers' forwards on the mend, and the team up against the salary cap, the odds of Avery returning to the lineup are slim.
In addition to not being one of John Tortorella's favorites, Avery's $1.9 million salary cap hit clears more room if he was sent down rather than Erik Christensen.
Also, it is very unlikely that any team will claim Avery on waivers, or on reentry waivers if the Rangers wanted to call him back up.
For now, all Avery can do is wait and see where and when his next game will be.