As expected the New York Rangers today claimed controversial forward Sean Avery off re-entry waivers. The move will cost the Rangers half of Avery's remaining contract of 3 years at $3.875 million per annum. The Dallas Stars, Avery's former club will be responsible for bucking up for the other half.
Avery has been plying his trade in the AHL for the Hartford Wolfpack, getting back into shape after first being suspended by the NHL for 6 games following his infamous "sloppy seconds" comments, then entering an anger management program to try and get his head and his career back on track.
It will be interesting to see how Avery fits in with his old team, and whether he can have a positive impact upon his return. The addition of coach John Tortorella has had the Rangers playing better hockey since his arrival last week, and the last thing the Rangers need is something to disrupt that little bit of momentum. Tortorella's relationship with Avery will also be of particular interest to those who follow the Rangers. He has been critical of Avery's antics in the past, and hasn't been shy about voicing that opinion in the media. Those two headstrong personalities will need to find some common ground to keep the who situation from turning into a three ring circus.
Hopefully, for Avery's sake and the NHL's, the talented winger focuses strictly on playing hockey, and won't engage in any of the extracurricular activities that has gotten him in so much trouble in the past.