The highly controversial Sean Avery was sent down to the Connecticut Whale for a second time this season just before the Winter Classic, and questions once again arose about his future in the NHL and if he even had one.
Well, Larry Brooks provides some information he’s received from sources, and it appears that Sean Avery’s NHL career might still have some mileage. According to Brooks, at least one team is speaking to Glen Sather about acquiring Avery via re-entry waivers while another is prepared to claim him should he be put up for grabs.
In a prism, moving Sean Avery is not really much of a debate for the Rangers. The Rangers have little use for Avery now and surely Avery himself would rather be with an NHL team that wants him instead of stuck with the Whale. However, it’s a lot more complicated than that.
The unknown team that is talking to Sather wants the Rangers to put Avery on re-entry waivers so that they can claim him. This is problematic for the Rangers, though. If the Rangers lose Avery via re-entry waivers they would be penalized half of his cap hit (almost $2 million) for the rest of the season. Such a move would eliminate virtually all cap space the Rangers have left and would thus severely hurt their ability to add any player of significance at the trading deadline.
In an effort to work around this, the Rangers have offered to make a minor-league swap. The team acquiring him could then call up him and subject him to re-entry waivers. Of course, the other team would then be at risk of losing Avery as well as suffering a cap hit with nothing to show for it. However, if there is one team in the NHL who is unburdened by a 2 million dollar player sitting in the minors it’s the Rangers, and a team that is looking to make a controversial and risky move like adding Sean Avery is probably a bit desperate. I don’t foresee Sather giving in and sacrificing cap room just to do another team (and Sean Avery) a favor. I do think a minor league trade is plausible and it would be the best scenario for all parties involved.