Saturday, December 31, 2011
Sean Avery clears waivers
By Katie Strang
PHILADELPHIA -- Sean Avery cleared waivers at noon ET Saturday and will head to the American Hockey League -- at least for now.
The New York Rangers assigned Avery to the Connecticut Whale, making him Hartford-bound for his second stint there this season.
Avery might have other options, however.
Playing in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League may be a possibility, Avery's agent, Pat Morris, told ESPNNewYork.com.
A few KHL teams have expressed interest in Avery, although the league's rule that limits each team to five import players may be an impediment. There is also the chance Avery could be traded to an NHL team dealing with injuries.
Whether Avery, 31, stays in Hartford or ends up overseas, he'll "work his tail off" to honor his contract and finish the season, according to Morris, who added that Avery wants to play in the NHL next season.
He is currently on the last year of a four-year deal worth $15.5 million.
Avery's recent demotion comes as no surprise. The polarizing pest, who never seemed to be a favorite of coach John Tortorella, was scratched for nine games straight before being waived Friday.
Avery also was waived by the Rangers during the preseason in October, before the team's season opener in Stockholm.
"We're getting healthier," Tortorella said Friday. "This team is getting healthier, so it comes down to a numbers game."
Avery told ESPNNewYork.com in October he doubted he'd ever play for the Rangers again, but he played only two games for the Whale before an injury to forward Mike Rupp prompted the team to place him on re-entry waivers and recall him.
Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.