October 11, 2011
Sean Avery(notes) finally decided that staying within driving distance to Manhattan was more important than ice time in Zurich or with Vityaz Chekhov, so the New York Rangers agitator reported to the AHL's Connecticut Whale on Tuesday after being waived last week.
While the demotion is now "official," the cap ramifications of his demotion have been known for some time. Avery's $1.9 million comes off the New York Rangers' cap; it also comes off of the Dallas Stars' cap, as the Stars pay half of Avery's salary following their buyout two years ago.
This puts the Stars right around the salary cap floor, but according to Cap Geek they're over the floor "for now." The cap floor is $48.3 million; Cap Geek has the Stars at $48,817,500 for a 24-man roster. (Would they win both showcases on The Cap Price Is Right with that margin?)
There's an interesting symmetry here for Avery, the Rangers, the Stars and Hartford; in that Avery's return to the Rangers started in CT and, perhaps, ends in the place where Wade Redden's(notes) unwanted contracts go to die.
Avery played for the Wolfpack in 2009 while still property of the Dallas Stars, one prolonged audition for the Rangers or any other club that would claim him on reentry waivers. Now back in Hartford with the AHL Whale, Avery's words back in 2009 read prophetic:
"At this point, this is where I am, this is where my commitment is," Avery said. "Every single one of us in this room are trying to get back in the N.H.L. or get to the N.H.L. I don't think there's any difference. We're all wearing the same jersey. We're all trying to get to the same place."
Glen Sather opened the door for a return last week, although John Tortorella will have the final word it seems. Until then, as our friend Scotty Wazz pointed out: How appropriate that Sean Avery's next hockey destination is with a team that plays in a shopping mall?