October 30, 2011
During Thursday night's New York Rangers home opener, some disgruntled fans displayed their support for demoted uber-pest Sean Avery(notes) by unveiling a banner and later chanting "We Want Avery" late in the third period against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Those Rangers fans on the pro-Sean Avery side of the rink will get their wish later this week ... if he can clear re-entry waivers.
What started as rumor by, of all people, former NFL quarterback and Rangers fan Boomer Esiason, was passed forward by Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos and later confirmed by the New York Post's Larry Brooks, is that Avery will be on re-entry waiver beginning tomorrow at noon ET. If he clears, and no team decides to take a chance on Avery and his salary at half-price, he'll be eligible to return to the lineup Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks.
Avery made his debut with the Connecticut Whale over the weekend playing two games, scoring once and adding the shootout winner (1:45 mark) in last night's victory over the Worcester Sharks.
While the Rangers deal with injuries to forwards Mike Rupp and Artem Anisimov(notes), Avery's return is an attempt to shake up a team that has lost three of their last four and sit at a mediocre 3-3-3. Whether he provides that spark is anyone's guess, including Head Coach John Tortorella, who said the reason Avery was waived earlier this month was because "we have better players than Sean Avery".
This could also just be GM Glen Sather's attempt to see if any team would take a flier on Avery, but who would take that chance, even at half-price? Given his time in Dallas, New York seemed like the only place that could handle all that Sean Avery brings.
Photo credit: Getty Images