He will clear waivers by noon Eastern time, and will be assigned to Hartford of the AHL, the Rangers’ affiliate, and soon, if not immediately be put on re-entry waivers. That’s when the Rangers will almost surely claim Sean Avery, unless somebody beneath them in the standings does it first.
I don’t see that happening, because as I understand it, any team that claims Avery claims the remaining three years of his contract at, I believe, half its value. The cap hit isn’t even the issue, to me, as much as the idea that you are stuck with this guy for three years after this. For the rest of 2008-09, he might provide a spark.
But by next year or the year after, he’s almost sure to bring terrible distraction to his team, and create a train-wreck in the lockerroom … unless, of course, he’s really been rehabilitated.
I just wouldn’t do that, especially if I’m the Rangers management and I’m thinking I may want a new coach at some point before the end of this season, or in the summer. I wouldn’t want handcuffs like that on the new guy.
The smart move, if Glen Sather is really entertaining the firing of Tom Renney—and I’m not convinced he is—would be to make that move first, bring in the new guy, then decide on Avery.
I doubt much thought will go into this decision, though. It’s simply a matter of: The Rangers look awful, and throwing a grenade like Avery into the room might make a difference. It surely will on the ice, at least short term.
But seat-of-the-pants decisions like that tend to be grenades of a more destructive type in the future.
Jane will be back with a pre-game post from Newark this afternoon. I’ll stop in from time to time in the Comments section, as usual. See ya.