Sean Avery was assigned by the Dallas Stars to the Rangers’ AHL affiliate in Hartford earlier today. The winger is still technically Dallas property until he goes through re-entry waivers and is picked up by another team. The Rangers sent out a press release with a statement from the former New York player.
“I would like to thank Glen Sather and the Rangers organization for giving me the chance to resume my hockey career by affording me this opportunity with the Hartford Wolf Pack,” Avery said in a statement. “I am looking forward to getting back on the ice, working my way back to the NHL and playing the game I love. While I appreciate the many interview requests, at this point in time, I would like to focus on hockey and will not be making any further statements while with the Wolf Pack.”
Glen Sather also released a statement.
“Sean and the Dallas Stars approached me looking for an American Hockey League team for him to resume playing, and I am happy to provide him with the opportunity to continue his career. Sean was a good player for the Rangers during his time here and has worked extremely hard off the ice over the last two months. He remains under contract to and property of the Stars, therefore, any further comment would be inappropriate.”
Update off practice: New lines, folks. Chris Drury, Ryan Callahan and Lauri Korpikoski; Nigel Dawes, Scott Gomez and Markus Naslund; Brandon Dubinsky, Nikolai Zherdev, Aaron Voros/Petr Prucha; and Fredrik Sjostrom, Blair Betts and Colton Orr. Dmitri Kalinin practiced in a yellow jersey.
Drury reiterated that he thought a locker room would accept Avery when he returns. “We all make mistakes,” Drury said. “There’s not a person in this room that hasn’t.”
Henrik Lundqvist said that Avery “does things that you don’t expect, but that’s part of his package. But sometimes you have to take the good with the bad.”
Coach Tom Renney wouldn’t comment on Avery’s assignment to Hartford, saying he needed to figure out how to win with the players the Rangers already have.
Naslund saw plenty of Avery when he played for the Canucks and Avery was with the Kings.
Avery joined the Wolf Pack for a 70-minute workout today and is expected to make his AHL debut Friday.
“My head felt good,” Avery said after today’s practice. “My legs and my lungs felt a little behind.”
Meanwhile, a contributor noted that the Wolf Pack’s home arena in Hartford is located on Asylum Street. No punchline needed.