Fri 6 Feb 2009
If all of the buzz in the hockey world is true, then the Ranger are going to attempt to prove Thomas Wolfe wrong and show that you can go home again. Various reports point to Rangers President/GM Glen Sather attempting to bring home the prodigal son, Sean Avery.
The transaction is a bit of a complicated shell game. The Dallas Stars would place Avery on waivers. Assuming he, which is a pretty good one, the Stars would assign/loan him to the Hartford Wolf Pack. Once the Grate One returned to hockey shape and proved he can play nice with others, the Stars would attempt to recall him and then the Rangers would claim him on re-entry waivers.
This is the part that gets a bit tricky. It is entirely possible that a team with a worse record than the Rangers (believe it or not, there are such teams) could throw a monkey into the wrench and claim before the Rangers had the chance. This scenario is possible because the claiming team is only responsible for half of Averyâ€™s salary (about $2 million) which would be pro-rated.
The one thing that has not been discussed is if the Rangers would be required to send any considerations (prospects and/or draft picks) to Dallas. It is possible the Stars might just be relieved to rid themselves of Avery â€“ even if they have to pay half his salary.
So should the Rangers visit this avenue? Frankly, I think the Rangers need to be concentrating their efforts elsewhere. While many will claim that Avery has changed, letâ€™s be honest, a leopard cannot change it spots. Besides, in this case, would you really want Avery to change all that much? Averyâ€™s value to the team is as an abrasive player (and personality), and that is exactly the one thing the Rangers do not need.
The current Rangers team is in a different situation than it was at the end of last season. There was some talk that there was a group of players who did not care for Averyâ€™s antics. Odds are that feeling has not changed. What has changed is the state of the Rangers locker room. Brendan Shanahanâ€™s leadership and strong personality are gone and I donâ€™t know if the likes of Chris Drury, Scott Gomez or Markus Naslund could rein him in.
While Jaromir Jagr was not a captain in the vein of Mark Messier, it was apparent that the Rangers were his team and commanded attention/respect.
The Blueshirts would be better off seeing what is available on the trade market. Some would argue against this scenario because Avery will cost them nothing but money â€“ as opposed to trade prospects, players, and/or draft picks. Then again, would you rather have Avery or Keith Tkachuk for example? In either case, the Rangers are going to have create salary cap room so why not try and bring the best player possible.
I would rather see the Rangers investigate the trade market than bring Avery back. If the Rangers are looking to catch a spark, I would rather recall Artem Anisimov and give him a full chance to play.
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