The New York Rangers placed exiled winger Sean Avery on re-entry waivers Monday, potentially clearing the way for the veteran agitator to make his 2011 NHL debut later this week, the New York Post reported.
Avery, 31, was dropped to the waiver wire for the second time in his career prior to the star of the season after failing to snag a roster spot on coach John Tortorella’s team.
But following a less than stellar start to the season, the Rangers are at 3-3-3 and appear to be reconsidering Avery as they look for a much needed spark to get them on track.
According to the Post, if Avery clears waivers as expected, he could be in the Rangers’ lineup as early as Thursday when they host Anaheim.
Fans at Madison Square Garden in New York have made their opinions known to Rangers management, displaying banners and shouting chants in support of the tumultuous winger during the team’s last two home games.
Avery is slated to make $4 million this season — the final year of the four-year, $15 million deal carried over from his stint with the Dallas Stars.
The Rangers picked up Avery’s Dallas deal in 2009 after the Stars waived him following his controversial "sloppy seconds" comment, in which he took a jab at former Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf, who was dating Avery’s ex-girlfriend, actress Elisha Cuthbert.
The Rangers’ move to oust Avery earlier this month was due, in part, to a personality conflict with Tortorella.