According to the New York Rangers’ official Twitter feed, Sean Avery will make his 2011-12 debut on Saturday at MSG against the Montreal Canadiens. Head coach John Tortorella said there may be other lineup moves made prior to the game (Wojtek Wolski underwent an MRI, Mike Rupp is getting his knee scoped) but that Avery will play no matter what against the Habs.
Avery’s return marks another newsworthy moment in a career filled with them. Many figured his demotion to New York’s AHL affiliate in Connecticut was a goodbye to the NHL — upon waiving Avery, Tortorella said, “I don’t want to throw dirt on the guy, but we’re a better club now.” Avery himself said he didn’t expect to play for the Rangers again.
Yet 11 games later, he’s back in the show.
“I’m excited,” Avery said after today’s practice. “I feel good, for sure. We want to string some wins together, that’s what it’s all about. We’ve had a couple good games going into Saturday.”
There’s still no confirmation on exactly where or with whom Avery will play, although Andrew Gross of The Bergen Record said he assumes it’ll be with Erik Christensen and Andre Deveaux. The two had previously been centered by Artem Anisimov on New York’s fourth line.
In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.
The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.
At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.
As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.
The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.
All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.
The Los Angeles Kings announced today that they have “reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties.”
The club said that it will not be commenting further “on the terms” of the settlement.
The NHLPA released a similar statement.
It was reported earlier in the week that a settlement was close to being reached; however, it wasn’t clear what salary-cap penalties the Kings would incur.
We’re starting to find out some details now:
How the final numbers differ from what the Kings would have incurred if they’d bought Richards out will be interesting to see. And if there are differences, how will they be justified?