Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports Rangers GM Glen Sather is intentionally keeping Sean Avery in the minors — this despite two NHL clubs looking to claim him off re-entry waivers.
According to Brooks’ sources, one team has flat-out asked the Rangers to recall Avery while another team is prepared to make a claim should he become available. The catch, though, is that if Avery comes up from AHL Connecticut and gets claimed, the Rangers would be on the hook for half his salary (approx. $445,000) — which is essentially dead cap space.
Ergo, Sather is looking to trade Avery rather than pay him to play elsewhere.
More, from the Post:
When Sather was asked yesterday by The Post if the Rangers would agree to put Avery through the re-entry process, the GM replied via email: “Not now.”
The NHL has calculated that scenario would theoretically cost the Rangers $2 million in available space at the Feb. 27 trade deadline: $1 million of accrued space for which the club would be charged plus $1 million it therefore would not save.
Let’s be clear here — despite the optics, this isn’t a vendetta to keep Avery out of the National Hockey League. It’s merely some pre-trade deadline maneuvering by Slats (that just happens to involve a polarizing figure.) The Rangers have been up against the cap ceiling all season and need available cap space to potentially make a deal by Feb. 27 — which, given their spot atop the Eastern Conference, is an option they’d like to have.