Well, we knew it was going to come down to Sean Avery and Erik Christensen. Just who would land the spot as the 13th forward for the New York Rangers? This morning, it was announced that the Rangers plan to place Avery on waivers, thus ending his second stint on Broadway, one not nearly as glamorous as his first. In a way, this is a bit of an end of an era. Avery came here in 2007 in a trade with Los Angeles, and immediately made an impact when he barreled into Martin Brodeur in a game shortly after. From that moment on, he was a fan favorite, and shown undying affection no matter what the situation was, for better or for worse. But in recent seasons, ever since he returned from Dallas, his play began to slip and he started to lose his aggressive and agitating touch. The NHL’s Bad Boy was becoming just another bottom-six checking forward, but with a pretty hefty price tag. There is no doubt that was the main reason in the end, why it was him over Christensen to be waived; the additional $1 million the Rangers pick up could very well go to bringing in a veteran defenseman to replace the injured Staal.
Though I was never really a fan of Avery’s, I would much rather see him on the team than Christensen, who, when he does not score, is completely useless. Avery, on the other hand, can check and fight, and when he is on his game, can reclaim the past glory he had as one of the most annoying players in the league. I do not expect Christensen to be here much longer either, but only time will tell if this really was the right move. Avery’s NHL career might be done with now, because I do not see many teams who would risk bringing his personality into a locker room, especially when he carries a $4 million price tag for the rest of this season. He will probably have to explore other options in Europe if he wants to play hockey, but my guess is that he will retire, and keep himself busy with politics and possibly even the fashion industry. That is not a knock on him, because that is where his mind seems to have truly been. Perhaps if he was focused more on hockey, he would still be playing.
As for Dale Weise being claimed by the Vancouver Canucks, I am very sad to see him go. I interviewed him before last season, and we have remained in contact ever since. He is a really nice guy, but clearly, there was just no room for him here. Hopefully he will see plenty of NHL action north of the border, and I wish him the best of luck!