The New York Rangers brought back Sean Avery.
The 31-year-old forward, whom Madison Square Garden fans have chanted for after he was waived at the start of the National Hockey League season, was recalled from the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League, the team said in an e-mailed statement.
The Rangers are 4-3-3, in ninth place in the Eastern Conference. During the team’s first home game of the season last week, a 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 27, fans chanted “We Want Avery” during the third period and unfurled a sign with similar sentiments.
Avery had three goals, 21 assists and a team-high 174 penalty minutes in 76 games for the Rangers last year. He and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steve Downie are the only NHL players to have over 20 points and 150 penalty minutes in each of the last two seasons.
Avery played with the Rangers from 2006 to 2008 before joining the Dallas Stars. He was waived after 23 games in Dallas after angering management with negative comments about actress Elisha Cuthbert, his former girlfriend, dating another NHL player. The league also suspended him six games, calling his remarks detrimental to the sport.
Avery drew a response from the league in the 2008 playoffs, when he spent a 5-on-3 power play waving his stick and arms in the face of New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur. The following day the NHL changed its rules to make such actions a two-minute unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty.
Avery had one goal and seven penalty minutes in two games with the Whale. He has 244 points and 1,512 penalty minutes in his nine-year NHL career.
Eben Novy-Williams in New York at +1-212-617-4014 or email@example.com