Sean Avery, now playing for the Connecticut Whale in the AHL, was a healthy scratch last night for what the Rangers are calling "disciplinary reasons." It remains unclear, however, what required the discipline. The rumor spreading on Twitter is that he was benched for spitting on his coach.
Further seasoning the story is the news that at least two teams would claim Avery were he re-called by the Rangers. One team, apparently has gone so far as to ask the Rangers to do just that, while another quietly waits in the wings. The Rangers, however, would prefer to trade Avery because a claim would require them to pay half his salary and involve a salary cap hit they would like to avoid.
So, with the prospect of getting back to the NHL stalled for what appears to be trade deadline posturing, Avery toils away in Connecticut minor league hockey. He is most likely aggravated and feeling helpless, with a very defined skill set: pissing people off. Up until this point, things have generally worked out for Avery when he pisses people off, so it is entirely possible this was an orchestrated maneuver, designed to force New York's hand. Or, he could just be a crazy person incapable of controlling himself in the high stakes atmosphere of Connecticut minor league hockey.
Sean Avery scratched from AHL game for disciplinary reasons [Pro Hockey Talk]