AVERY RETURNING TO RANGERS WITH NEW CONTRACT
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has signed restricted free agent forward Sean Avery.
"We are pleased to have Sean under contract and are looking forward to him returning with the same passion and enthusiasm he brought to our team last year," stated Sather. "He is a terrific competitor, who we expect to play a significant role in a successful season."
Avery, 27, appeared in 84 games with the Rangers and Los Angeles Kings this past season, registering 18 goals and 30 assists for 48 points, along with 174 penalty minutes. While establishing career-highs in games played (84), goals (18), assists (30) and points (48), Avery led the Rangers and ranked fifth in the NHL with 174 penalty minutes.
He also finished the season third on the Blueshirts with 249 shots on goal and placed fifth on the club in scoring with 48 points. In 55 games with the Kings prior to the trade, Avery registered 10 goals and 18 assists for 28 points, along with 116 penalty minutes.
The Rangers acquired Avery on February 5, in exchange for Jason Ward and unsigned forwards Marc-Andre Cliche and Jan Marek. He tallied an assist in his Rangers debut on February 6 at New Jersey, and collected 20 points (eight goals and 12 assists) in 29 games with the Blueshirts. The Rangers posted a 17-6-6 record during the regular season with him in the lineup.
Avery recorded a career-high, four points (one goal and three assists) on March 17 vs. Boston and notched his third career "Gordie Howe Hat Trick" with two goals, an assist and a fighting major on April 1 vs. Toronto. In the post-season, he tallied one goal and four assists for five points and led the Rangers with 27 penalty minutes. He also ranked second on the team with 42 shots on goal in the playoffs.
The 5-10, 195-pound forward has appeared in 322 career NHL contests with the Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and Detroit Red Wings, recording 50 goals and 84 assists for 134 points, along with 913 penalty minutes. In 75 games with the Kings during the 2005-06 season, he led the league in penalty minutes (257) for the second consecutive season, tied for second on the team with three shorthanded goals and placed fourth on the squad with 91 hits.
In 2003-04, his first full NHL season, he appeared in 76 games with the Kings and led the league with 261 penalty minutes, becoming just the second King in club history to accomplish the feat. In 109 career American Hockey League (AHL) games with Cincinnati and Grand Rapids from 2000-01 – 2002-03, Avery collected 56 points (28 goals and 28 assists) along with 492 penalty minutes.
The native of Pickering, Ontario originally signed as a free agent with the Detroit Red Wings on September 21, 1999. He was acquired by the Los Angeles Kings on March 11, 2003 from Detroit, along with Maxim Kuznetsov, a 2003 first round draft pick (Jeff Tambellini) and a second round pick in 2004 (later transferred to Boston), in exchange for Mathieu Schneider.