Rangers fans might get their wish.
According to several reports, Sean Avery will be placed on re-entry waivers Monday at noon. Other teams would have the opportunity to claim him, blocking his recall to the Rangers, but that is unlikely.
The controversial winger and fan favorite was waived Oct. 4, three days before the Rangers opened their season in Sweden. He was then assigned to the Rangers' minor-league affiliate -- the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League-- but was kept off the ice for almost two weeks while rehabbing a shoulder injury.
After his first practice with the Whale in Hartford on Oct. 19, Avery told ESPNNewYork.com he didn't think he'd ever wear a Rangers uniform again.
"Probably not," he said. "I doubt it."
His fortune appears to have changed, however. The 3-3-3 Rangers have struggled with consistency and the blue-collar identity they cultivated last season, and could use the feisty forward's energy and forechecking ability.
Fans certainly think he can help the middling team find their way. One fan in section 427 erected a huge banner that read: "AVERY 16 SEND TORTS TO THE WHALE" during the team's home opener at Madison Square Garden Thursday. Chants of "We want Avery!" have also become a rallying cry over the last two games for Garden faithful displeased with the team's current state.
Avery played his first game of the season for the Whale Friday, scoring an empty-net goal and earning a five-minute fighting major immediately afterwards. In the Whale's 3-2 shootout win over the Worcester Sharks Saturday, Avery scored the game-winner.