Sean Avery was back on the ice Wednesday morning for the first time since being waived by the New York Rangers, skating with the team's minor-league affiliate, the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League.
The 31-year-old winger was assigned to Connecticut after clearing waivers Oct. 5, but has been rehabbing an injured right shoulder while in Hartford.
He received a cortisone shot Monday and was practicing Wednesday while wearing a yellow non-contact jersey, skating on a line with Andreas Thuresson and Jonathan Audy-Marchessault.
Avery accompanied the Rangers on their European road trip, but was waived and sent home following the team's last preseason game in Switzerland. Coach John Tortorella left no doubts over his feelings for the notorious agitator, saying "we have better players than Sean Avery, plain and simple."
Rangers GM Glen Sather, however, left the door open for Avery's return.
"Of course we could recall him if he's in Hartford and he's earned that," Sather told The New York Post. "You never know; somebody could play his way off this team."
The Rangers recalled center Kris Newbury from Connecticut on Sunday after sending down diminutive winger Mats Zuccarello, but it is believed Avery could have been a consideration if not for the injured shoulder.
Avery carries a cap hit of $1.9 million.