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Avery clears waivers, assigned to AHL

by Dan Rosen
STOCKHOLM -- Sean Avery, Brendan Bell and Stu Bickel, all placed on waivers Tuesday by the New York Rangers, cleared waivers after going unclaimed.

While Bell and Bickel remain with the team in Sweden, Avery was assigned to the team's American Hockey League affiliate, the Connecticut Whale, and flew back to New York earlier Wednesday.

Avery's agent, Pat Morris, told multiple media outlets that securing Avery a spot with a European team also is an option.

The move relieves the Rangers of Avery's $1,937,500 salary-cap hit; however, he still will be paid his full contract.

New York also put defenseman Marc Staal (post-concussion symptoms) on injured reserve to make room on the roster for rookie blueliner Tim Erixon, who was recalled Wednesday and will be with the club here for practice Thursday.

Staal could be taken off of IR in seven days and be able to play next Friday on Long Island, the Rangers' first game after returning to North America following the 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere.

Bell and Bickel will remain on the active roster at least until the Rangers get home. The team also reportedly is looking for a veteran defenseman, and Paul Mara's name has come up.

Mara played 156 games with the Rangers from late in the 2006-07 season through 2008-09.
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