NHL notes: Rangers place Avery on waivers

New York Rangers left wing Sean Avery adjusts his equipment after his fight with Montreal Canadiens...

New York Rangers left wing Sean Avery adjusts his equipment after his fight with Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexandre Picard during the first period of their NHL hockey game in Montreal, February 5, 2011. (REUTERS/Shaun Best)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:28 PM ET

Abrasive, often controversial winger Sean Avery might look to play in Europe after being put on waivers Tuesday by the New York Rangers.

Avery will be on waivers for 24 hours and, if he is not claimed by another NHL team, can be sent to Connecticut of the AHL and his nearly $2-million salary cap hit will come off the books. But Avery's agent told ESPN.com that Europe is an option if he clears.

Erik Christensen won the battle for the last spot up front with the Rangers, beating out Avery during the pre-season. Rangers coach John Tortorella wants to carry just one extra forward since defenceman Marc Staal is still out of the lineup with post-concussion symptoms.

"I think we have better players than Sean Avery -- plain and simple," Rangers coach John Tortorella said Tuesday. "I can dodge it 10 different ways without trying to run Sean over. I thought he had a good camp."

Avery had three goals and 21 assists, plus a team-high 174 penalty minutes, in 76 games with the Rangers last season. Christensen had 11 goals and 16 assists in 63 games.

The Rangers also waived defencemen Brendan Bell and Stu Bickel.

STAN STAYS THE MAN

General manager Stan Bowman signed a three-year contract extension that will keep him at the helm of the Chicago Blackhawks through the 2015-16 season.

Bowman has been with the Blackhawks since 2001 and the team's GM the past two years. He took over when Dale Tallon stepped down in 2009.

"I am very proud of the direction that Stan has taken our hockey operations group in from the moment he took over the role," Blackhawks CEO John McDonough said in a statement. "Stan's leadership and collaboration with the entire hockey operations group has developed a strong foundation and gives us the continuity we need as we strive for consistent excellence."

The Blackhawks have a regular-season record of 99-51-17 during Bowman's tenure and won the Stanley Cup in 2010, ending a 49-year drought.

MARR TAKES OVER

Long-time Toronto Maple Leafs scout Dan Marr was hired Tuesday as the NHL's director of Central Scouting.

Marr, who spent 20 years with the Leafs and was most recently with the Atlanta Thrashers, takes over the job left vacant when E.J. McGuire died of cancer April 7 after a five-month battle.

"I am excited about the opportunity to lead an experienced team of scouts and continue servicing our member clubs as the first source of scouting information," Marr said on NHL.com. "E.J. McGuire's leadership and innovation in this position over the past several years was unparalleled and I hope to be able to carry on his tradition of excellence."

Marr, the Thrashers' chief scout for more than three years, will be responsible for co-ordinating Central Scouting's group of 29 player evaluators.

BOUND BY GRIEF

Bitter rivals on the ice, the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins will team up to raise money for the families of those killed in the Sept. 7 plane crash that wiped out the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team.

Players from both teams will wear special jerseys with Lokomotiv patches during their game Oct. 13 in Pittsburgh. The jerseys will then be auctioned off, with all proceeds going to the Lokomotiv players' families.

"We compete against each other hard on the ice, but off the ice we all are part of one big hockey family," Penguins general manager Ray Shero said. "Many of our players had friends on the Lokomotiv team. All of us in hockey were touched by this tragic loss."

The auction will run Oct. 13-27.

SCHENN GOING DOWN

Philadelphia Flyers forward Brayden Schenn, nursing a shoulder injury for part of training camp, will start the season in the minors, according to TSN.

Schenn will be assigned to the Adirondack Phantoms of the AHL, at least temporarily, as the Flyers try to manage the salary cap early in the season. He played in just four of the Flyers pre-season games.

The 20-year-old was part of the off-season trade that sent Flyers captain Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings. He was the MVP of the 2011 world junior tournament in Buffalo.

SAAD START

It's not just first-round draft picks sticking with their NHL team now.

Second-rounder Brandon Saad, an 18-year-old forward who played for the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL last season, signed an entry-level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday and will start the season with the NHL club.

"It's sinking in a little bit, but it's still that I'm just loving being here and I'm looking forward to Friday," Saad said on NHL.com. "I've always wanted to work to make the NHL and come in here with the right attitude and work hard. I didn't expect to make the team, but it's definitely something nice to have."

Saad could still be sent back to Saginaw but he will stick with the Blackhawks at least until Viktor Stalberg recovers from a lower-body injury. He will likely play alongside Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp in the season opener against the Dallas Stars.

DOAN WANTS TO STAY

Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan, an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2011-12 season, wants to finish his career in the desert.

And the Coyotes want to keep him. But the two sides have agreed to hold off on negotiations until the team's ownership situation is resolved, according to a report by the Arizona Republic.

"It's a unique situation we're in," Doan told the Republic. "(General manager Don Maloney) wanted me to know I was a priority, made me feel important but I also understand we have to be patient. I think my track record speaks for itself about how I feel about this franchise."

Doan was drafted in the first round by the Winnipeg Jets in 1995 and moved south with the franchise. He signed a five-year contract extension with the Coyotes in 2007.

BRIEFLY

Winnipeg Jets rookie forward Mark Scheifele, who signed an entry-level deal Monday, will wear No. 55 this season. He wore No. 45 during the pre-season ... Montreal Canadiens forward Travis Moen is questionable for the season opener Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Moen, who suffered a lower-body injury during a pre-season game against Ottawa, skated on the fourth line during the Habs workout Thursday in Collingwood, Ont. ... Los Angeles Kings defenceman Drew Doughty made his pre-season debut in a 5-4 win over the Hamburg Freezers of the German league. Doughty re-signed with the Kings late last week ... The Vancouver Canucks claimed winger Dale Weise off waivers from the New York Rangers. The 23-year-old had no points in 10 games with the Rangers last season. The Canucks also put winger Victor Oreskovich on waivers ... Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Mattias Ohlund will start the season on injured reserve for the second year in a row. Ohlund, who had a MRI Sunday, has a wonky knee ... Forward Ryan Strome, the fifth pick in last summer's draft, signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the New York Islanders. Strome had 33 goals and 73 assists in 65 games with the Niagara IceDogs of the OHL last season ... Veteran Jay Pandolfo signed a one-year deal with the Islanders. The long-time New Jersey Devils forward was in the Islanders camp on a tryout basis.


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