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Avery clears waivers, sent to AHL by Rangers; Marc Staal placed on injured list

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Sean Avery's days with the New York Rangers appear over.

The noted agitator cleared waivers Wednesday and was assigned to the Connecticut Whale of the AHL. The move clears his US$1.93 million from the team's salary cap.

Avery was in the final season of the contract he originally signed with the Dallas Stars. He didn't play in New York's final two exhibition games in Europe, and it became inevitable he would be cut.

Rangers coach John Tortorella said Tuesday the club had better players than Avery. It is not known if the forward will report to the AHL team or try to join a club in Europe.

The Rangers were busy Wednesday solidifying the roster that will open the regular season Friday in Sweden against the Los Angeles Kings.

All-star defenceman Marc Staal was placed on the injured list because of lingering effects from a concussion on Feb. 22 when he was hit by brother Eric, a star forward with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Staal, who stayed home from Europe to skate and practise, had already been ruled out of the opening two games in Sweden. He would be eligible to play Oct. 15 against the New York Islanders, but there is no timetable for his return.

Filling his place on the blue-line will be 20-year-old rookie Tim Erixon, who was recalled from Connecticut after being sent down on Saturday. Erixon, acquired from Calgary in June, had two assists and a plus-3 rating in five pre-season games with the Rangers.

Brendan Bell and Stu Bickel also cleared waivers and remained on the Rangers' 23-man roster, giving New York eight defencemen.

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