Despite badmouthing the crap out of him during arbitration, and having to pay $600k more than they wanted to, the Rangers has signed Sean Avery to a new contract. The calm, mature center went into the hearing seeking a perfectly reasonable $2.6 million salary, but the judge ruled that $1.9 million would be more appropriate. How unfair.
During the announcement of the signing, Rags GM Glen Sather said,
"We are pleased to have Sean under contract and are looking forward to him returning with the same passion and enthusiasm he brought to our team last year," Sather said. "He is a terrific competitor, who we expect to play a significant role in a successful season."
Which seems to differ only slightly from what he said about Avery during the arbitration hearing:
"[Avery is] a reasonably effective player as well as a detriment to the team. Avery is not a mature player. He plays, at times, like an individual rather than a member of a team."
So obviously Sather is not in any way being inconsistent with his comments. And I bet Avery will feel extremely comfortable playing for the Rangers this coming season, confident in the knowledge that his boss has nothing but respect and admiration for him. It seems like everything is going to work out just fine.