As many have predicted for the last several months, the NY Rangers acquired Sean Avery on re-entry waivers from the Dallas Stars.
What this means is that every team below the Rangers in the standings - currently 18 teams - were not willing to claim Avery, even though the Dallas Stars will be on the hook for half of his salary and cap hit per year.
He's oft-injured and oft-suspended. He has an unbelievable talent for public boneheadedness and self-destruction. However, he's also undeniably talented and, at less than $2 million/year (thank you Brett Hull), he's relatively cheap.
Let's say you're the GM of a middling team in a struggling market (maybe Nashville?). You have the option to pick up one of the most (in)famous players in the NHL, a player who is almost guaranteed to increase your ticket sales while also chipping in on the ice. He could even be the piece that puts you into the playoffs.
At the very least, you can acquire him and then flip him to the Rangers (who you know want him) for a draft pick or a prospect/player in return (maybe Petr Prucha?).
It's a roll of the dice, to be sure. Avery might finally go full-on Mike Tyson, or the Rangers might not trade you anything for him. Still, if I'm the GM of a struggling franchise in a town that isn't paying attention to my hockey team, that's a chance I'm willing to take.