Last night and this morning reports started to circulate that Sean Avery was preparing to start skating next week in preparation for his return to the ice. There was plenty of speculation as to what this means for the Stars and Mike Heika has a very lenghty, detailed rundown of the what (could) happen next.
The Stars say they are not sure exactly what their next step will be. Co-GM Les Jackson said Avery, who is believed to be spending most of his time in New York, will not be returning to the team in any capacity (even to work out). The Stars are still trying to find out if Avery must immediately be placed on the Stars roster once he receives league approval. Avery currently is getting full pay but is a non-roster player who does not take up a roster spot or count against the salary cap.
There is a chance the league could make the Stars place him on the NHL roster. If that happens, the Stars would probably look to assign him to a minor league team.
What complicates matters is that the Stars do not currently have an AHL affiliate. For the Stars to assign Avery to the minors, then they must work out an agreement with that team's parent franchise, and not too many would be willing to take on the headache Avery would bring.
Avery's contract dictates that he can only be assigned to a team in the AHL unless he approves an assignment to another league. The Stars do not have an AHL affiliate this season (they are using five different ones, as their new AHL team in Cedar Park, Texas is being prepared for next season), so they can not automatically assign Avery to an affiliate. Jackson said he has been asking around about teams interested in Avery, and said it has been difficult. He said he has not yet found a taker.