New York Rangers winger Sean Avery cleared waivers on Wednesday, one day after the team waived him. After being told by the team that he was being released, Avery left the team in Europe and was heading back to his home in New York City.

Avery was in the last year of a contract that pays him $4 million, although his salary-cap hit is only $1.93 million because the Dallas Stars, his former team, are still on the hook after he was claimed on re-entry waivers by the Rangers in 2008-09.

The news of his release comes after Avery was a healthy scratch in two straight games. Agent Pat Morris said Tuesday that if Avery cleared, his future options could include playing in Europe.

When asked about the latest roster move, Rangers coach John Tortorella said the following:

I think we have better players than Sean Avery -- plain and simple. I can dodge it 10 different ways without trying to run Sean over. I thought he had a good camp. But I think with the makeup of our team, and some of the people we've added, and some of the youth we've added as far as depth put Sean in this spot.

Earlier this preseason, Avery, 31, found himself at the center of another controversy when he said that Flyers' forward Wayne Simmonds called him an anti-gay slur. Simmonds denied making the derogatory statement and was not disciplined by the league.