Sean Avery comes out of retirement to sign with ECHL's Solar Bears

Scott Audette / National Hockey League / Getty

It appears Sean Avery is making a comeback.

The 41-year-old signed a standard player contract with the ECHL's Orlando Solar Bears on Wednesday, the team announced. The Solar Bears are an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"I've got seven months to be physically ready to walk onto an NHL training camp," Avery said on the "Blackballed with James Di Fiore" podcast. "That is a lot of time based on how I feel right now physically and how I feel on the ice after skating six times after not skating for 10 years. My timing is coming back and it's getting sharper every single time. I can feel it happening."

Avery retired a decade ago. He last played professional hockey during the 2011-12 campaign where he split his time between the New York Rangers and the AHL's Connecticut Whale.

He played 10 seasons in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, Rangers, and Dallas Stars. He racked up 247 points and 1,533 penalty minutes in 580 career games.

Avery was better known for controversies than for his playing ability. While with the Rangers in the 2008 playoffs, Avery turned his back on the play in order to screen New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur by waving his stick and hands in the air. The following day, the NHL announced such actions would result in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, which is now known as "The Avery Rule."

The next season, while he was playing for the Stars, the NHL suspended Avery for six games for "conduct detrimental to the league or the game of hockey" after he said other NHL players who were dating his ex-girlfriends were falling in love with his "sloppy seconds." After the suspension, the Stars announced he wouldn't return to the team.

While with the Kings, Avery mocked Dustin Brown about Brown's lisp and his then-girlfriend (now wife). In 2016, a restraining order was issued against Avery for harassing his mother-in-law.

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Sean Avery comes out of retirement to sign with ECHL's Solar Bears
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