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Sean Avery signs in ECHL hoping for NHL comeback

Sean Avery signs in ECHL hoping for NHL comeback

WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured: Sean Avery -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via

[UPDATE: Two days after signing him, the Solar Bears announced they have released Sean Avery.]

Here’s one from the “um, OK?” files. Sean Avery signed with the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears, the first step in a hopeful NHL comeback.

The Orlando Solar Bears noted that he’ll start off on the team’s reserve list.

Sean Avery begins NHL comeback bid by signing in ECHL

The 41-year-old last played in the NHL in 2011-12. During that season, Sean Avery played 15 games with the New York Rangers, and seven with the AHL’s Connecticut Whale.

Avery isn’t shy about targeting a hopeful return to the NHL. Here’s what Avery said on the podcast “Blackballed with James Di Fiore,” via the Athletic’s transcription.

“I’ve got seven months to be physically ready to walk on to an NHL training camp,” Avery said. “My timing is coming back and it’s getting sharper every single time. I can feel it happening.”

Being that Avery’s 41 and hasn’t played in a decade, it’s reasonable to wonder how genuine this comeback bid is. Avery’s stayed reasonably busy since last playing in the NHL. Among other things, Avery appeared as “Red Soldier” in Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet,” and competed in “Dancing with the Stars” in 2014.

Overall, it would be interesting to see if there was even tepid NHL interest regarding Avery, at the PTO level or otherwise.

Do you talk yourself into chasing some grit, and a few headlines? Or do you weigh all of the unspeakable things Sean Avery said, and the many obnoxious and toxic things he did? It’s never a great sign when a player’s Wikipedia page has such a lengthy “controversies and bullying” section.

Truly, it would be bizarre if Avery “outlasted” Martin Brodeur and Dion Phaneuf, even technically. We’ll see where this goes. If the Sean Avery experience teaches us anything, it may not end gracefully.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.