Sean Avery is one of the most infamous names in NHL history. The former Rangers forward is well known for his antics on and off the ice, including his rivalry with Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur, his “sloppy seconds” comment that got him suspended back in 2008, and most recently, his social media escapades documenting his frustrations with people who block bike lanes in New York City. These are just a few of the many examples of why Avery is one of the more controversial figures in hockey, but today he is back in the news for a much different reason. Wednesday morning, it was announced by David Pagnotta of the NHL Network that Avery had struck a deal with the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL to begin a pro hockey comeback.
Avery played 580 games in the National Hockey League and scored 247 points to go with his 1533 penalty minutes. He was a player that occasionally put the puck in the net but was most effective for getting under the opponent’s skin. For this reason, he was often labeled the most hated player in the NHL. Despite Avery’s negativity, he was able to transition into a successful career as an actor and social media personality after he retired in 2012. After skating for the first time in nearly ten years, Sean Avery began to work out again to prepare himself for a pro hockey comeback. A big name like Sean Avery will surely sell some tickets, so it’s a savvy move for the Solar Bears from a financial perspective. In terms of playing ability, it’s hard to say whether or not this will pay dividends. Avery, now 41, hasn’t played in the NHL since 2011-12, where he played 15 games with the Rangers before finishing up his final season with the AHL’s Connecticut Whale.