Former New York Rangers forward Sean Avery, shown Nov. 25, 2011, last appeared in an NHL game in December 2011. File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Former New York Rangers forward Sean Avery came out of retirement and signed a standard player contract with the ECHL's Orlando Solar Bears on Wednesday, the club announced.
The 41-year-old Avery last appeared in an NHL game on Dec. 10, 2011, as a member of the Rangers. He was added to the Solar Bears' reserve list.
"These guys have been great," Avery said of his new teammates. "They're letting me see if I can get into shape and we'll see what happens."
Solar Bears head coach Drake Berehowsky said Avery contacted him and asked if he could join the team. The coach said he's watching Avery to see if he can keep up with the pace and contribute to the club.
"I told Drake [Wednesday] to give me a couple of days before he tells me I'm nuts," Avery said.
Avery made 580 appearances in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, Dallas Stars and Rangers. He compiled 90 goals and 157 assists across his career.
The Rangers demoted him to the American Hockey League's Connecticut Whale during the 2011-12 campaign, where he was a frequent healthy scratch. He eventually announced his retirement from the NHL in March 2012 on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live.
Avery developed a reputation as one of the NHL's pre-eminent agitators during his career, and his antics frequently drew the ire of the league.
In the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs, Avery stood in front of New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur and raised his stick and hands to distract him. Shortly after, the NHL banned the act in what became known as "The Avery Rule."
After his retirement, Avery started an acting career. He appeared as "Red Soldier 1" in the Christopher Nolan film Tenet.