sean avery

Former NHLer Sean Avery Signs With ECHL's Orlando Solar Bears

The 41-year-old has not played professional hockey since the 2011-12 NHL season

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The ECHL, or the "jungle" as it's commonly referred to, just got a whole lot wilder.

Former NHL forward Sean Avery has signed an ECHL Standard Player Contract with the Orlando Solar Bears, the team announced on Wednesday.

Avery begins his return to hockey on the Solar Bears' reserve list with the end goal to get back to the NHL level.

"I've got seven months to be physically ready to walk on to an NHL training camp," Avery said on the "Blackballed with James Di Fiore" podcast. "My timing is coming back and it's getting sharper every single time. I can feel it happening."

The 41-year-old last played hockey in the 2011-12 season, splitting time between the New York Rangers and the AHL's Connecticut Whale.

He previously had announced his retirement in March of 2012, going on Bravo Network's "The Dish", saying "I threw my skates in the Hudson River."

Best known as an enforcer, Avery played for 10 seasons in the NHL with the Rangers, Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings and Detroit Red Wings.

Avery played in 580 games where he totaled 1,533 penalty minutes, twice leading the NHL in penalty minutes (2003-04 and 2005-06). He contributed 247 points during his tenure in the NHL.

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