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Sean Avery, left, battles for the puck while playing for the Hartford Wolf Pack on Feb. 25 in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. ((Mark Moran/Citizens' Voice/Associated Press))

The Dallas Stars placed forward Sean Avery on re-entry waivers on Monday.

Avery has two goals and one assist with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League in eight games since returning to hockey, with eight penalty minutes.

He was banished from the Stars and suspended six games by the NHL in early December after making inappropriate comments about an ex-girlfriend, who was dating another player. He was also ordered to undergo counselling.

Dallas signed the winger to a four-year, $15.5-million-US deal last summer but he lasted just 23 games.

The waiver period lasts 24 hours and any team making a waiver claim on Avery will be responsible for half his remaining salary. 

The Rangers have been linked to Avery's comeback. Hartford is New York's American Hockey League affiliate and Avery was a member of the Rangers for a year and a half before signing with Dallas.

New York general manager Glen Sather did little to quell the speculation when he said last week that new coach John Tortorella "didn't have the history with Sean that we do. I think over time, he'll learn to love him, just like I have."

The Rangers also sent a body down to Hartford on Monday. Mark Bell, picked up last week on waivers from Toronto, was assigned to the minors.

Avery has 68 goals and 109 assists in 402 NHL games, with stops also in Detroit and Los Angeles.