seanavery306-cp

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))

Sean Avery is headed back to Broadway.

The New York Rangers picked up Avery Tuesday after the veteran forward was placed on re-entry waivers 24 hours earlier.

Avery could be in the lineup as soon as Thursday when the Rangers visit the New York Islanders.

Avery, 28, 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. Avery was also ordered to undergo counselling.

Dallas had signed the winger to a four-year, $15.5-million US deal last summer, but he lasted just 23 games, scoring three goals and adding seven assists.

New York will be responsible for half the money remaining on Avery's contract that runs through the next three seasons with a salary cap hit of more than $3.8 million per year.

To make room for Avery on the roster and the salary cap, the Rangers assigned forward Mark Bell to Hartford on Monday.

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

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