- Katie Strang, ESPN.com
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Is Sean Avery's hockey career over?
The polarizing 31-year-old forward said his playing days are done during a segment of Bravo TV's "Watch What Happens Live" on Monday night and it appears he wasn't joking.
When asked by the show's host Andy Cohen about his future in hockey, Avery said: "I am officially retired; I threw my skates in the Hudson (River)."
When reached via email Tuesday afternoon, Avery did not dispute the comments but said he will wait to make an official announcement until his four-year, $15.5 million contract expires at the end of this season. Filing official retirement papers with the league beforehand would mean he'd forfeit the remaining money owed to him on the deal.
"I haven't seen his official retirement papers yet so I can't tell you much about it," Rangers general manager Glen Sather told ESPN.com's Craig Custance at the NHL's GM meetings in Boca Raton, Fla., on Tuesday.
When asked via email whether Avery had officially filed retirement papers, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said: "Not that I'm aware of."
Although any chance of the Rangers recalling him remains highly unlikely, Avery told ESPNNewYork.com he was "still ready to go," in that event.
This latest saga in Avery's tumultuous tenure on Broadway comes just a week after he was told by the Rangers he no longer needed to report to games or practices with the organization's minor league team in Hartford. Avery, waived twice by the Rangers this year, last played for the AHL's Connecticut Whale on Jan. 27 and had since been scratched indefinitely for "disciplinary reasons."
Avery told the New York Post's Larry Brooks on Tuesday morning that he plans on beginning a career in advertising next month.
"No joke, I'm retiring," he said. "Couldn't be happier about the situation."
9dScott Burnside and Craig Custance