The worst-kept secret is now official: Sean Avery's time with the Stars is now over. The release was just sent out that Avery will continue to seek his help and the Stars are moving on without him. As I said, foregone conclusion at this point. The more newsy part of this is that the Stars will not challenge Avery's contract; so he'll get his cash. We'll get Brett Hull on a conference call at 10 a.m. so we'll update after that.
Here's the release:
Frisco, Tex. -- The Dallas Stars today announced that forward Sean Avery will not return to the NHL team. Representatives for both Avery and the Stars said they would continue to work together in support of Avery during “this critical time” for the player. All parties said there is a clear understanding that a return to the Stars is not in the best interest of either the hockey club or Avery.
“Sean needs to focus on his own well-being while the Stars hockey team must focus on playing hockey and competing for a playoff spot,” said Stars Co-General Manager Brett Hull. “Everyone understands that Sean will not return to the Dallas Stars. We all need to move forward.”
Stars management also said the team would not seek to challenge Avery’s contract under the conduct clause included in the Standard Player’s Contract. The agreement’s Paragraph 2 (e) directs all NHL players “to refrain from conduct detrimental to the best interest of the Club, the League or professional hockey generally.” Avery was suspended by the NHL last week for comments he made prior to a game with Calgary.
“The message here is: no distractions. Sean can focus on resolving his personal issues,” said Hull, “and the Stars will have closure on this episode. The team needs to put its energies into winning.”
The Stars said the team will continue to honor Avery’s contract while exploring all options for his hockey future consistent with the terms of his counseling.
“We do care about Sean and want what is best for him,” said Hull. “We’ve agreed to do what we can to help find him a place to play hockey once he addresses his personal issues.”