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Stars host Coyotes after cutting ties with LW Avery

Phoenix (14-13-3) at Dallas (11-14-4) 8:30 p.m. EST

DALLAS (Ticker) -- The Dallas Stars have permanently purged a
major distraction.

The Stars begin life without Sean Avery in earnest on Tuesday
when they host the Phoenix Coyotes.

Dallas announced Sunday that Avery would not return to the team
following a six-game suspension by the NHL, which was handed
down earlier this month after the outspoken left wing made
inappropriate comments referring to former girlfriend - and
current sweetheart of Calgary Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf -
Elisha Cuthbert.

Avery's remarks earned the 28-year-old agitator the suspension
and ruffled the feathers of Stars owner Tom Hicks, coach Dave
Tippett and many of his teammates.

"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," co-general manager Brett Hull said. "Everyone

understands that Sean will not return to the Dallas Stars. We
all need to move forward."

Hull also announced they would not challenge the four-year,
$15.5 million free-agent contract Avery signed with the Stars
over the summer. Hull made it clear that Avery's actions would
not be tolerated.

"The message here is: No distractions. Sean can focus on
resolving his personal issues, and the Stars will have closure
on this episode," Hull said.

Dallas fell to last place in the Western Conference after
enduring a 3-0 loss to the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

The Stars are hoping to bounce back against the Coyotes, who had
a brief two-game win streak snapped during a 5-4 shootout
setback against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.

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