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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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