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Veteran forward Sean Avery clears NHL waivers, next team uncertain

DALLAS - Sean Avery cleared waivers Monday and the next step for the Dallas Stars is to find a team for the controversial left-winger to resume playing again with.

Stars spokesman Rob Scichili confirmed Avery cleared waivers but said the team was still working out the details of where Avery would go now. The Stars have already said he won't play again for them.

Dallas placed Avery on waivers Saturday. As expected, no team put a claim on him and took full responsibility for the remainder of the US$15.5-million, four-year contract Avery signed last summer.

Avery played only 23 games for Dallas before being suspended six games by the NHL on Dec. 2 for crude comments made about his ex-girlfriends dating other NHL players.

When suspended, Avery told the Stars he needed help dealing with anger issues. He completed a counselling program under the NHL-NHLPA behavioural health program before being placed on Dallas's active roster Saturday and then waived.

Avery probably will be assigned to an American Hockey League team for a conditioning stint. But the Stars must find a squad willing to take him since they do not have an AHL affiliate this season.

One option could be the New York Rangers' AHL affiliate in Hartford, Conn. Avery played 1 1/2 seasons in New York before joining Dallas.

After the AHL, Avery would have to clear waivers again before coming back to the NHL. Any team could then claim him for half his remaining contract.

Dallas, 8-11-4 when Avery was suspended, is 18-8-3 since then and has moved into sixth in the Western Conference standings.

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