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Hicks to meet with Hull over Avery situation

NHL.com @NHL
PALM BEACH, Fla. - Sean Avery's fate with the Dallas Stars could be decided as soon as Wednesday. And it doesn't sound too good for the NHL's super pest.

The team's brass will meet on Wednesday afternoon and discuss the Avery situation.

"We're going to look at all the alternatives," owner Tom Hicks said Monday. "We're going to have some recommendations from (GM) Brett (Hull), Les (Jackson) and (president) Jeff Cogen will participate as well."

Avery is currently serving a six-game suspension for making a crude comment regarding an ex-girlfriend dating other hockey players. Calgary Flames defenceman Dion Phaneuf has been linked to Avery's ex Elisha Cuthbert.

Hicks fully supported the league's decision to suspend the player.

There has been plenty of speculation that the team might not welcome Avery back even after his suspension expires. Hicks didn't exactly quell the notion before heading into the NHL's board of governors meeting on Monday afternoon.

"I'm not prepared to say that (he's played his last game in Dallas) yet because I want to give our guys the respect they deserve to make the recommendations," he said. "But certainly when (coach) Dave Tippett comes out and stakes his claim, it's pretty hard to overcome that.

"So I think we'll want to look at everything from what's right for Sean - not as a hockey player. He's a troubled young man. I think that's going to be our first priority is what can we do to help him away from hockey. We've got a team of guys doing all that and I'll deal with that Wednesday, too."

As part of Avery's suspension, he's agreed to get evaluated for anger management.

Tippett and several Stars players have made strong comments about the winger, who signed a US$15.5-million, four-year deal over the summer. It doesn't appear as though he'll be welcomed back into the dressing room with open arms.

"I'm trying to build a team where the players care about each other, that has continuity," Tippett said last Wednesday in Edmonton. "I find it hard to believe that Sean could come back in the room and we would have that continuity.

"My job is to build the best team possible. I don't know if we can build the best team possible with Sean in the room."

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