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Sean Avery assigned to American Hockey League's Hartford Wolf Pack @NHLdotcom

DALLAS - Sean Avery's hockey career is about to resume in Hartford.

The Dallas Stars have assigned him to the American Hockey League's Hartford Wolf Pack - the primary affiliate of the New York Rangers.

The Stars don't have an AHL affiliate and could have sent him to any willing team.

"I would like to thank Glen Sather and the Rangers organization for giving me the chance to resume my hockey career by affording me this opportunity," Avery said in a statement Tuesday. "I am looking forward to getting back on the ice, working my way back to the NHL and playing the game I love."

Avery hasn't played since being suspended by the NHL in December after making an infamous remark about other hockey players dating his former girlfriends.

He recently completed treatment in the NHL/NHLPA counselling program and was cleared from that over the weekend. The 28-year-old noted that he doesn't intend to speak with the media during his time in Hartford.

A return to the Rangers organization should be comfortable. Avery spent parts of two seasons in New York before signing a US$15.5-million, four-year deal with the Stars over the summer.

His prior service with the Rangers is one of the reasons they were willing to welcome him back.

"Sean and the Dallas Stars approached me looking for an American Hockey League team for him to resume playing, and I am happy to provide him with the opportunity to continue his career," said Sather, the Rangers president and general manager. "Sean was a good player for the Rangers during his time here and has worked extremely hard off the ice over the last two months."

Avery hasn't appeared in the AHL since a three-game stint with the Manchester Monarchs during the 2003 playoffs.

Hartford's next game is Wednesday night against the visiting Manitoba Moose. It's not clear if Avery will be in the lineup.

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