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Stars assign Avery to Hartford @NHLdotcom

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -Controversial left wing Sean Avery is resuming his hockey career with the New York Rangers' affiliate in Hartford, hoping to return to the NHL.

The Dallas Stars assigned Avery to the American Hockey League team Tuesday and he practiced with the Hartford Wolf Pack in the morning.

Avery hasn't played since his NHL suspension in December for making a crude remark about other hockey players dating his former girlfriends. He completed treatment in a league counseling program last weekend and cleared waivers Monday.

"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. "I am looking forward to getting back on the ice, working my way back to the NHL and playing the game I love."

The 28-year-old player spent parts of two seasons in New York before signing a $15.5 million, four-year deal with Dallas. He remains under contract to the Stars, who don't have an AHL affiliate and could have sent him to any willing team.

"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 at home against the Manitoba Moose. It's not clear if Avery will be in the lineup.

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