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Avery hearing concludes without decision

by Staff Writer / Dallas Stars
NEW YORK -- Sean Avery arrived at the National Hockey League offices in midtown Manhattan at 10:50 this morning wearing a checkered gray suit with no tie and a pair of dark sunglasses.


Avery's hearing regarding his indefinite suspension after remarks he made Tuesday in Calgary about an ex-girlfriend's new relationship with an NHL player began at noon today inside the NHL's main offices.

The meeting ended at 1:25 p.m., but no statement has yet to be released. The NHL says a decision could be delivered later today or Friday.

The Stars contingent left immediately for the airport and is en route to Dallas.

NHL Commissioner Bettman will speak about the Avery situation during his XM Radio show, "The NHL Hour," which is streamed on NHL.com. Detroit Red Wing Senior Vice President Jimmy Devellano is Bettman's special guest on the show, which airs from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Avery met with Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, Senior Executive Vice President Colin Campbell, his agent Pat Morris, and an NHLPA representative. Stars co-General Manager Brett Hull was in attendance as well, but he was not with Avery upon arrival at the NHL offices. Hull flew to New York on Wednesday.

After the meeting, Hull spoke to the media outside the building. Avery departed after Hull and did not speak to reporters as he was escorted to a waiting car.

"Well there's not really much to say," Hull said. "It was your typical hearing and the PA had (its) say and the NHL (its) say and we're waiting for Gary to digest everything that he heard and make a decision today or tomorrow morning."

Healy, the PA representative, was pleased with the tone of Thursday's meeting.

"All sides presented to Gary and Gary makes the decision," Healy said. "Everyone had strong opinions and everyone had a chance and it was a fair process and now it's up to Gary. It's up to Gary to decide what's appropriate."

It was a far different scene just a few hours earlier as Avery arrived for the hearing.

The Dallas forward pulled up to the building, located at 1185 Avenue of the Americas, this morning in a taxi and was accompanied by another man, presumed to be the NHLPA rep. He breezed by a small contingent of reporters waiting outside the building without saying a word. He obtained his visitor's pass at the security desk, but didn't immediately go upstairs.

Avery was suspended indefinitely by the NHL Tuesday following disparaging remarks he made in part in reference to Calgary Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf, who is currently dating Avery's ex-girlfriend, actress Elisha Cuthbert.

The League said the suspension was issued in accordance with the provisions of By-Law 17 and Article 6 of the NHL Constitution for conduct "detrimental to the League or game of hockey." The suspension was imposed following inappropriate public comments about the personal lives of opposing players, and not pertaining to the game.

Avery issued an apology Wednesday.

"I should not have made those comments and I recognize that they were inappropriate," he said in a statement. "It was a bad attempt to build excitement for the game, but I am now acutely aware of how hurtful my actions were. I caused unnecessary embarrassment to my peers as well as people I have been close with in the past."

Hull also said Avery expressed remorse in his face-to-face meeting with Bettman.

"Well I certainly have no quotes for you; but he was remorseful in what he did and that's about all you can do," Hull said.

Healy also made a point of bringing up Avery's contrition.

"Sean got a chance to explain some different things, I think he was excellent," Healy said. "He was apologetic and from a players' standpoint, he laid out his side of things pretty well. But it's pretty clear he's sorry for the incident and at the end of the day, he's a good player. He's one of Dallas' top two forwards and he's a good kid. There's a lot of good things and he probably wishes that the incident never happened."

Avery has already missed two games, a 3-1 win in Calgary and Wednesday's 5-2 loss in Edmonton. The earliest he could return is Friday night against Colorado at home, but that's pending Bettman's decision, which may not come today.

More details will be coming shortly.

Contact Dan Rosen at drosen@nhl.com
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