Sean Avery is a Dallas Star. The Stars have signed the free agent left wing to a four-year contract that will pay him a total of $15.5 million ($3.5 million next season, and $4 million in 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12).
“We are excited about the opportunity to add a player like Sean Avery to our group,” said Stars Co-General Manager Brett Hull. “His ability to play the game with skill and tenacity makes us a better team and is a great complement to the players we have here.”
In 86 games with New York over the last two seasons, the Rangers went 50-20-16 with Avery in the lineup for a winning percentage of .674 (and 9-13-3 record when he was not on the ice).
“His skill keeps improving every year,” said Hull. “He is feisty and tenacious. Sean has the ability to score and make plays and he is fearless. I think he’s a very good compliment to Brenden Morrow. We like our team, but the thing I think we were lacking was a little bit of sandpaper and some grit, and we also improved our skill level with Sean.
“He made the Rangers a much better team. In talking to some of the guys on that team, they are very sorry to see him go. He’s a great teammate – he’ll do anything for the team, he’ll do anything to win.”
Avery, who turned 28 in April, collected 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists) in 57 games with the New York Rangers last season, and placed second on the club with 154 penalty minutes and tied for third with four game-winning goals. In eight Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Rangers this past spring, Avery recorded four goals and three assists for seven points with six penalty minutes.
A native of Pickering, Ontario, Avery has skated in 379 career NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers, collecting 65 goals and 102 assists for 167 points with 1,067 penalty minutes. He has appeared in 18 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, all with the Rangers, earning 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists) and 33 PIM.
Avery’s most productive NHL season came in 2006-07, split between Los Angeles and the Rangers, when he posted career-highs in goals (18), assists (30), points (48), shots on goal (249), average time on ice (17:11) and games played (84). He also led the Rangers and placed fifth in the league with 174 minutes during that campaign.
The 5-10, 195-pound left wing was undrafted, but made his NHL debut with Detroit on Dec. 19, 2001 vs. Vancouver, and scored his first NHL goal (a game-winner) on Mar. 2, 2002 vs. Pittsburgh. During the 2003-04 season with Los Angeles, he led the NHL and set a career-high with 261 penalty minutes. He appeared in 221 Ontario Hockey League games with Owen Sound and Kingston, registering 87 goals and 166 assists for 253 points, along with 564 penalty minutes.