TORONTO -- Sean Avery's big mouth has gotten him booted out of Big D.
The short marriage between the Dallas Stars and the trash-talking forward officially dissolved yesterday when the team announced Avery would no longer wear the green-and-black Stars jersey.
As a result, Avery finds himself in hockey limbo, thanks to his recent suggestion that fellow NHLers were going after his "sloppy seconds," an alleged reference to ex-girlfriends Elisha Cuthbert and Rachel Hunter.
Those comments landed him a six-game suspension from the league, one which ended over the weekend.
In the end, cutting the umbilical cord with Avery, 28, was the only logical move for the Stars.
Inside the locker-room, starting goalie Marty Turco was among those highly critical of Avery's shenanigans.
In the owners' box, Tom Hicks was publicly perturbed at the bad image Avery was bringing to his team.
The Stars had little choice but to act.
"I thought (Sean) could bring a little bit of a change in our locker-room and on the ice, which I thought was missing," said Stars co-GM Brett Hull.
"Obviously, it went overboard and didn't work out."
Hull, who put up Avery in his home when the two were teammates with the Detroit Red Wings, admitted being "embarrassed" and "disappointed."
Both the Stars and Avery's representatives will work together to look out for Avery's future, the team said.
According to Hull, Avery is in a 10-day voluntary program set up by the NHL players association seeking treatment to deal with anger issues, a stay that could be extended if needed.
"We don't want to ruin Sean or his career," Hull said. "The team needs to move on and start winning and he needs to take care of himself.
"As a hockey player, I think there is no question he can be an asset. That said, he has got to fix the demons he has. It becomes such a huge distraction that it almost takes away from his ability to play the game."
The question now becomes: What kind of professional hockey future does Avery have, if any?
As one NHL GM said yesterday: "Nobody's going to want that ticking time bomb."
Claiming they will honour the four-year, US$15.5-million deal Avery signed in the summer, the Stars said they will work with the Avery camp to hammer out the details of his departure.
A trade seems unlikely, given the reluctance of other teams to want him, but the option of buying him out over the summer might be the most realistic decision.
A buyout would cost the Stars just $8 million, as opposed to the $12 million Avery would be owed if they cut him. He could be shipped to the AHL, where he would not get paid unless he played.
The Stars don't have an AHL affiliate, so even finding a spot for him in the feeder loop might be a tall task.
The Manitoba Moose have some Stars prospects on their roster, but the Vancouver Canucks farm club balked at the suggestion Avery might find a home in Winnipeg.
Or maybe Avery winds up overseas in the Continental League with another former NHL bad boy, goalie Ray Emery.
Siberia might be a perfect landing spot for the former Stars mouthpiece.