Adios, Sean Avery. But, You, Josh Hamilton, You're Welcome Any Time.

So, Sean Avery isn't returning to the Dallas Stars -- surprise, surprise, surprise. Says the organization in its official release this morning regarding the release: Avery's return, following his sloppy seconds suspension, just wouldn't be in anyone's "best interest," but "treatment and counseling" are in Avery's, so that's that. And it was left to the man who hired him to fire him. What say you, co-general manager Brett Hull? "Sean needs to focus on his own well-being while the Stars hockey team must focus on playing hockey and competing for a playoff spot. Everyone understands that Sean will not return to the Dallas Stars. We all need to move forward."

As Tom Hicks tells one player to go away, a look, then, at Hicks's Comeback Kid. The January Esquire arrived in the mail yesterday -- the so-called "All-American Edition," featuring words of wisdom dispensed by a rep from every state in the union. Texas's lone star in the "What I've Learned" department is a man who's learned more than most: Texas Rangers All-Star Josh Hamilton. Says Hamilton: "The media helps hold me accountable, more than they realize. They don't realize me telling my story and getting it out there helps me stay clean, helps me want to do good all the time." I look forward to Sean Avery's shot at "What I've Learned." Till then, then, this final note: At least he's responsible for one of The New York Times' Ideas of the Year. --Robert Wilonsky

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