Avery meets with NHL boss for 3 hours

Dallas Starts forward Sean Avery left his three-hour hearing with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Thursday in New York without knowing his hockey fate.

Dallas Stars forward Sean Avery left his three-hour hearing with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Thursday in New York without knowing his hockey fate.

Avery was suspended indefinitely on Tuesday after making comments aimed at Calgary Flames defenceman Dion Phaneuf and his girlfriend Canadian actress Elisha Cuthbert, who at one time dated the Dallas player.

Avery told reporters in Calgary that he couldn't understand why NHL players keep falling in love with his "sloppy seconds."

He made the comments at the Pengrowth Saddledome prior to a game against the Flames.

While Avery awaits word on further discipline, Bettman is weighing his options.

"I haven't made a decision yet," Bettman said during his weekly radio show on XM Satellite Radio. "I want to take the opportunity to spend a little time thinking about what transpired at the hearing and everything that I was told and that needs to be considered.

"I want to reflect on it, which means either sometime later this afternoon or tomorrow morning we will render a decision and we will make it public."

Dressed in a grey suit and big, dark designer sunglasses, Avery was accompanied to the NHL's Manhattan office by his agent Pat Morris, Stars general manager Brett Hull, and NHLPA player affairs director Glenn Healy.

Although NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell also attended the hearing, Bettman will deal with Avery's punishment.

"He was remorseful in what he did," Hull said. "I hope that we can put this all behind us and we can make sure that the league and the Stars and the NHLPA do everything to make sure that I don't have to stand here or anyone else has to stand here and talk about stupid things like this anymore and make sure they don't happen."

Avery issued an apology on Wednesday, not through the Dallas organization, but via the SportingNews.com website. The publication said it obtained the statement through Avery's personal publicist.

"It was a bad attempt to build excitement for the game, but I am now acutely aware of how hurtful my actions were," Avery said in his statement. "I caused unnecessary embarrassment to my peers as well as people I have been close with in the past.

"I apologize for offending the great fans of the NHL, the commissioner, my teammates, my coaching staff and the Dallas Stars management and ownership. As many of you know, I like to mix it up on and off the ice from time to time, but understand that this time I took it too far."

Stars coach Dave Tippett told reporters before a game on Wednesday in Edmonton that he has a hard time envisioning Avery being welcomed back to the dressing room by the players.

Avery signed a four-year deal worth more than $15 million US after spending last season with the New York Rangers.

With files from the Associated Press