Sean Avery (No. 16) signed with the Dallas Stars on Wednesday. ((Ed Betz/Associated Press))

The free-agency merry-go-round continued Wednesday, as the Dallas Stars signed agitator Sean Avery to a four-year deal worth $15.5 million US.

Avery, 28, earned $1.9 million last season with the New York Rangers when he scored 15 goals and tallied 33 assists in 57 games.

The veteran left-winger also added four goals and three assists in eight playoff games.

Avery, from Pickering, Ont., lived with Stars co-general manager Brett Hull when the two played for the Detroit Red Wings in the 2002-03 season.

"We are excited about the opportunity to add a player like Sean Avery to our group," said 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."

It has been an active several months for Avery. In the past six months he:

  • Threatened to sue and received an apology from a Toronto sports radio station that reported he directed a slur at Maple Leaf Jason Blake, who has leukemia.
  • Forced the NHL to issue a special edict regarding unsportsmanlike conduct after waving his stick by the head of New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur for several seconds.
  • Suffered a lacerated spleen that ended his playoff campaign prematurely.
  • Started an internship at Vogue magazine, a longtime dream.

"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."

For his career, Avery has scored 65 goals and added 102 assists in 379 games, also playing with the Los Angeles Kings.