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Canuck Official Accuses Kings of 'Cheap Shots'

February 05, 1988|JERRY CROWE | Times Staff Writer

The Kings and Vancouver Canucks are still scrapping.

The National Hockey League office in Montreal received videotape Thursday from the Canucks of hits made by Bernie Nicholls and Ken Baumgartner of the Kings Tuesday night in the Canucks' 5-2 victory at Vancouver.

Brian Burke, a Canuck vice president, described the hits as "cheap shots."

Barry Pederson, blind-sided along the boards by Nicholls on a second-period check that snapped Pederson's neck and slammed his face into the glass, was carried from the ice on a stretcher and suffered a slight concussion.

Jim Sandlak had to leave the game in the third period with a jaw injury after Baumgartner checked him in the face with a forearm.

Neither Pederson nor Sandlak played Wednesday night at the Forum in a 7-2 victory by the Kings that was marred by 4 fights and 112 minutes in penalties.

Burke issued a challenge to the league office to take action in the form of suspensions.

"The league makes a big deal about cracking down on stick fouls," Burke told Mike Beamish of the Vancouver Sun, "but they don't do anything about cheap shots that lead to serious injury."

Burke said that Nicholls "ran" at Pederson from about 10 or 11 feet away, and that Baumgartner's charge on Sandlak was "a deliberate intent to injure."

Said Baumgartner: "Perhaps I hit him a little high, but there was nothing dirty about the check. I don't know why they're making such a big deal about it."

Nicholls said after the game that he had made a clean hit on Pederson. "I was coming full speed," Nicholls said.

Rogie Vachon, general manager of the Kings, said he saw "nothing vicious" in either hit.

"If they want to start sending tapes," Vachon said of the Canucks, "I've got some tapes of them in the past that I could send. I've got some of (Garth) Butcher cross-checking guys in front of the net and punching guys in the head."

Burke, meanwhile, said he didn't expect the league to take action against the Kings because neither Pederson nor Sandlak was seriously injured. Both are expected to play tonight at Vancouver against the New Jersey Devils.

"You don't wish an injury on anybody," Burke said, "but we would probably have a better case if Sandlak had broken his jaw."

An NHL spokesman said Thursday from Montreal that the league had not yet reviewed the tape.

The Kings announced Thursday that they have traded Bryan Erickson to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Chris Kontos and future considerations.

Kontos, a 6-feet 1-inch, 195-pound center, was assigned to the Kings' American Hockey League affiliate at New Haven, Conn. Kontos, 24, had 1 goal and 8 assists in 36 games for Pittsburgh this season before being assigned last month to the Penguins' International Hockey League affiliate at Muskegon, Mich. He had 3 goals and 6 assists in 10 games at Muskegon.

A first-round draft choice of the New York Rangers in 1982, Kontos formerly played for King Coach Robbie Ftorek at New Haven. He was traded Jan. 21, 1987, to the Penguins.

Erickson, 27, had two 20-goal seasons for the Kings after being acquired in a 1985 trade with the Washington Capitals. In 42 games this season, he had 6 goals and 15 assists.

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