ANAHEIM — Valeri Karpov, a third-round draft choice who the Mighty Ducks projected could step into the lineup immediately, remains unsigned with no further talks scheduled as players report for training camp today.
"He's turned down our offer, so the way it stands, it looks like he'll stay in Russia," said General Manager Jack Ferreira, who had predicted Karpov could add much-needed scoring help.
Karpov, 22, had 25 points in 29 games last season with his Russian club team, Traktor Chelyabinsk, and received good marks from scouts at the 1993 World Championships. Because he is coming off shoulder surgery, Karpov was expected to be a few weeks behind during camp.
Karpov's agent, Don Horne, said the player's options this season--if he doesn't reach agreement with the Ducks--include playing for the Russian national team and possibly in the Olympics, or staying on with his club team. The Ducks retain the rights to Karpov and can continue to negotiate.
Neither Ferreira nor Horne would say how far apart the sides are.
"Both parties left the door open, (but) I don't have it in my schedule to talk to the organization," Horne said. "Valeri is an extremely capable hockey player and very confident individual. . . . He's looking forward to a long and prosperous NHL career and he'd like it to be in Anaheim. They showed confidence in him by drafting him in the third round."
Said Ferreira: "Somebody is not making a wise decision because there's a lot of money being left on the table. He says it's not enough. We say it's enough for a first-year player."
The team has announced the signing of two free agents:
--Goalie Allan Bester, 29, who has played in the NHL with Toronto and Detroit, compiling a 69-94-16 record with a 4.06 goals-against average. He spent last season with Adirondack in the American Hockey League, going 16-15 with a 3.52 goals-against average.
--Right wing Joel Savage, 23, who played for Duck assistant coach Al Sims on the Ft. Wayne Komets. Savage had 21 goals, 16 assists and 60 penalty minutes in 46 games for the International Hockey League champions.
In addition, the team announced the signing of 10th-round pick Anatoli Fedotov, a defenseman who had 47 points and 99 penalty minutes in 76 games for Moncton in the AHL last season. Ferreira also said the Ducks have agreed to basic terms with their fifth-round pick, goaltender Mikhail Shtalenkov, who had a 26-14-5 record and a 3.03 goals-against average for Milwaukee in the IHL last season.
A game against the Ducks' minor league affiliate, the San Diego Gulls, has been added to the exhibition schedule. The game will be played on Sept. 25 at the San Diego Sports Arena.
Nine free agents--mostly from the lower minor leagues, juniors or college programs--have been invited to try out during training camp: Forwards Ray Alcindor, Brett Barnett, Dan Bylsma, Colin Foley, Jean-Francois Jomphe and Paul Lawless, and defensemen Greg Capson, Tim Hanley and Eric Messier.