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Robitaille's Back Injury Not Considered Serious

September 16, 1993|LISA DILLMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

BLUE JAY, Calif. — Left wing Luc Robitaille of the Kings suffered a strained lower back Wednesday during morning practice and will not play in the first two exhibition games, in Vancouver on Friday and in Portland, Ore., on Saturday.

Robitaille, a 63-goal, 125-point scorer last season, left the ice in pain and looking pale, although the injury is not believed to be serious. He preferred not to talk about it and returned to the team's hotel.

"If this was during the season, he'd be out for about a week to 10 days," team physician Ron Kvitne said. "We have to wait until we get more information, so this is just speculative. We're not going to hurry him back to play."

Robitaille was one of two Kings who played in all 84 games last season, the other being Mike Donnelly. Robitaille has played in 213 consecutive games.

Depending upon how he feels this morning, Robitaille may undergo tests in Los Angeles. He will have therapy while the team is on the road.

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Center Jimmy Carson, who played out his option last season, is on the verge of signing a contract for two years, plus an option.

"It's not 100% done," Carson said. "But we've agreed in principle."

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Owner Bruce McNall said he and Wayne Gretzky are nearing a new contract agreement.

"It's in the hands of the lawyers," McNall said, adding that Gretzky will be the highest-paid player in hockey. Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux, currently the highest, averages about $6 million a season.

"Maybe in all of sports," McNall said. " . . . Wayne is often thinking of my situation more than his own. About my (financial) exposure over a long time."

King Notes

Wayne Gretzky, Kelly Hrudey, Charlie Huddy, Tomas Sandstrom and Shawn McEachern will switch sides and play for the Phoenix Roadrunners when the Kings play their minor league league affiliate on Sept. 25. Gretzky will play his first exhibition game Saturday against Vancouver. . . . Left wing Warren Rychel has been taking verbal hits from his teammates. Bruce McNall asked Darryl Sydor where he could find Rychel. "Getting his nails done," Sydor said. McNall chortled and later spotted Rychel, who had said he was the "valet" on the team. Said McNall, tossing his keys at Rychel: "Here, park it." . . . Individual game tickets will go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Forum, Slap Shops and TicketMaster.

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