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DUCK NOTEBOOK / ROBYN NORWOOD : Ticket Giveaway Brings Extras to Team Rehearsal

September 16, 1993|ROBYN NORWOOD

ANAHEIM — It's astounding enough when the Dallas Cowboys or the Duke basketball team draw thousands for a scrimmage.

But 14,000 to see the Mighty Ducks' Purple battle the Gray? Put it this way: It's about the only sure way to see an expansion team win a game.

The crowd was largely Disney employees and charity groups who received the 17,000 free tickets to the Wednesday event at Anaheim Arena.

"They were enthusiastic--but they weren't paying fans," Coach Ron Wilson said.

They served as extras in a dress rehearsal for the team's first exhibition game Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The kinks included a scoreboard malfunction that required the huge apparatus to be lowered to the ice just before the opening faceoff, and an assist on a Purple goal that was credited to Jarrod Skalde, who was playing for the other team.


Terry Yake, the Ducks' only 20-goal scorer, showed some of the finesse and creativity the team desperately needs from him. Yake, playing right wing on line centered by Anatoli Semenov with Troy Loney on left wing instead of Stu Grimson as the tough guy, scored a goal assisted by Loney.

"Terry has been pressing a little bit in practice, probably because he wants to score and make an impression. He's knows he's being counted on," Wilson said, adding that Semenov seemed to be skating better after adjusting to new equipment.

"When he's feeling good, Terry's going to have more chances."

Loney and Grimson will probably take turns on the first line for a while.

"I think Troy is more offensive-minded at this point," Wilson said. "Stu still has the habit of getting to the red line and dumping it in. He doesn't look for his teammates as much."

Right wing Robin Bawa, a former Shark, had two goals in the Purple's 4-1 victory. Guy Hebert was the winning goaltender.


Paul Lawless, the free-agent tryout who has been held out of practice after a heart murmur was detected, has been given clearance to resume physical activity by a team of cardiologists. But General Manager Jack Ferreira said he will seek a second opinion before allowing Lawless to skate.

Lawless, 29, was diagnosed with an atrial septal defect, or tiny hole in his heart, after undergoing tests that included a heart X-ray, an echocardiogram and an EKG. A group of cardiologists and team physician Ronald Glousman told Lawless the congenital abnormality, which is not uncommon, need not prevent him from playing.

"It's one of those things that everybody is so sensitive about," trainer Blynn DeNiro said. "Not just because of Reggie Lewis, but Brian Mullen."

Lewis, the Celtic star, died after being diagnosed with heart problems. Mullen, a New York Islander, had a stroke recently after a blood clot broke loose in his leg and entered his heart through a hole similar to the one Lawless has.

Lawless said he is not concerned now that he has received medical clearance.

"Well, the way I feel about it, I've had this a long time," he said. "If I had symptoms, I'd be more concerned, but I've never had a problem."

Lawless said the murmur was detected in his first team physical in 1982, but that there was little concern at the time.

"Now, with all these guys dropping dead. . ." he said, laughing, but saying he is not concerned.

"You look at a guy like Reggie Lewis, his family had heart problems, Hank Gathers the same way. He had a family history. There have been no problems whatsoever of any kind."

Lawless said he's ready to get back on the ice.

"It doesn't bother me the least bit, only because the doctors told me it's not life threatening," Lawless said. "If all of a sudden someone came up to you and said stop what you're doing, there'd be a lot more shock."


Glousman, affiliated with the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic, will be the team physician and orthopedist, it was announced. Dr. Craig Milhouse, director of sports medicine at Anaheim Memorial hospital, will be the day-to-day team physician. He has worked with the Rams, USC and Occidental.

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