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MIGHTY DUCK NOTEBOOK : Penguins, McSorley Get It Started

September 18, 1993|ROBYN NORWOOD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

ANAHEIM — The Mighty Ducks' first exhibition game at 5 p.m. today won't include all the hoopla expected for the regular-season debut, but it will be the first look at the expansion team against another NHL team.

It's not just any team. It's the Pittsburgh Penguins--minus Mario Lemieux, who's recovering from back surgery, but plus Marty McSorley, who was traded from the Kings this summer.

"It'll be exciting, but it will pale in comparison to the real first game," Duck Coach Ron Wilson said.

McSorley, still adjusting after being traded when his free-agent market value proved higher than the Kings were willing to live with, is making his first Southern California appearance in another uniform since the deal.

"I just wanted to see how the guys would take to me and they've been fabulous," he said of the Penguins. "They really have been great. All I kept hearing from the guys was, 'We're glad you're here.' We want to win again. The guys' focus is on winning. It's not on salaries or anything else."

McSorley says he had some bitterness about the way negotiations played out with the Kings' front office.

"I was honest with everybody in the organization, maybe too honest," he said. "I was honest with everybody, and I tried to do whatever I could to make the make the team proud."

The Kings eventually matched St. Louis' offer sheet, and quickly traded him to Pittsburgh.

"When it looked like they (the Kings) were going to match (the offer sheet) and trade me--then I was bitter because they put me in a position where I had to go out and sign someplace."

McSorley disputed King Coach Barry Melrose's statement that McSorley would have been the team's No. 4 defenseman: "Well, I'm not going to judge my own playing ability, but I don't think you play your fourth defenseman more than you play the top three, you know what I mean?"

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Lemieux might return to the ice in late October, based on an evaluation by a back specialist in Los Angeles. Lemieux, who underwent surgery July 28, probably will miss the regular-season opener Oct. 5 at Philadelphia.

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Tonight's game had not sold out as of Friday, but team officials are advising people to arrive early and try to avoid traffic congestion by using Cerritos Avenue or Ball Road in addition to westbound Katella Ave. The Angels have a 7 p.m. game against Texas at nearby Anaheim Stadium.

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The left knee sprain that could keep right wing Peter Douris out four to six weeks will shake up one of the team's top lines, centered by Patrik Carnback with Tim Sweeney on left wing.

Douris, who played in the Bruins organization, was signed as a free agent.

"It's fortunate he did it so early in camp," Wilson said. "That way if he misses three, four weeks, he won't miss much of the regular season. He was playing very well. We hope he's a fast healer."

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The team has solved its radio problem arranging to have 32 games broadcast on KEZY-FM. The team originally was working with KLAC, but discovered that numerous conflicts with Laker games would limit complete live broadcasts to about half the Ducks' 84 games.

Duck Notes

Jean Francois Jomphe, who had a scrimmage hat trick, was the only tryout player to play his way through the first cut. Left wing Paul Lawless also made it but has been unable to play pending a second opinion after a heart murmur was discovered. The Ducks cut seven tryouts Friday. . . . Among the Ducks not scheduled to play tonight are center Anatoli Semenov and goaltender Guy Hebert. . . . The Ducks reduced their camp roster to 35, assigning forward Scott McKay and defenseman Mark DeSantis to the San Diego Gulls and returning goaltender Joel Gagnon to Oshawa, his junior team.

Times staff writer Lisa Dillman contributed to this story.

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