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Maine's Status Not Relevant to Kariya Signing

March 05, 1994|ROBYN NORWOOD

ANAHEIM — Paul Kariya's option of returning to the University of Maine to try to lead the team to a second consecutive NCAA championship is apparently gone.

Maine was barred from the Hockey East conference playoffs Friday--and thus from qualifying for the NCAA playoffs--because of an ineligible player.

Nevertheless, Kariya is no closer to joining the Ducks, said Mighty Duck General Manager Jack Ferreira, because talks with Kariya's legal adviser are "at an impasse." Ferreira said he believes Maine's fate is "immaterial" and that a financial agreement has always been the only obstacle to Kariya joining the Ducks this season. He says the sides are far apart.

"I know where they want to be," said Ferreira, who is believed to have offered a deal in the neighborhood of $3.45 million for four years, plus performance bonuses. "We didn't close the door, but I can't see anything happening."

If Kariya, drafted fourth overall in June, doesn't sign now, the Ducks will retain his rights for two years.

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