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Ducks Unload Center Corkum to Philadelphia

Hockey: Expectations of scoring were never met, so he's sent away for a prospect and a draft choice.

February 07, 1996|ROBYN NORWOOD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Mighty Ducks owned up to a mistake Tuesday when they traded center Bob Corkum to the Philadelphia Flyers for prospect Chris Herperger and a seventh-round draft pick in 1997.

Corkum, 28, was one of the players the Ducks decided were "keepers" from the 1993 expansion draft after he had led them with 23 goals in their first season.

But he scored only 10 goals in the lockout-shortened season last year and had only five this season. The Ducks moved him to make room in the lineup for J.F. Jomphe and Jim Campbell--two players with one NHL game each.

Corkum was one of three regulars, along with Todd Krygier and Mike Sillinger, who were scratched from the lineup in Sunday's loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

"We just thought some of the younger guys were ready, and we brought them up and had to make room," General Manager Jack Ferreira said. "I think Bob will play better. It was time for a change for both sides. I like Bob and he's a good guy, but he wasn't playing up to what he had done in the past. It was time to move on."

The trade freed the Ducks of the two years remaining on the three-year, $1.5-million contract they gave Corkum last summer, but didn't do anything to improve a team that is 11th in the Western Conference, five points out of the final Western Conference playoff spot. Herperger, the prospect acquired from Philadelphia, is reporting to minor league Baltimore.

"I don't think this diminishes our chances," Ferreira said. "In no way is this a sign we are going in a different direction. We're still striving for the playoffs."

Said Wilson: "We're not far out of it. This isn't a matter of waving the white flag."

Corkum was frustrated at being expected to score despite playing a more defensive role this season, centering a checking line and rarely playing on power plays.

"Things were getting a little stale here for whatever reason, and I think the change of atmosphere will be good for my career," he said. "Going to a Stanley Cup contender makes it even better."

Corkum is expected to play on Philadelphia's third line with Joel Otto and Shjon Podein, and as he put it, with the firepower the Flyers have, they won't need him to score.

"My ice time went down in Anaheim and my role changed. That's all fine with me, because I'm basically a defensive centerman," he said. "I felt I didn't get an opportunity to play with other offensive players. As valuable as Todd Ewen is to our team, I was playing with him night in and night out, and he's not an offensive player. They can complain about points, but I was cast as a defensive center."

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