LAKEWOOD — Dave Karpa skated through practice with the Long Beach Ice Dogs Tuesday morning, then hopped on a stationary bike.
The question is whether all that pedaling will get him anywhere.
The Mighty Ducks have been in camp 10 days, and Karpa remains stuck in a contract dispute, working out informally with the Ice Dogs while such players as Nikolai Tsulygin, Adrien Plavsic, Ruslan Salei and Dan Trebil try to claim his spot with the Ducks.
"I guess I was prepared, knowing it could be a long battle," said Karpa, a defenseman who had 19 points last season but whose main role was antagonizing opponents, resulting in 270 penalty minutes.
Now the Ducks will see how Karpa's stubborn, emotional style applies to negotiating.
"Maybe they don't know me as well as they think they know me," Karpa said. "I just want to be paid what I think I'm worth. I was the lowest-paid player on the team last year. I made $160,000. The way I look at it, they got me for a bonus last year."