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Daigneault Goes on Defensive

Hockey: Cup veteran has a cautionary tale or two for Ducks, who take 2-0 lead into Phoenix.

April 20, 1997|ROBYN NORWOOD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Daigneault arrived in a Feb. 21 trade. On Feb. 23, he was suspended for 10 games because of a rule that calls for an automatic 10-game penalty for "abuse of official."

Daigneault, charged with swinging his stick at referee Don Koharski, appealed the suspension, saying he never intended to hit Koharski. The suspension stood after a cumbersome nine-page memo from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made it clear he wouldn't rule against an official except under extraordinary circumstances.

"I think the suspension was a big misunderstanding," Daigneault said. "I'm not saying the NHL made a mistake. But there was a misunderstanding about what took place."

Once the appeal was over, Daigneault let it go.

"It was time to put everything behind me and just go on," he said.

When he returned, he immediately started a seven-game point streak--the longest by a defenseman in Duck history.

"I came back rested, and the team played well--unbelievable--in the 10 games I didn't play," Daigneault said. "I had three weeks to rest and work hard, and I did. It paid off late in the season."

It paid off late in Game 2, as well.

*

* COLD WARRIOR

In his first postseason as coach, the Ducks' Ron Wilson is earning his stripes. C6

* UNFRIENDLY DEN

The Coyotes' 15-19-7 home record was the fourth worst in the NHL this season. C6

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