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STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONSHIPS | MIGHTY DUCKS NOTES

Kariya Short in Stature, Long in Leadership

May 02, 1997|ELLIOTT TEAFORD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

DETROIT — Paul Kariya is the youngest captain in the NHL, and at 5 feet 11 probably one of the smallest, too.

But on the rare occasions when Kariya, 22, speaks up in the dressing room, the Mighty Ducks tend to listen closely.

"He doesn't yell or scream or give long speeches," goaltender Guy Hebert said. "He sets an example by what he does on the ice. He has the respect of everyone in here.

"Any time Paul says something, people listen. He's blunt and to the point. He doesn't usually say anything unless he's really ticked off.

"There's no such thing as age in the world of sports. I don't go out on the ice and say, 'I'm 30 and he's 22.' "

*

Defenseman Bobby Dollas figures he would have spent most of the last four seasons in the Detroit Red Wings' farm system if the Ducks hadn't selected him in the 1993 expansion draft.

"The last time I played in the playoffs I was with them," said Dollas, who spent three seasons in the Red Wing organization. "But when I left Detroit I wasn't really happy there. [In 1992-93], I was pretty much banished from the team to the minors. According to some people, the Red Wings had no room for me. Fortunately for me, the Ducks picked me up."

*

Center Steve Rucchin, nursing a bruised left shoulder, did not practice with the team Thursday. He received treatment, accompanied the team to Detroit and expects to play tonight in Game 1.

"It doesn't matter if he misses a practice at this point," Coach Ron Wilson said. "He's going to play in the game Friday. You don't worry about little aches and pains at this time of the season."

*

Defenseman Jason Marshall, who gave the Ducks a boost in the Phoenix series with his physical play, needed several stitches to close a cut near his right eye after he was hit with a puck during practice.

"Ted Drury did it to me," Marshall joked.

Detroit Coach Scotty Bowman suffered a similar injury near his left temple during a practice earlier this week. "Could've been worse," Bowman said. "It could've hit me in the eye. Good reflexes, you know?"

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