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HOCKEY DAILY REPORT : KINGS

Signals Are Good on Yachmenev

September 18, 1997|LONNIE WHITE

For the last two days, unsigned right wing Vitali Yachmenev has worked out at Glacial Garden in Lakewood, which may mean an agreement with the team is close.

King General Manager Dave Taylor said that although he has not talked this week with Yachmenev's agent, Vlad Shushkovsky, he is encouraged to know that Yachmenev skated Wednesday with the Long Beach Ice Dogs of the International Hockey League, who will be affiliated with the Kings this season.

Taylor also said the Kings are close to reaching contract deals with goaltender Jamie Storr and left winger Jeff Shevalier, both of whom have been in training camp.

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With 10 defensemen still with the team, the Kings hope to get down to to more than eight before the start of the season.

"We have some tough decisions to make, especially on defense," said King Coach Larry Robinson, who kept as many as nine defensemen on the roster last season. "We hope to keep eight at the most and preferably seven."

The defensemen remaining are Rob Blake, Garry Galley, Doug Zmolek, Mattias Norstrom, Aki Berg, Jan Vopat, Sean O'Donnell, Philippe Boucher, Steven Finn and Jaroslav Modry.

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The Kings will play the Colorado Avalanche, who they defeated Monday in Denver, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday. Right wing Pavel Rosa will not play because of a concussion he suffered in the first period Monday. . . . Center Ray Ferraro is expected to play Saturday after missing the first two exhibition games because of off-season sinus surgery.

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