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Ducks Trade for a Center

Pro hockey: Anaheim loses depth by sending Daigneault, Sacco and Janssens to Islanders for Green, Houda and minor-leaguer.

February 07, 1998|ELLIOTT TEAFORD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Mighty Ducks failed to pry Trevor Linden from the Vancouver Canucks, but they said Friday they got the center they coveted by acquiring Travis Green from the New York Islanders.

But the Ducks also lost experience, toughness and a bit of history when they traded defenseman J.J. Daigneault, center Mark Janssens and left wing Joe Sacco to the Islanders for Green, defenseman Doug Houda and minor-league right wing Tony Tuzzolino.

Earlier Friday, Vancouver traded Linden to the Islanders for defenseman Bryan McCabe and right wing Todd Bertuzzi. A deal between the Ducks and Canucks figured to be a longshot because trades between division rivals are rare.

Green, who has 14 goals and 26 points in 54 games, and Houda (one goal and three points in 31 games) are expected to join the Ducks in time for today's game against the Kings. Tuzzolino will be assigned to Cincinnati of the American Hockey League.

"We were interested in getting some more quality on the ice," General Manager Jack Ferreira said. "We wanted a quality second-line center and we got that. Travis could be a 60 to 80 point guy. If he played with Paul [Kariya] and Teemu [Selanne] it could be a lot more.

The early plan is for Steve Rucchin to remain with Kariya and Selanne on the first line with Green playing on the second line--perhaps with Scott Young and Tomas Sandstrom.

"This was a good deal to get better chemistry on the ice," Coach Pierre Page said. "It will make us a little more balanced and unpredictable."

The Ducks parted with an aging defenseman who was not as effective as he was last season, one of their few enforcers and an original member of the team.

Daigneault's departure was perhaps hastened when he took a high-sticking penalty against Pat LaFontaine of the New York Rangers that forced the Ducks to kill off a shorthanded situation while holding a 3-2 lead with 1:18 to play Wednesday.

It's also believed he was viewed by management as a dressing room distraction because he had complained about ice time.

Janssens probably was the Ducks' most consistent winner of important faceoffs. He certainly was their best fighter, which leaves an enormous void on a team that offered little in retaliation after Kariya suffered a concussion when he was cross-checked in the jaw Sunday by Chicago Blackhawk defenseman Gary Suter.

Sacco's departure leaves goaltender Guy Hebert as the lone remaining member of the Ducks' opening-night roster in 1993.

The Ducks' next move, which will have to come after the Olympic trading freeze ends Feb. 24, is expected to be for a bona fide heavyweight to better protect Kariya and Teemu Selanne.

"I'm going to be looking," Ferreira said. "I'm sure I'm not finished [trading]. I'd like to say I'm looking for a guy, but teams read that in the papers and they all want an arm and a leg."

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