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NHL DAILY REPORT

Nieuwendyk Returns to Stars

October 23, 1998|Associated Press

Center Joe Nieuwendyk returned to the Dallas Stars' lineup for the first time since undergoing surgery on both knees in May. Nieuwendyk injured his right knee against the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the 1997-98 playoffs. He underwent surgery to repair that injury as well as one to his left knee.

Without Nieuwendyk, who led the team with 39 goals and 69 points, the Stars lost to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference finals.

Dallas also activated center Brian Skrudland after he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left kneecap. He was injured during an exhibition game against Tampa Bay.

In another move, the Stars put right wing Brent Severyn, who has a sprained neck, on the injured reserve list, retroactive to Oct. 14th.

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Right wing Dallas Drake of the Phoenix Coyotes will be out four to six weeks after breaking his ankle during practice on Wednesday. Team officials wouldn't disclose how the injury happened or which ankle was broken.

To replace Drake on the roster, Phoenix recalled forward Brad Isbister from Las Vegas of the International Hockey League.

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The St. Louis Blues have extended the contracts of forwards Pavol Demitra and Pascal Rheaume through the 2000-2001 season.

Demitra, 23, signed a three-year contract worth $3.2 million, plus performance incentives. Rheaume, 25, agreed to a two-year, $1.35 million extension.

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Referee Paul Stewart will start his comeback from cancer surgery by officiating up to three American Hockey League games, the NHL announced.

Stewart will referee Saturday's game in Springfield, Mass., between the Falcons and Fredericton. He is expected to return to the NHL next month. Stewart had surgery for colon cancer in June.

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