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Ducks Get Help for Their 2nd Line

NHL: Anaheim sends fourth-round pick in 2000 to Chicago for winger McInnis, who began the day in Calgary.

October 28, 1998|ELLIOTT TEAFORD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Mighty Ducks gained skill and much-needed experience Tuesday when they acquired left wing Marty McInnis from the Chicago Blackhawks.

McInnis, who scored 19 goals last season for the punchless Calgary Flames, is expected to bolster the Ducks' second line. Unlike past attempts, this move might bring the desired results.

Certainly, it gives the youthful Ducks more experience on their forward lines. It also bumps the team's $30-million payroll up a bit. McInnis, 28, will earn $1.1 million this season.

"He's a proven 20-goal scorer," said Pierre Gauthier, Duck team president/general manager. "He's a pretty good player who adds to our skill and experience."

McInnis actually was traded twice before lunchtime Tuesday.

First, he went from Calgary to Chicago as part of a multi-player deal. The Ducks then sent a fourth-round pick in the 2000 draft to Chicago for McInnis, who will join new linemates Travis Green and Tomas Sandstrom for tonight's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Arrowhead Pond.

McInnis and Green played together with the New York Islanders for parts of five seasons, helping the Islanders reach the Eastern Conference finals in 1992-93. They also were linemates for about 2 1/2 seasons.

McInnis' best NHL season was 1993-94, when he had 25 goals, 56 points and a plus/minus rating of plus 31 with the Islanders. McInnis was traveling Tuesday and not immediately available for comment.

"I think it's a great move," Green said. "I'm excited about it. He's really going to help us. We've got to get some production [from the second line] to take the heat off the other lines."

Gauthier said he made the deal primarily because he wanted to add more experience to the lineup. He stressed that he was not unhappy with the play of youngsters such as Johan Davidsson, whose place McInnis will take on the second line.

"We have nine guys who have played less than 100 games in the NHL," Gauthier said. "We've got a good mix now with McInnis. The point is, at this time of the year, we need to grow as a team. Adding another veteran to the mix is the right thing to do. Not to take anything away from the young guys, but we need the balance."

Davidsson, a rookie from Sweden, has one assist in six games and has played solidly thus far. Neither Gauthier nor Coach Craig Hartsburg said what the Ducks' plans are for Davidsson.

It's expected Davidsson will remain in the lineup since center Josef Marha, sidelined for five games because of a sprained right ankle, was placed on the injured reserve list Tuesday.

"Johan has been pretty good there [on the second line]," Hartsburg said. "We're not disappointed in him or in any of our kids. This will mean less pressure on the kids to produce. They won't have such a big role, but will still get an opportunity to grow."

Tuesday's deal was the third significant trade Gauthier has made since becoming team president July 16.

In August, he sent defenseman David Karpa and a draft pick to the Carolina Hurricanes to get tough guy Stu Grimson and defenseman Kevin Haller.

This month, he acquired backup goaltender Dominic Roussel from the expansion Nashville Predators for two minor league players.

"There are the ingredients here for a good club," Gauthier said. "The mood is very good. The progress is there. We're just finding out about this club, but it seems to be going in the right direction. This team has a chance to grow and get better and better."

Wingers Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne are considered to be among the NHL's best one-two combinations. But one of the many knocks against the Ducks since they joined the NHL in 1993-94 is that they lack scoring depth beyond their potent first line.

In the 121 games Kariya and Selanne have played together since the Ducks acquired Selanne from Winnipeg on Feb. 7, 1996, Kariya has scored 82 goals and Selanne 78.

Kariya and Selanne, who each have three goals, have scored more than half of the Ducks' 11 goals. Only five other Ducks have scored and no one else has more than one goal.

"I think I could have three or four goals by now," said Green, who has only one assist in six games. "I'm not satisfied by any means."

That could change with the acquisition of McInnis.

"This gives us a good, solid veteran player," Hartsburg said. "He'll produce some goals. He'll play on the power play. It's a dream for a coach because we didn't have to give up a player [currently on the roster] to get him. I'm really excited about him."

* LONG SHOT BEATS KINGS: A 70-foot goal and Tommy Salo's goaltending made the difference in the Islanders' 1-0 victory over the Kings. Page 6

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Marty McInnis' NHL Record

*--*

Season Team GP G A TP PIM +/- 1991-92 Islanders 15 3 5 8 0 +6 1992-93 Islanders 56 10 20 30 24 +7 1993-94 Islanders 81 25 31 56 24 +31 1994-95 Islanders 41 9 7 16 8 -1 1995-96 Islanders 74 12 34 46 39 -11 1996-97 Islanders 70 20 22 42 20 -7 Calgary 10 3 4 7 2 -1 1997-98 Calgary 75 19 25 44 34 +1 1998-99 Calgary 6 1 1 2 6 -1 Totals 428 102 149 251 157 +24

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Playoffs

*--*

Season Team GP G A TP PIM 1991-92 Islanders -- -- -- -- -- 1992-93 Islanders 3 0 1 1 0 1993-94 Islanders 4 0 0 0 0 1994-95 Islanders -- -- -- -- -- 1995-96 Islanders -- -- -- -- -- 1996-97 Islanders -- -- -- -- -- Calgary -- -- -- -- -- 1997-98 Calgary -- -- -- -- -- 1998-99 Calgary -- -- -- -- -- Totals 7 0 1 1 0

*--*

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