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SPORTS EXTRA / NHL PREVIEW | KINGS REPORT

Fiset, Palffy Get Deactivated

October 04, 2000|JIM HODGES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Kings put goalie Stephane Fiset and winger Ziggy Palffy on injured reserve Tuesday. One move was to give a player a chance to heal, the other a bit of a roster shell game.

Fiset is out for a while because of a sprained left knee, but Palffy practiced with the Kings on Tuesday and said he would be ready to play in Friday's season opener in Washington.

With Palffy on injured reserve, the Kings kept forwards Tomas Vlasak, Eric Belanger and Brad Chartrand and were still able to get down to the league-mandated 23-player limit.

One will have to go before Palffy is activated Friday, and he plans to be.

"It's been 10-12 days and I wanted to get my confidence back today," said Palffy, who is never without confidence but has been nursing a broken fingertip since being slashed in an exhibition against San Jose in Bakersfield on Sept. 23.

"It usually takes three to five weeks to heal a broken bone, but I want to play. If it was sore, I wouldn't play, but it's not sore."

He spent Tuesday working on a line that included Luc Robitaille and rookie center Belanger, who will stay between them Friday, barring the unforeseen.

Still, Coach Andy Murray wouldn't completely commit to Belanger.

"There's a guy skating over in Slovakia who could help us," Murray said.

That guy is Jozef Stumpel, a holdout who was scheduled to play his final game for Bratislava on Tuesday. The Kings said Sept. 23 that they had made their final offer.

It was refused.

Stumpel, Robitaille and Palffy combined for 198 points last season as the Kings' top line.

At the beginning of camp, Murray aligned Palffy with rookie Vlasak, a Czech, and figured Stumpel to play between them. But with Stumpel out of camp and Vlasak displaying so much inconsistency that he is in danger of starting the season in the minors, reuniting Palffy with Robitaille is a move to generate more scoring from a team that had only 20 goals in eight exhibitions.

The Kings won five of the eight, largely because they gave up only 15 goals.

*

Rookie defenseman Andreas Lilja was sent to Lowell of the American Hockey League, though Murray said he "deserves to be with our team."

Before Lilja went, he had a talk with fellow Swede Mattias Norstrom, who gave him a lesson on the facts of NHL life, particularly as regards the roster numbers game.

Winger Marko Tuomainen, who spent last season with the Kings but came to training camp without a contract, was signed to a tryout deal with Lowell.

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