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Flinn Is L.A.'s Latest Enforcer

January 22, 2002|Jerry Crowe and Chris Foster

The Kings, who had been without an enforcer for two games after sending Kip Brennan to the minors Thursday, added one Monday when they recalled Ryan Flinn from their American Hockey League team at Manchester, N.H.

A roster position opened for the 6-foot-5, 223-pound Flinn when center Eric Belanger was put on the injured list because of a sprained left wrist.

Flinn, 21, impressed the Kings during training camp with his willingness to mix it up with anybody who crossed his path. Ultimately, though, he was sent to the minors and the Kings opened the season with veteran tough guy Ken Belanger.

Flinn, a left wing, has split time this season with the Manchester Monarchs and the Reading Royals of the East Coast Hockey League. In 19 games with the Monarchs, he had one assist and 52 penalty minutes, and in 20 games with the Royals he scored four points and accumulated a team-high 130 penalty minutes.

He was signed to an NHL contract Jan. 9, less than a week after Ken Belanger was put on the injured list after suffering a broken left wrist in a fight.

"He's been doing the job for us at Manchester," General Manager Dave Taylor said at the time, "so we felt it was appropriate to get him on an NHL deal."

Coach Andy Murray said he'd like to give both Brennan and Flinn "some exposure" while Ken Belanger is sidelined.

Eric Belanger, meanwhile, is listed as week to week after injuring his wrist in a 2-0 victory over the Nashville Predators on Jan. 15. He was put on the injured list retroactive to Wednesday, so he'll be eligible to be activated as soon as Thursday night's game against the Minnesota Wild at Staples Center.

Jerry Crowe


Before Monday's game, the Ducks' power play had 246 chances, the most among NHL teams. Yet, they ranked 29th out of 30 teams on the power play.

The problems are many, but there is a definite top spot on the must-have list for Coach Bryan Murray.

"It's hard to be successful when a quarterback doesn't step up," he said. "To me, a quarterback is a guy who grabs the puck and creates opportunities for other people.

"We've tried different people there. We need a guy that plays that position and is able to pick out the individual and the space that is open."

The Ducks scored a power-play goal in the first period Monday, when Jason York whipped a shot that Mike Leclerc deflected in.


Steve Rucchin was walking, or rather limping, on his own Monday and Bryan Murray hopes the Ducks' top-line center might return to the team after the Olympic break.

Rucchin had an MRI exam on his left ankle last week that "showed everything is healing up," Murray said. Rucchin is not using crutches or wearing a walking cast.

Rucchin has missed 34 games after suffering a stress fracture in his left ankle that later needed surgery.


The Kings' Craig Johnson, who left Saturday's game because of flu, left Monday after being hit in the right eye by the stick of Duck defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski.

King officials said the stick caught Johnson on the eye, causing swelling that made an initial examination inconclusive. He was taken to Centinela Hospital in Inglewood, where Dr. Howard Lazerson, the team's eye doctor, was to examine him.

Vishnevski received a penalty for high sticking.


The yo-yo season for Timo Parssinen took another drop Monday, as he was returned to Cincinnati.

Parssinen started the season with the Ducks, then was sent down after three games. He was recalled in late November, played three games, then was sent down again. He was brought back last week, after Jeff Friesen suffered a sprained ankle. He played one game and was a healthy scratch for two.

Parssinen has no goals and one assist with the Ducks.


Philippe Boucher returned to the King lineup after missing one game with a concussion.

Chris Foster

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