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Potvin Stays, Boucher Probably Will Test Market

June 27, 2002|Jerry Crowe

The Kings ended the suspense Wednesday and exercised their option on Felix Potvin's contract, guaranteeing the goaltender $3.55 million next season, including revisions based on his performance last season.

Meanwhile, General Manager Dave Taylor said he does not expect to reach a deal before the end of the weekend with defenseman Philippe Boucher, who will become an unrestricted free agent Monday if not re-signed by the Kings.

"Where we are [in negotiations], I don't think we'll get a deal done," Taylor said, "but I can always hope.... It looks like he'll test the waters."

Exercising the option on Potvin's contract was only a formality after the goaltender posted a career-best 2.31 goals-against average while establishing a club record by playing in 71 games, but the Kings chose to wait.

If they hadn't exercised their option before Monday, Potvin, 31, also would have become an unrestricted free agent, but the Kings had no intention of letting that happen. Potvin will become an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2003, unless the two sides reach agreement on a new deal in the next 12 months.

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