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KING/DUCK REPORT

Giguere Feeling Secure in Net

September 21, 2002|Chris Foster; Jerry Crowe | From Staff Reports

Jean-Sebastien Giguere, for the first time in his brief career, knows he will be the No. 1 goalie. He came to the Mighty Ducks' camp secure in that knowledge.

Any worries that he would either crumble under the pressure or get complacent were quickly doused Friday. Giguere stopped 13 of 14 shots in playing half of the Mighty Ducks' 1-1 tie with the Minnesota Wild at the Arrowhead Pond. He was brilliant in keeping the game scoreless early in the first period, making six point-blank saves in the first 10 minutes.

"It is a little different for me this season," said Giguere, who split time with Steve Shields last season. "But my job is the same. I stop the puck. If you put too much pressure on yourself being the No. 1 guy, you're just going to stress yourself out."

Last season, Giguere was fifth in goals-against average (2.13) and tied for fifth in save percentage (.920). His play made Shields expendable and he was traded to Boston. Giguere, barring injury, will be expected to play 60-65 games this season.

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The protective net behind each goal was not in use for Friday's game because it needed to be refitted. Duck officials received NHL permission to play without the nets, which are expected to be in place next Friday for a game against San Jose.... The Ducks play at Phoenix tonight.

Chris Foster

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Defenseman Aaron Miller, one of four Kings eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer, has been approached by the club about a contract extension.

Is he interested?

"Absolutely," he said. "I love playing here, and if they want to talk, I'll certainly listen. But I don't want that to affect anything. I don't want it to affect my play. I don't want to screw up anything with the team.

"Everything will take care of itself. Hopefully, we get something done. But if we don't, that's fine too, and I'll move on. Whatever happens happens."

Miller, 31, is due $1.7 million this season as part of a two-year, $3.3-million contract awarded by an arbitrator in August 2001. Two months ago, former King defenseman Philippe Boucher signed a four-year, $9.3-million free-agent deal with the Dallas Stars, and last week defenseman Mattias Norstrom signed a four-year, $14.5-million contract to remain with the Kings.

Goaltender Felix Potvin and forwards Bryan Smolinski and Craig Johnson also are eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer.

Jerry Crowe

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Key Dates

*--* KINGS

*--*

* Season opener: Oct. 9

vs. Phoenix, 7:30 p.m.

*--* DUCKS

*--*

* Season opener: Oct. 10

at St. Louis, 5 p.m.

*--* ALSO

*--*

* Oct. 1: Trade freeze in effect through completion of waiver draft. Clubs release protected and available list for waiver draft.

* Oct. 4: Waiver draft.

* Oct. 8: Deadline for unsigned juniors claimed in the first three rounds of the Entry Draft to be returned to their junior clubs.

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