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KING REPORT

Union Meeting Looks Ahead to 2004

January 06, 2003|Lonnie White | Times Staff Writer

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Bob Goodenow, executive director of the NHL Players Assn., held his annual meeting with the Kings on Sunday night and the main topic of conversation dealt with 2004.

That's when the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NHLPA expires. So with many hockey experts predicting a work stoppage that could last an entire season, Goodenow did not have any problems getting the Kings' attention.

"We've been talking about the same issues for the last couple of years, but [Sunday's meeting] we talked a little bit more about 2004," said Ian Laperriere, the Kings' NHLPA representative. "But that's normal, considering that the CBA is going to be up then."

Because the Kings have been hit hard with injuries, Goodenow got a chance to talk to many young players who were attending their first NHLPA team meeting.

"It's important that the young players understand that the union works for them and not the other way around," captain Mattias Norstrom said. "They got a chance to hear what role the NHLPA will play and about the history of the union."

They also got an opportunity to discuss plans for 2004.

"We talked a lot about being prepared," Laperriere said. "It was different because we have so many young guys and half our team is still in L.A

"It really wasn't different from meetings we've had in the past.... We're looking at the worst scenario as players ... but that's how we've been preparing for a couple of years now.*

Although initial X-rays did not reveal a fracture, the Kings fear that Kip Brennan may have suffered a broken right foot when he blocked a shot by Darryl Sydor in Saturday night's 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars. More X-rays will be taken today. Derek Armstrong, sidelined two games because of sprained right knee, and Alexander Frolov, who has sat out three of the last four because of a deep cut on his right cheek, are expected to be available to play tonight.

*

TONIGHT

at Minnesota, 5 PST

Fox Sports Net

Site -- Xcel Energy Center.

Radio -- KSPN (710).

Records -- Kings 16-16-4-3, Wild 21-12-7-1.

Record vs. Wild -- 0-1-1.

Update -- The Kings have lost four in a row and six of seven as they open a two-game trip that will bring them to the halfway point in their season. Coach Andy Murray said he was undecided about using backup goaltender Jamie Storr for a third game in a row or going back to struggling starter Felix Potvin.

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