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KING REPORT

Visa Delay Ends for Kuznetsov

November 07, 2003|Mike Bresnahan | Times Staff Writer

TAMPA, Fla. — King defenseman Maxim Kuznetsov joined the team here, ending a bizarre two-month visa delay in Russia that stemmed from his failure to submit proper paperwork on time.

Kuznetsov skated with a few players in a non-contact workout Thursday morning and watched the game against the Lightning later from the press box.

Afterward, he talked about his ordeal.

"They said I was going to get a visa within a week or two," he said. "Two months later, I still had nothing.

"When training camp started, I was worried that I should have been there and trying to get in the lineup, but I was in Russia. It was frustrating."

Kuznetsov played 53 games last season with the Detroit Red Wings before being dealt to the Kings as part of the Mathieu Schneider trade. Kuznetsov, 6 feet 5 and 235 pounds, played three games with the Kings before he broke his foot and sat out the rest of the season.

Kuznetsov was given a Canadian visa last week and practiced with the Ottawa 67s, a junior team, before receiving a U.S. visa Wednesday.

"After we skated today, I was tired but I wasn't dead," he said. "It felt good to be back with the team."

*

Defenseman Joe Corvo was activated after a three-game suspension but did not play. Corvo pleaded guilty to assault and battery charges last week.... Defenseman Martin Strbak was sent down to Manchester (N.H.). Strbak scored two goals Oct. 21 against Philadelphia but had trouble cracking the lineup. In five games, he had two points and eight penalty minutes.

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