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KING / DUCK NOTES

Health Is Topic on the Table

September 10, 2003|Chris Foster

King General Manager Dave Taylor hadn't even taken a bite of his chicken teriyaki when the injury questions popped up at Tuesday's media luncheon.

Is Adam Deadmarsh healthy? How about Jason Allison? Jaroslav Modry?

The Kings lost a franchise-record 536 man-games to injury last season, the third-most in NHL history.

All King players will be evaluated by team medical personnel on Thursday, an important, if not symbolic, day for Deadmarsh and Allison, who missed a combined 118 games last season.

Deadmarsh, derailed by concussion problems after a torrid start, appears to be healthy, Taylor said. Allison, who missed 56 games because of a knee injury and a concussion, also appears to have recovered. Training camp begins Friday in El Segundo.

"We expect them to be 100% by the start of the season," Taylor said.

Neither Deadmarsh nor Allison is expected to play in all eight preseason games. Nor will they participate in all contact drills. They will be eased into training camp.

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Defenseman Maxim Kuznetsov will not be present at the start of training camp because of visa problems stemming from a driving-under-the-influence arrest five years ago in Russia.

Kuznetsov, 26, is being delayed in Russia because he failed to submit annual visa paperwork related to the arrest. He is expected to return to the U.S. within two weeks, King officials said.

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The Kings hired Nelson Emerson to be a "coaches' aide" this season. Emerson, 36, played 13 seasons in the NHL, two with the Kings. He will assist King coaches in shooting, skating and face-offs.

-- Mike Bresnahan

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The Mighty Ducks signed free-agent left wing Craig Johnson to a one-year contract.

Johnson, 31, is a nine-year veteran who played the last seven-plus seasons with the Kings. He had three goals and nine points last season.

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The Ducks invited 15 players from their rookie squad to the team's regular training camp, starting Thursday.

Of that group, only forwards Michael Holmqvist, Chris Kunitz and Joffrey Lupul are expected to have chances at winning jobs.

The Ducks will have 54 players in camp. The roster, however, includes goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere and right wing Petr Sykora, neither of whom has agreed to terms and cannot participate in camp until they sign contracts.

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Center Steve Rucchin, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Aug. 30, said he probably would be ready to practice the second week of camp.

-- Chris Foster

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