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NHL REPORT

Deadmarsh, Allison Still Recuperating

September 21, 2003|Helene Elliott and Jerry Crowe | Times Staff Writers

Rookie Dustin Brown is impressive and winger John Tripp has been a pleasant surprise, but everything in the Kings' training camp is secondary to the questions surrounding Adam Deadmarsh and Jason Allison as they recover from concussions.

Although Coach Andy Murray said Deadmarsh is being held back only by a groin pull and might play in the last three exhibition games, the gritty winger said he hasn't fully recovered from his head injury. Allison said he's still adjusting to the exertion of practices, casting doubt on his readiness for exhibition games.

"Mentally I'm positive and upbeat about how I've been feeling but I still have a little ways to go," Deadmarsh said. "My head has a little healing left to do. It's almost there. Physically, the same thing. I'm almost there but I've got some work to do."

Playing in exhibition games "would be nice. Obviously I haven't played in a long time," Deadmarsh said. "But I can't jeopardize it if I'm not feeling 100%."

Both skated Saturday morning without contact and later watched the Kings lose to the Phoenix Coyotes, 3-2, at Staples Center. Allison said he's progressing but isn't out of the woods.

"It's a long year, and if you miss exhibition games and it takes you a little longer to get where you want to be, so be it," he said. "It's better being healthy. I want to make sure there are no setbacks.... It's a little different for people who have a regular job and regular work."

King goalie Roman Cechmanek stopped 10 shots in 32 minutes 28 seconds' work Saturday, but backup Milan Hnilicka gave up third-period goals to Chris Gratton, Landon Wilson and Branko Radivojevic.

King center Jozef Stumpel strained his neck in the second period and didn't return. He'll be re-evaluated today.

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Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere's exhibition debut for the Ducks, penciled in for today, has been pushed to Friday against the Florida Panthers.

Backups Martin Gerber and Ilja Bryzgalov will split time against the Phoenix Coyotes in today's 5 p.m. start at the Arrowhead Pond, Coach Mike Babcock said. Bryzgalov, 23, stopped 20 shots in Friday night's 4-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks, but he is expected to start the season with the Ducks' American Hockey League affiliate at Cincinnati.

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The Ducks cut seven players, leaving 45 in camp. Assigned to Cincinnati were defensemen Sheldon Brookbank and Andy Reierson, right wing George Davis and left wings Brian Gornick and Joel Stepp. Center Tim Brent was reassigned to his junior team in Toronto and goaltender Adam Russo was released.

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