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Burke, Oilers' Lowe swap barbs on deal

DUCKS REPORT

October 05, 2007|Eric Stephens | Times Staff Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The simmering feud between Ducks General Manager Brian Burke and his Edmonton Oilers counterpart, Kevin Lowe, has again reached full boil.

Appearing on the TSN network -- Canada's equivalent to ESPN -- to preview the NHL season Tuesday, Burke again sharply criticized Lowe's effort to successfully sign away former Anaheim winger Dustin Penner for five years at $21.25 million.

"If I had run my team into the sewer like that, I wouldn't throw a grenade at the other 29 teams and my own indirectly," Burke said. "So I have no intention of speaking to him any time soon."

Burke was highly critical of the offer sheet presented to Penner, who had 29 goals for the Ducks in his first full season. At the time, he called Lowe "gutless" and said his maneuver "was an act of desperation by a general manager who is fighting to keep his job."

When asked what he would do if he needed to talk to the Oilers about a possible player move, the Ducks' GM said he would have assistant Bob Murray do the talking.

After Tuesday's salvo from Burke, Lowe fired back, telling the Edmonton Sun in a story published Wednesday that Burke is an "egomaniac" and a "blowhard."

Oilers Coach Craig MacTavish also jumped into the fray.

"He reminds me of the Wizard of Oz," MacTavish told the Sun. "You comb his hair, put a white shirt on, wheel him out in front of the camera and he'll say whatever you guys want.

"Clearly it's a crusade of self-promotion on his part. But what goes around comes around in this league."

The Ducks play host to Edmonton on Oct. 28. It isn't known whether Burke and Lowe will be put at separate ends of the press box.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere would love to tell his teammates and anyone else asking that he is ready to take his place in net.

For the moment, Giguere can't do that because the recovery from sports hernia surgery to correct his long-standing groin problems is a painstaking one. It is becoming apparent that a return for Wednesday's home opener against Boston is a long shot at best.

"Right now, it's day to day," Giguere said after Thursday's workout at the Columbus Blue Jackets' practice rink. "We have a big week of practice coming up with one game [next week].

"Hopefully at the end of the week, I can make myself game-ready."

Giguere was rewarded with a four-year, $24-million contract after he reaffirmed his status as the team's franchise goaltender. But he hasn't played competitively since the title-clinching Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals.

Even though he has been facing shots in practice the last three days, the thought of aggravating the injury has become the bigger hurdle.

"I've got to try to put myself past the injury now and not think about it when I practice or skate and stuff like that," Giguere said. "A lot of times, that's the hardest part of having an injury. I've been through it many times now. I know that it's an important part of it."

TONIGHT

at Columbus. 4 PDT, FSN Prime Ticket

Site -- Nationwide Arena.

Radio -- 830.

Records -- Ducks 1-1-1; Blue Jackets 0-0-0.

Records vs. Blue Jackets , 2006-07) -- 2-1-1.

Update -- Center Ryan Getzlaf missed practice to attend the funeral of his grandfather in his native Regina, Saskatchewan. Getzlaf, who scored a goal Wednesday against Detroit, is expected to return for tonight's game. Left wing Brandon Segal cleared waivers and was sent down to minor-league Portland, Maine. Segal made the team out of training camp but did not appear in either of the first three games.

eric.stephens@latimes.com

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