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Gulls, NHL Veteran Duguay Might Be Close to Accord

NHL veteran Ron Duguay could reach an agreement and sign with the Gulls sometime next week, General Manager Don Waddell said Friday.

Waddell has been trying to acquire Duguay, 33, a 12-year veteran right wing who spent the better part of eight seasons with the New York Rangers and three with Detroit, for three months. Bob Thornton, Duguay’s agent’s, broke off talks when the two sides were miles apart in early negotiations, but Thornton called Waddell earlier this week to resume talks.

“I think they were hoping an NHL team would pick him up,” Waddell said, “but I think they’re exploring other options.”

Duguay has a home in San Clemente and has been skating with the semipro San Diego Surf for two months. Waddell said the Gulls would be a logical place for him to play.

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“He’s at the point where he wants to get on and play,” he said. “If not the NHL, there’s an IHL team nearby if that’s what he decides he wants to do that, and if we can work out the details of a contract.”

Waddell said both sides have shown flexibility, and they were much closer to reaching an agreement Friday than they were in September.

“We left it that we’d talk Monday,” he said.

On Dec. 2, the Gulls weren’t able to reach an agreement with leading goal-scorer Brent Sapergia, who left to play in England. Waddell said letting Sapergia go may have indirectly affected his negotiations with Duguay, as it freed up money that otherwise would have gone to Sapergia.

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Duguay played the 1988-89 season with the Kings, then joined a West German club, Mannheimer, last year. His best scoring year came in 1984-85, when he has 51 assists and 38 goals, when he was the second-highest goal scorer for the Red Wings that year.


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