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Ducks Add Over $1 Million a Year to Kariya Offer

The Mighty Ducks increased their offer to Paul Kariya, the fourth overall pick in the 1993 NHL draft, by more than $1 million per year over three years, sources said Friday.

The sources said the new offer is for a three-year deal worth at least $6 million, including signing bonuses.

Those figures would give Kariya, 19, an average annual compensation richer than that of second pick Chris Pronger, who signed a four-year, $7-million deal with Hartford that the Ducks had previously called “an aberration.” Ottawa’s Alexandre Daigle, the No. 1 pick, signed a five-year deal worth $12.25 million.

Negotiations with Kariya stalled this summer when agent Don Baizley sought an NHL interpretation on Kariya’s potential free-agent status if he doesn’t sign this year.

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Baizley says there “is no anti-Anaheim sentiment” but contends that because Kariya, who will turn 20 in October, will be too old to re-enter the draft if he remains unsigned, he should become an unrestricted free agent.

But NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman recently declined to rule on the matter, and Kariya will have to make a decision without a ruling.


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