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Kings Lose Defenseman Dufresne to Blues in Draft

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Kings began searching for defensive help after losing defenseman Donald Dufresne to the St. Louis Blues in Wednesday’s NHL waiver draft.

Dufresne, who was acquired from Tampa Bay for a sixth-round draft pick last March, was scoreless in nine games last season. He would have been the Kings’ seventh defenseman, and his departure leaves them with no spares.

“There’s some things we’d like to do, if they work out, and if not, we’ll go to Phoenix (to recall a minor leaguer),” Coach Barry Melrose said. “We’ve got some extra forwards, and we need to get a little deeper on defense.”

If they don’t make a trade, Melrose said, Sean O’Donnell or Chris Snell will probably be promoted from their IHL affiliate.

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Their top six defensemen are Rob Blake, Alexei Zhitnik, Darryl Sydor, Marty McSorley, Charlie Huddy and Michel Petit.

Dufresne was one of 17 players claimed in the draft. The Pittsburgh Penguins were the most active team, claiming defensemen Chris Joseph from Tampa Bay, Wayne McBean from Winnipeg and Francois Leroux from Ottawa and center Mike Hudson from the New York Rangers.

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The Mighty Ducks agreed to a two-year contract with left wing Patrik Carnback, who scored 12 goals and 23 points in 73 games for them as a rookie last season. Carnback, who played in Sweden during the lockout, is expected to join the team in Edmonton for Friday’s season opener.

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The Ducks also signed center Steve Rucchin to a four-year contract.

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Chicago Blackhawk defenseman Chris Chelios apologized to Commissioner Gary Bettman for comments Chelios made in September suggesting Bettman or his family might come to harm because of the commissioner’s involvement in the labor negotiations. Bettman said he would not discipline Chelios.


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