The Mighty Ducks looked to the future Wednesday, trading veteran center Anatoli Semenov to Philadelphia for a prospect, then making a second deal for a suspect--Quebec's David Karpa, whose trade to the Kings last week was voided by the NHL after he failed his physical.
The Kings rejected Karpa after their doctors determined he needed wrist surgery and would be out five months. But the rival Ducks believe Karpa can play now and have the surgery later. Even if it turns out he can't play, their future isn't now anyway.
The Ducks' medical team hasn't personally examined Karpa yet, but their doctors have talked extensively with Calgary's team physicians, who were chosen to conduct independent exams after the trade was voided.
"This kid will be glowing in the dark he's had so many X-rays," said Duck General Manager Jack Ferreira, who promised Quebec a conditional 1997 draft pick--conditional on when and how much Karpa plays. The King deal was for a fourth-round pick in 1995.
"We're willing to take the risk even if he doesn't play this year," Ferreira said. "It's just that if he needs an operation, fine, we can wait until next year. That's basically what it comes down to.
"We had ours talk with (the independent Calgary doctors) and review X-rays, MRIs, a CAT scan. We had a hand specialist consult. The conclusion is it's not 100% healed, but he can play with it. If it does give him a lot of pain and we find out he can't play, then we'll operate now."
Karpa, a 23-year-old defenseman, played 60 games for the Nordiques last season, scoring 17 points and logging 148 penalty minutes.
He was the second young defenseman the Ducks acquired Wednesday, as they shipped Semenov--once their best player--to the Flyers for Milos Holan, a defenseman who has played in only eight NHL games.
Semenov, 33, was the Ducks' leading scorer last season until his elbow was dislocated on an errant hit by teammate Stu Grimson in December. This season, he fell out of favor with Coach Ron Wilson for his defensive play and lack of production, and Wilson scratched him in back-to-back games in February and curtailed his ice time. Semenov had three goals and seven points in 15 games this season, but he had a plus-minus rating of minus 10.
Ferreira said he made the trades because "we have to get younger."
Holan, 23, a third-round draft pick in 1993, has been in the minors all season and is the top-scoring defensemen in the American Hockey League with 49 points in 56 games for the Hershey (Pa.) Bears.
Rookie Valeri Karpov, sent to minor league San Diego last week to regain his confidence, was called up Wednesday.
Times staff writer Mark Pargas contributed to this story.