MIGHTY DUCKS : Valk Agrees to Terms on Contract


The Mighty Ducks have agreed to terms with left wing Garry Valk on a three-year contract, winning their gamble that they could re-sign him as a free agent without offering a 10% raise on his $430,000 arbitration award.

Valk won a $130,000 retroactive raise in July, but to retain his rights the Ducks would have had to offer him at least $474,000. General Manager Jack Ferreira balked, deciding to take his chances and try to sign Valk for less in the open market.

The salary agreed on is less than the $430,000 arbitration award, Ferreira said, but considerably more than the $385,000 the team offered at the hearing. Valk asked for $525,000 in arbitration.


After scoring a career-high 45 points two seasons ago, Valk had only nine points in 36 games in a injury-marred 1995 season.

Had he signed elsewhere, the Ducks would not have had the right to match and would not have received compensation.

The Ducks announced the signings of four players Friday, including left wing Denny Lambert, who had a goal and three assists in 13 games late last season after being called up from San Diego of the International Hockey League.

The team also signed its fifth-round pick from the June draft, right wing Igor Nikulin, 22. Last season, Nikulin competed for Cherepovets in the Russian Elite League, scoring 26 points in 52 games.

In addition, the team signed two older players for organizational depth. Defenseman Oleg Mikulchik, 31, and goaltender Mike O’Neill, 27, both have a little NHL experience--O’Neill played 17 games for Winnipeg in 1993-94 but was 0-9-1 with a 4.15 goals-against average. Both are likely to play for Baltimore in the American Hockey League, perhaps making occasional appearances in Anaheim.

Financial terms were not announced.

Duck Notes

General Manager Jack Ferreira said he still hasn’t made offers to any prominent free agents after center Joel Otto signed with Philadelphia. “He wanted to be on a contender, and he didn’t want to travel,” Ferreira said. “He sent word that it was nothing personal. He had the class to say ‘Don’t get involved, I’m not interested.’ ” . . . Negotiations on new contracts for goaltenders Guy Hebert and Mikhail Shtalenkov are moving along, but talks regarding defenseman Bobby Dollas are “slow,” Ferreira said. All three are under contract through next season but have filed for arbitration to determine their salaries next season. . . . Right wing Todd Ewen’s much-delayed arbitration hearing is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 4, but the Ducks have made a new contract offer and can avoid arbitration if the sides reach terms.