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Pronger Agrees to One-Year Deal

Center Sean Pronger on Saturday agreed to a one-year contract and is expected to join the Mighty Ducks today for workouts at Disney Ice in Anaheim.

The contract includes a team option on a second season.

Pronger, who had seven goals and 14 points in 39 games as a rookie last season, is fighting for the fourth and final center position. At 6 feet 2 and 205 pounds, Pronger has the size to fill the power forward role.

But he missed the first four days of training camp and faces stiff competition from Antti Aalto, Matt Cullen, Espen Knutsen, Richard Park and Kevin Todd. Coach Pierre Page has vowed to cement his lineup by Monday.

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“He’s got some catching up to do,” General Manager Jack Ferreira said of Pronger, older brother of St. Louis Blues’ defenseman Chris Pronger. “We’re looking for a guy to go with Steve Rucchin, Mark Janssens and whoever the fourth center is.”

Paul Kariya, whose agent has yet to counter the Ducks’ initial five-year, $25-million offer, is the only player not in camp.

“There’s nothing new,” Ferreira said of the contract stalemate with Kariya, the league’s third-leading scorer with 44 goals and 99 points last season.

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Goaltender Guy Hebert, who is expected to play in tonight’s exhibition against the Edmonton Oilers, on Kariya’s absence:

“I’m sure it’s probably killing him not being here. I think it’s between him and his agent to show he’s one of the best players in the league. I mean, nobody’s got a gun to the heads of these general managers, making them pay that much money. I just wish they would give more to me.”

Hebert signed a two-year contract worth about $5 million during the off-season.


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