Kariya Left Off All-Star Team


Coach Pierre Page wasn’t surprised when Paul Kariya, who sat out the first 32 games of the season during contract negotiations, was left off the North America team for the All-Star Game that was announced Tuesday.

He also wouldn’t have been surprised if Kariya--fourth in fan voting for wingers--had been included.

“The whole league respects Paul because he’s not a lazy skilled player, he’s a good, intense player and an ambassador for hockey,” Page said. “With his focus, his approach, Paul is a role model for our society.


“But being named an all-star is a big deal these days, with some guys getting huge bonuses if they make it. So after the fans name the starters, I think the coaches go with who really deserves it.”

Philadelphia’s John LeClair and Detroit’s Brendan Shanahan led the voting and will start Jan. 18 in Vancouver, Kariya’s hometown. Chicago’s Tony Amonte, Montreal’s Shayne Corson and Mark Recchi, Calgary’s Theoren Fleury and Phoenix’s Keith Tkachuk were named reserve wingers.

“Playing in the NHL All-Star Game is a terrific honor that I’ve been privileged to experience in the past,” Kariya said. “This year’s game will give other players the opportunity to perform in this showcase event. My main concern for the rest of the season is to help the Mighty Ducks make the playoffs.”


Center Steve Rucchin says his injured groin muscle is still bothering him, but adds he would have been willing to play three consecutive games after scoring against Tampa Bay and Florida on Saturday and Sunday.

“So much of this game is confidence,” he said. “It’s amazing how a few good bounces will get the ball rolling.”


Defenseman Jason Marshall, out eight games after suffering a separated right shoulder, has been cleared to play tonight, Page said.


TONIGHT vs. Buffalo

* 7:30

* Fox Sports West 2

Site--Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.

Radio--KRLA (1110), KCKC (1350), KPLS (830).

Records--Ducks 14-21-8, Sabres 14-19-7.

Record vs. Sabres--0-1.

Update--It took Kariya only 11 games to become the Ducks’ second-leading scorer. He scored his seventh goal of the season in the first period against Tampa Bay on Sunday. Teemu Selanne needs two points to reach 500 in his career. The Ducks, who returned Monday from a six-game, nine-day trip, play five games in eight days starting tonight. Sabre goaltender Dominik Hasek, who shut out the Ducks, 4-0, Dec. 3 in Buffalo, had a record six shutouts in December.