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Visheau Has Never Met a Fight He Didn’t Like

Defenseman Mark Visheau remained perfect Monday night at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim when he and the Mighty Ducks’ Stu Grimson threw down gloves and threw up fists. . . . again, at least as far as Visheau is concerned. Five exhibitions, five fights, which is the way Visheau figures to get out of the International Hockey League after two-plus seasons.

One problem: Visheau added injury to insult, dislocating his left thumb during the fight.

For the record:
12:00 AM, Oct. 03, 1998 For the Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday October 3, 1998 Home Edition Sports Part C Page 2 Sports Desk 1 inches; 9 words Type of Material: Correction
NHL--The name of player agent Larry Kelly was misspelled Monday.

“Mark Visheau has had an excellent training camp,” said Dave Taylor, the Kings’ vice president and general manager. “He’s a stay-at-home defenseman and a physical player, and he has shown he can handle the puck. He’s trying to make the club as a physical player, and he’s showed teammates that he will stand up.”

And drop the gloves, enough to have amassed 71 penalty minutes in five games. The next highest King aggregate was Matt Johnson’s 25 minutes.

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At 25, Visheau is an older rookie and he is trying to make the best of an opportunity with Aki Berg still unsigned. Taylor sought out Berg’s agent, Larry Kelley, Monday but failed to make a connection with time running out. Berg has signed a contract with TPS of Finland, and that contract reportedly has a clause that would void it if Berg signs with an NHL club by Wednesday.

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The Kings got a look at Olli Jokinen as a winger Monday night for the first time since the first session of training camp. Jokinen probably will make the Kings as a winger, though he has played center since Jozef Stumpel suffered a sprained ankle in the Kings’ first practice.

He worked on a line with center Yanic Perreault and left wing Luc Robitaille.

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Both Taylor and Coach Larry Robinson have said that it will probably be easier for Jokinen, 19, to make the transition to the NHL as a winger.


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