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Trnka Signs Two-Year Deal

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Mighty Duck defenseman Pavel Trnka signed a two-year contract believed to be worth about $1.9 million.

Trnka, who made $625,000 last season, had filed for arbitration. He will make $900,000 this season and $1 million in 2003-04.

Trnka, who will turn 26 next week, had a solid season after battling injuries the previous two seasons. He played a career-high 71 games, with two goals and 13 points.

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Arbitration dates have been set for Duck center Matt Cullen and defenseman Ruslan Salei.

Cullen is more likely to go through with his arbitration date, which is scheduled for Aug. 4. He made $484,000 last season, $1 million under the NHL average, and finished with career highs in goals (18) and points (48). He led the Ducks with 30 assists.

Salei, one of the Ducks’ top defensemen, made $950,000 last season, which is less than the Ducks will be paying defensemen Fredrik Olausson ($1.1 million plus incentives) and Vitaly Vishnevski ($1.075 million). Salei has an Aug. 7 arbitration date.

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Duck left wing Paul Kariya and center Steve Rucchin, who were eligible for arbitration, did not file and are seeking multiyear deals.

Kariya, the Ducks’ all-time leader in goals and points, is coming off career lows in goals (32) and points (57) for a full season. He may accept his qualifying offer, which would be a one-year, $10-million contract.

Rucchin, who has missed 110 of the Ducks’ 164 games because of injuries the last two seasons, is coming off a four-year, $9.2-million contract that paid him $2.55 million last season.

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The Ducks hired Brad Shaw to coach Cincinnati, their minor league affiliate. Shaw, 38, spent the last three seasons in the Tampa Bay organization and was a Lightning assistant coach in 1999-2000.


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