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Andreychuk rumor: fax or fiction?

By TOM JONES
Published January 6, 2006


BUFFALO, N.Y. - For a few hours Thursday, captain Dave Andreychuk's future was in question.

Several Canadian media outlets reported that Andreychuk was placed on waivers, but Jay Feaster quickly shot them down.

"He was not," the general manager said. "I can clearly tell you that."

What he would not clearly deny was a SportsNet report that he sent a fax to the other 29 NHL teams saying Andreychuk, 42, was available. After Thursday's game, however, Andreychuk said he was told by Feaster that he was not being shopped.

Asked before Thursday's game, Feaster said, "I have no comment to make on it. I feel that I learned my lesson in (2003-04) when I spent an entire season right up until the trade deadline denying that I was going to trade Nikolai Khabibulin. And I saw that the media wrote what they wanted to write anyway. It never went away no matter how many times I said it.

"And I made up my mind at that time my official position on anything involving trade rumors is that I'm not going to confirm it, I'm not going to deny it. And that nothing should be inferred by my refusal to confirm or deny. I'm just not going to get into it."

Andreychuk said after the game he had heard the reports then abruptly broke off the interview and went straight to Feaster. He returned and said, "I was not put on waivers and I'm not available. I guess it was just a rumor."

Asked what he thought of the rumors, Andreychuk joked: "They can say what they want. In the United States, it's an amendment."

ROAD TRIP: Rookie defenseman Paul Ranger had a few family and friends at Thursday's game. Uh, 35 of them to be specific. His parents, Lynn and Charles, were among the group that chartered a bus and made the two-hour drive from Whitby, Ontario. "Just a few family and friends and some of my buddies and hockey parents from when I played minor hockey," Ranger said.

THE LINEUP: Forwards Fredrik Modin (lower body) and Rob DiMaio (lower back) missed consecutive games, but forward Ryan Craig returned after missing two games (broken toe).

Meantime, journeyman Jim Campbell, who played Tuesday after being called up the same day, was a healthy scratch. Coach John Tortorella was not pleased with Campbell's work ethic. "Jimmy has got to understand that he needs to put a little bit more into things," said Tortorella, who added he planned to talk to Campbell and was not giving up on the right wing.

MISCELLANY: With Modin out and looking for offense, Tortorella used a line of Brad Richards, Vinny Lecavalier and Marty St. Louis. ... Associate coach Craig Ramsay is scheduled for surgery today for prostate cancer.