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Dudley: Cloutier talks just that

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 27, 2001


Rumors that goaltender Dan Cloutier was close to being traded were greatly overstated, Tampa Bay general manager Rick Dudley said Friday. Dudley didn't deny teams are interested but said nothing is imminent.

"Everything has dried up," he said. "Nobody has offered me anything worth pursuing at this point."

Speculation had Cloutier going to the Canucks or Hurricanes. Vancouver seemed logical because of the availability of 6-foot-2, 210-pound, 27-year-old defenseman Adrian Aucoin.

But Dudley said talks with Canucks GM Brian Burke were exploratory.

"There has never been a real deal discussed," Dudley said. "All we've talked about is generalities. He told me what he was looking for and I told him what I was looking for. That's a long way from making a deal."

Cloutier's agent, Roland Thompson, said he hadn't heard anything either.

"I don't think they are in any rush to move him because they dealt away so much quality stuff (No. 1 pick in 1999 draft) to get him," he said.

Maybe not, but Dudley playfully warned Friday, "The night is young."

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