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NHL briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 2, 2001

Reversing field: Caps, Bondra agree to extension

WASHINGTON -- Peter Bondra, who asked to be traded last summer when he believed he wasn't in the Capitals' plans, agreed to a four-year, $18-million contract extension.

The Associated Press reported that the Capitals have options on the third and fourth years.

Bondra celebrated with a hat trick as host Washington beat Toronto 5-4.

Bondra scored his 28th, 29th and 30th goals for his franchise-best 16th career hat trick in a wild second period that included seven goals.

"I was so nervous," Bondra said. "I remember my first game here; I was maybe a little bit more nervous. I had butterflies in my stomach."

The signing represents a remarkable turnaround of the relationship between Bondra and the Capitals. The Slovak star struggled in coach Ron Wilson's defense-orientated system last season and tallied 21 goals and 38 points, his lowest output since his rookie season, 1990-91.

Realizing he was about to enter the final season of his contract -- and sensing the Capitals would try to trade him anyway -- Bondra asked the team to deal him last summer so he wouldn't have to move in midseason. General manager George McPhee tried to accommodate the 32-year-old right wing but found no takers.

When the season began, Bondra told his teammates he wouldn't let contract uncertainty affect his play. He had 27 goals and 25 assists in 52 games entering Thursday's game.

Washington also acquired wing Brantt Myhres, 26, from the Predators for future considerations. He was assigned to Portland of the AHL. Myhres, a fifth-round draft pick by Tampa Bay in 1992, played with the Lightning in 1994-95 and 1996-97.

HEJDUK AN ALL-STAR: Colorado right wing Milan Hejduk was picked to replace the Devils' Alexander Mogilny (hip) for this weekend's All-Star Game in Denver. Hejduk, who makes his second straight All-Star appearance, leads the NHL with eight winning goals.

STATE OF THE IHL: International Hockey League commissioner Doug Moss said rumors of the league's demise are false. But at least one team is teetering on the brink of extinction. The Cleveland Lumberjacks recently indicated that unless the Minnesota Wild, their parent NHL club, and Gund Arena in Cleveland absorb some of their costs, the Lumberjacks likely will cease operations. The Lumberjacks were a Lightning affiliate in 1998-99.

BLUES: Forward Michal Handzus, who has missed 11 games due to abdominal surgery, said he may be out another month.

FLYERS: Former Philadelphia coach Terry Murray, fired by the Panthers in late December, rejoined the Flyers as a scout. Murray, 50, was 79-90-31 in three seasons with Florida.

THRASHERS: Defenseman Frantisek Kaberle (broken foot) was placed on injured reserve.

More Thursday games

FLYERS 2, ISLANDERS 0: Eric Desjardins scored on a long slap shot and Roman Cechmanek earned his fifth shutout for host Philadelphia. Desjardins broke a scoreless tie with his 10th goal on a 70-footer that sailed past Rick DiPietro's glove 2:38 into the third. DiPietro, 19, made 26 saves in his second start.

BLUES 2, BLUE JACKETS 2 (OT): Pavol Demitra set up both St. Louis goals in his return from a 17-game absence because of a bruised retina. Demitra had five goals and five assists in five games before being injured, and he picked up where he left off. Pierre Turgeon tied the score at 2 early in the third.

STARS 4, SHARKS 2: Defenseman Darryl Sydor scored the go-ahead goal as visiting Dallas snapped a three-game skid. Dallas wing Grant Marshall suffered a concussion and was taken to a hospital for observation after being elbowed in the neck by Owen Nolan and hitting his head hard on the ice.

CANADIENS 3, BRUINS 0: Jose Theodore got his second shutout of the season for visiting Montreal. The Canadiens (12-0-3-2) are the only team that hasn't lost a game in regulation when scoring first.

MIGHTY DUCKS 4, COYOTES 2: Teemu Selanne scored three goals in the third, and Anaheim snapped its six-game skid. The Ducks, who have won three of their past 20, are 2-0-1 in Phoenix.

HURRICANES 3, THRASHERS 1: Arturs Irbe stopped 20 shots and Rod Brind'Amour, Kevin Hatcher and Martin Gelinas scored for visiting Carolina, which is 10-4-2 in its past 16 games.

FLAMES 5, BLACKHAWKS 3: Jarome Iginla scored his 17th and 18th goals for host Calgary.

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