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NHL briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 6, 2001

Mighty Ducks ship Selanne to Sharks

Teemu Selanne, the Mighty Ducks' sharpshooting wing who was the league's top goal-scorer two seasons ago, was traded Monday to the Sharks for goalie Steve Shields, wing Jeff Friesen and draft picks.

"I have spent all my years in the NHL with teams where the biggest goal is to make the playoffs first," Selanne said. "This is a different situation. Now I'm with a team that is winning and that can go a long way in the playoffs."

The deal is a bold move for the Sharks, who slipped out of first place in the Pacific Division last week. General manager Dean Lombardi stayed within his division to acquire one of the NHL's most dynamic scorers well in advance of next week's trade deadline.

"There's no doubt he'll put the puck in the net," Lombardi said. "That's what we want."

San Jose's offense suffered in the absence of injured center Vincent Damphousse and suspended captain Owen Nolan. The Sharks, whose woeful power play also should be helped by Selanne, are fighting for playoff position and their first division title.

In Selanne they get a proven scorer who has 26 goals and 59 points this season. The deal cost San Jose two talented players who hit low spots as the Sharks surged into contention this season. Shields lost his job as starting goalie while Friesen struggled to score.

"Does this make us a better team? Hopefully it does," Lombardi said. "Sooner or later, if you keep getting better, you're going to be at the top."

Said Selanne: "It's always a surprise when you get traded, but I'm excited to go to a team that really wants to pay the price to be a I've heard great things about the Sharks organization. Maybe this is one of the things I needed. I hope this deal can work out for both sides."

Selanne flew to San Jose on Monday night to meet with the Sharks' doctors. The team said he would not be ready to play against the Lightning tonight at the Ice Palace.

He could play Wednesday at Florida. His home debut will come Saturday against Nashville.

Selanne said a bruised knee that caused him to miss two games last week was slightly swollen after he had a goal and two assists in Anaheim's win against the Kings on Sunday night.

RANGERS-BLUES TRADE: With two top defensemen out indefinitely, St. Louis acquired veteran defenseman Alexei Gusarov from New York. In exchange, the Rangers got rookie defenseman Peter Smrek, 22.

The Blues have been without league MVP and Norris Trophy winner Chris Pronger and former Norris Trophy winner Al MacInnis for most of the second half of the season.

COYOTES: Coach Bob Francis said Claude Lemieux is out indefinitely with an ankle injury and may miss the post-season.

Lemieux got tangled up with Colorado's Ray Borque on Sunday and fell, twisting his right ankle. He returned for one shift, then left the game.

An MRI exam will determine the extent of the injury, the team said.

DEVILS: Left wing Patrik Elias was named player of the week after leading the league with 11 points.

FLYERS: Michael Picard and Kirby Law were recalled, and Mark Greig and Steve Washburn were reassigned to Philadelphia of the AHL.

HURRICANES: Defenseman Glen Wesley was placed on injured reserve with a broken jaw and a severe facial cut sustained in a 6-3 win against Chicago. He is out indefinitely.

WILD: The team recalled former Lightning goaltender Zac Bierk from Cleveland of the IHL.

BRASHEAR TRIAL: Donald Brashear will face trial Nov. 5 on charges he assaulted a man in the fitness room of his Vancouver townhouse. Brashear also is charged with making threats last November.

Brashear appeared in court Monday but did not comment. Last season Marty McSorley, then with Boston, knocked him unconscious with a stick to the head. In the ensuing assault trial, the Canucks enforcer appeared briefly to testify in the same courtroom in which he appeared Monday.

Monday's games

ISLANDERS 5, RANGERS 2: Jason Blake had a goal and an assist and Mariusz Czerkawski had a goal and two assists as the Islanders made Lorne Henning a winner in his debut as coach.

The visiting Islanders, who snapped a four-game losing streak, built a 4-0 lead, including goals by Blake, Bill Muckalt and Juraj Kolnik in 85 seconds of the second period. John Vanbiesbrouck made 40 saves.

FLYERS 6, BRUINS 4: Mark Recchi scored twice, including the go-ahead goal on a power play with 3:17 left in the third period, to rally host Philadelphia.

The win moved the Flyers into first place in the Atlantic Division, one point ahead of New Jersey.

Eric Desjardins, Dan McGillis, Ruslan Fedotenko and Keith Primeau also scored for the Flyers, who are 9-1-1 in their past 11 home games.

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