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Lightning deals twice before trade deadline

Grant Ledyard returns to Dallas for a draft pick. Craig Millar goes to Ottawa for center John Emmons.

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 14, 2001


TAMPA -- Grant Ledyard wouldn't mind returning to the Lightning next season, when his tour of duty with the Stars is over.

The 39-year-old defenseman was traded Tuesday in exchange for a seventh-round pick in this year's draft after a month and a half adding stability to the Tampa Bay back line.

"If the opportunity arose," he said, "I'd come back in a heartbeat."

The move, made by the Stars to add defensive depth, was one of two minor transactions the Lightning made before the 3 p.m. trade deadline. The team also acquired center John Emmons from the Senators for defenseman Craig Millar, who was playing for the IHL's Detroit Vipers.

Emmons, 26, had a goal, an assist and 20 penalty minutes in 41 games with Ottawa. The 6-foot-1, 203-pounder had 13 goals, 22 assists and 172 penalty minutes in 75 games for the Vipers in 1998-99.

Ledyard, who signed Feb. 1 as a free agent, had 2 goals, 2 assists and 12 penalty minutes in 14 games. He returns to the team for which he had his best seasons. From 1993-97, he had 20 goals and 84 assists in 262 games with the Stars and was plus-29, including plus-31 in 1996-97.

"I know the system," he said. "Hopefully I can go down there and give them what I can, which is playing upbeat and physical."

While with the Lightning, Ledyard was paired with 19-year-old Kristian Kudroc.

"(Ledyard was) good with the kids, and he wanted to help. He understood his role," coach John Tortorella said. "We'll miss him."

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