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NHL briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 30, 2000

Dallas gets defenseman

IRVING, Texas -- Defenseman Gerald Diduck was acquired by the Dallas Stars from Toronto on Sunday for future considerations.

To make room on the roster, the Stars assigned defenseman Richard Jackman to the IHL's Utah Grizzlies.

Diduck, 35, did not play in the Maple Leafs' first 10 games this season. The 6-foot-1, 216-pounder had three points and one assist in 26 regular-season and playoff games last season.

Diduck's best season was 1988-89 with the New York Islanders, when he had 11 goals and 21 assists in 65 games. He has played for five other NHL teams.

Sykora getting anxious to return to Devils lineup

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Petr Sykora spent his Saturday night sitting in the Mellon Arena press box, thoroughly enjoying himself, as Randy McKay, his replacement on the Bobby Holik line, pumped in four goals against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

That, however, is not something Sykora wants to make a habit of. That's why it will be interesting to see what happens when the speedy wing tests his groin before the Devils play Florida today at Continental Arena.

"It's just sore," said Sykora, who has missed two games since the injury Wednesday night against Florida. "I'll try to skate (today), and we'll go from there. It's just one of those things.

"There's really nothing I can do about it. But I will tell you that I hate not playing. Every single guy hates it. It's not easy to watch these games when you want to be out there."

The Devils will not rush Sykora, who seemed on the verge of rounding into form after the tonsillectomy that cost him the bulk of training camp.

Sykora missed a lot of time during the 1996-97 season with a groin injury, which helped create the impression that he was a gifted but fragile player. He has worked hard to dispel that image over the past two seasons.

"I just can't be thinking about that," Sykora said. "I missed only five games over the last two seasons, and that was because of the flu. I was just getting close, and now I'm a little set back again. I have to fight through it. That's all I could do."

BLACKHAWKS: Chicago, which beat the Wild 3-2 Sunday, last played a regular-season contest in Minnesota on April 13, 1993, winning 3-2 in the final home game played by the North Stars.

BLUE JACKETS: Forward Steve Heinze is wearing No. 57 with expansion Columbus. Why 57? Think of the condimentmaker. Heinze said he was not allowed to wear the number with the Bruins -- orders from team president Harry Sinden.

CAPITALS: When Chris Simon ended his holdout and joined the team last week, he was unrecognizable. Simon cut his signature long hair and reported with a buzz cut. Simon said he cut his flowing hair for personal reasons. "It's a lot easier to handle," he said. "I'm sure the trainers will be happy. The budget will go down on the shampoo."

FLYERS: Defenseman Chris Therien, who missed six of the first 10 games with back pain, practiced for the third straight day without pain and hopes to return Saturday against Buffalo. ... Right wing Mark Recchi's blood tests came back negative, which ruled out the possibility of mononucleosis. Recchi is still feeling some fatigue and he will be evaluated today or Tuesday.

RANGERS: Sunday's game against Boston marked Mike Keenan's 998th coached. That ties him with Roger Neilson for sixth place overall in league history.

STARS: Defenseman Gerald Diduck was acquired from Toronto for future considerations. To make room, Dallas assigned defenseman Richard Jackman to the IHL's Utah Grizzlies.

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