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Original Issue

In The Crease

Defenseman Steve Duchesne, who signed a three-year, $11.25
million free-agent contract with the Kings in July, was put on
waivers last Thursday after mouthing off to Los Angeles coach
Larry Robinson. Following the incident Robinson had a meeting
with some Kings veterans, who endorsed the move to get rid of
Duchesne. (He had been benched for the previous four games.)
After he was removed from the lineup, the Kings were 4-2 through
Sunday and had climbed to within five points of the final
playoff spot in the Western Conference....

The best third line in hockey is the Senators' trio of center
Radek Bonk and wingers Magnus Arvedson and Marian Hossa. The
defense-oriented Arvedson should be a finalist for the Selke
Trophy, and the rookie Hossa, who had 11 goals in his first 47
games back from a knee injury that sidelined him for 22 matches
at the start of the season, warrants consideration for the
Calder Trophy. Bonk, who was the third pick in the 1994 draft
and had been a major bust, has developed into a solid defensive
center and a good face-off man....

After the scoreboard in Pittsburgh showed Mario Lemieux in the
stands during a game last week, an employee of the Spectacor
Management Group (SMG) ordered the scoreboard operator to keep
Lemieux's picture off the big screen "in the best interest of
crowd control." If Lemieux is successful in his attempt to buy
the Penguins from Roger Marino, the city of Pittsburgh may build
the team a new arena, jeopardizing the sweet deal SMG currently
has with the Penguins....

Before forward Valeri Kamensky was knocked out for the season
last week with a broken right arm, the Avalanche considered
shipping him to the Maple Leafs for defenseman Jason Smith....

The team of the future? The Sharks have four forwards under 23
who are destined for stardom--Jeff Friesen, Marco Sturm, Patrick
Marleau and Alexander Korolyuk.