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IN THE CREASE
Pierre McGuire
January 24, 2000
Lightning forward Stephane Richer was close to being dealt to the Stars last week before Blues general manager Larry Pleau stepped in and acquired him for two minor leaguers. St. Louis persuaded the 33-year-old Richer, who wanted a fresh start after being sent to the minors last month, to retool his contract—he's earning $2 million this season and agreed to a Blues option for next year at $1.5 million, $700,000 less than he was supposed to get....
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January 24, 2000

In The Crease

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Lightning forward Stephane Richer was close to being dealt to the Stars last week before Blues general manager Larry Pleau stepped in and acquired him for two minor leaguers. St. Louis persuaded the 33-year-old Richer, who wanted a fresh start after being sent to the minors last month, to retool his contract—he's earning $2 million this season and agreed to a Blues option for next year at $1.5 million, $700,000 less than he was supposed to get....

Don't be surprised if Czech National coach Ivan Hlinka, who's scheduled to begin a 30-day stint as a consultant with the Penguins this week, stays on as a de facto assistant coach. Jaromir Jagr is a big fan of Hlinka, who coached the Czechs to the gold medal at the 1998 Olympics....

Sabres defenseman Jason Woolley was furious last summer when he lost in arbitration (he asked for $2 million a season and was awarded $950,000), but his performance this season suggests the arbitrator was correct. After having scored four power-play goals and spearheading an excellent man-advantage unit in 1998-99, Woolley has played poorly in '99-00. Through Sunday he hadn't scored a power-play goal, and Buffalo was near the bottom of the league in that category....

The Wings have offered a contract extension to defenseman Steve Duchesne, who's enjoying a renaissance in Detroit teaming with Chris Chelios. Last season Duchesne played so ineptly for the Kings that LA bought out the four-year, $15 million free-agent contract he'd signed in July 1998.

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