Forward last one 'in the barn'

Originally Published: September 8, 2003
Associated Press

Phoenix Coyotes: The Coyotes signed Jan Hrdina, the last free agent on their roster, to a one-year contract Monday.

"It will be nice to start camp with everyone in the barn," general manager Michael Barnett said.

Phoenix acquired Hrdina and defenseman Francois Leroux from Pittsburgh on March 11 for forwards Ramzi Abid and Guillaume Lefebvre and defenseman Dan Focht.

Hrdina, who had a hip flexor injury when he arrived, played only four games for his new team and didn't score a goal. He had four assists, finishing a 61-game season with 14 goals and 29 assists.

The Czech center had a career-high 11 power-play goals last season and ranked 14th in the NHL in faceoff win percentage.

The Penguins drafted Hrdina in the fifth round in 1995. In five seasons, he has played in 370 games, with 79 goals and 152 assists.

Anaheim Mighty Ducks: Steve Rucchin, who has spent his entire nine-year NHL career with the Mighty Ducks, has been selected as captain of the defending Western Conference champions.

"Leadership is an absolute key for success, and we have a real solid group here," coach Mike Babcock said. "Steve is very demanding of himself and his teammates and will do a great job leading us into the future."

The 32-year-old ranks third in Mighty Ducks history in goals with 133, assists with 256, points with 389 and games with 534. He had 20 goals and 38 assists as he played in all 82 games last season, then added a team-leading seven goals in 21 playoff games.

Keith Carney and newcomer Sergei Fedorov were selected as alternate captains. Carney is entering his third season with the Mighty Ducks and his 13th in the NHL; Fedorov signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the team in July.


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press

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