Devils send two to Panthers for Kozlov

Updated: March 1, 2004, 8:48 PM ET
Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils acquired center Viktor Kozlov from the Florida Panthers on Monday in exchange for forward Christian Berglund and defenseman Victor Uchevatov.

Kozlov, 29, had 11 goals and 16 assists in 48 games with the Panthers. The Russian has played nine seasons in the NHL with San Jose and Florida.

"Viktor Kozlov is a skilled two-way player who brings size and strength to the center position on our hockey club," Devils president Lou Lamoriello said of the 6-foot-5, 235-pound player.

Kozlov, a two-time All-Star, was drafted sixth overall by the Sharks in 1993. He has 130 goals in 588 career games.

Though Berglund has been troubled by an injured hip this season, he had two goals and three assists in 23 games with the Devils.

He's considered a responsible checking winger and was a second-round pick of the Devils in 1998.

"Both players are high-character people," Panthers GM Rick Dudley said. "Obviously, it's difficult to give up a guy like Viktor, who is a class act and has been a very good Panther."

Uchevatov had three assists in 52 games with Albany of the AHL. He is a 6'4", 225-pound stay-at-home defenseman who is in his third season in the AHL after being drafted in the second round in 2001.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press