Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/04/06 at 10:54 AM ET
He carries pucks, carries power plays. Carries franchises. And now he's toting the Ducks' wheelbarrow, but he only has to handle one handle. Scott Niedermayer has the other. That's $13million worth of defensemen next season, about 30 percent of the Ducks' salary cap, but no one in hockey can remember two such deluxe D's on one team. "But the price was high," said Brian Burke, the Ducks' general manager, and he wasn't kidding. They had to surrender Lupul, the Ducks' top producer in the playoffs and a charismatic and feisty 22-year-old who should be contending for trophies after Pronger has retired (he turns 32 Oct.10). Playing in his hometown will only enhance the Prolific Palindrome, who scored four goals at Colorado in Game 3 of the second round. "I don't think they would have done this if they didn't get Lupul," Burke said.more
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