fTCHunter set for 1,000th appearanceIt has taken 13 years...

April 09, 1993|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Staff Writer

fTC

Hunter set for 1,000th appearance

It has taken 13 years, but in just two more games, Washington Capitals center Dale Hunter will step on the ice for his 1,000th career game.

"It will be a milestone," he said. "But when I'm done, I hope I'm recognized as a player who worked hard and not just as one who played a long time."

Hunter, 32, has played in 80 games eight times in the past 12 years and in all 80 of this season's 84-game schedule. In that time, he has produced 268 goals and 568 assists and has missed just five games in his six seasons with Washington.

Among those he will join in the 1,000-game club are Mark Messier, who played his 1,000th game Wednesday night, and Wayne Gretzky, who reached the plateau Jan. 6. Both Messier and Gretzky needed parts of 14 NHL seasons to do it.

Hunter will hit the milestone in Montreal Monday night.

Nearing the end of his first NHL season, Philadelphia Flyers rookie Eric Lindros hardly can believe his team is not in the playoff hunt.

"I thought we'd be real tight for a playoff spot, honestly," said Lindros. "I thought we'd make it, because I don't see what's so good about some of these teams that just seem to beat us. . . . What we lack is team determination, game in and game out."

In the money

An arbitrator has awarded Winnipeg Jets goalie Bob Essensa (29-25-6 with a 3.54 goals-against average) a salary of more than $1.1 million (Canadian) for this season -- up from $275,000. The Jets offer was in the neighborhood of $500,000. . . . Tomorrow, Washington goes before an arbitrator to discuss forward Pat Elynuik's salary, which is $240,000. Elynuik, who scored 25 goals and 25 assists with the Jets last year, has 22 goals and 32 assists since joining Washington this season.

Super Selanne tops

With eight days left in the regular season, Winnipeg's all-everything rookie Teemu Selanne is tied with Buffalo's Alexander Mogilny for the goal-scoring lead with 74.

Happy Healy humor

Goalie Glenn Healy, on his Islanders moving into a third place tie in the Patrick Division with the New Jersey Devils: "It's a sad day for hockey."

Lemieux needs five

Mario Lemieux, who says he rarely thought about his Hodgkin's disease during his 22 radiation treatments, has made a remarkable recovery and going into last night's game held a seven-point lead in the NHL points race. But there is still a small cloud hovering. It will be five years before doctors can say his cancer is fully cured.

Contracted disagreements

In Ottawa, the Senators' front office asked three players -- Darcy Loewen, Andrew McBain and Jamie Baker -- to amend their contracts and threatened them with demotion if they didn't give in. Only Baker, the team's second-leading scorer refused to comply. At issue is the "two-way" contract, which pays players at one rate on the NHL club and at a lesser rate in the minors.

Players often have incentive clauses in their agreements covering the number of games played. By reaching that number, the trio would have been paid NHL salaries next year even if they were in the minors under terms of their two-year deals.

Just before the players reached the magic number, however, they were asked to waive the clause. In return, they were assured of remaining with the Senators and making their NHL salary this year. Magnanimously, Senators president Randy Sexton said he thought he was being fair by not simply shipping them to the farm, as some teams do. The players apparently didn't agree.

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