Devils' Lemieux Is Traded To Colorado

Posted: October 04, 1995

Claude Lemieux, the Stanley Cup MVP for New Jersey last season, was traded twice yesterday, winding up in Colorado in a three-way deal featuring disenchanted stars who are among the NHL's top forwards.

The Devils sent Lemieux to the New York Islanders for right wing Steve Thomas. The Islanders then traded Lemieux to the Colorado Avalanche for left wing Wendel Clark.

Lemieux scored 13 postseason goals in leading the Devils to their first NHL championship. But the 30-year-old right wing angered New Jersey general manager Lou Lamoriello by challenging a contract he signed in the off-season, then failing to report to camp because of the dispute.

Clark, who turns 29 this month, had 12 goals and 18 assists for 30 points in 37 games last season with the Quebec Nordiques, who in the off-season moved to Colorado. He contends the Avalanche are reneging on a promise to renegotiate his contract, which has one year left.

Thomas had refused to report to training camp, demanding $1.7 million a year. Immediately after being traded, he signed a multiyear contract with the Devils.

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Keith Tkachuk became one of hockey's three highest-paid players for this season when the Winnipeg Jets matched the Chicago Blackhawks' five-year, $17 million offer sheet to keep the left wing.

Tkachuk, a restricted free agent, will make $6 million this season. Only Wayne Gretzky of the Los Angeles Kings ($6.545 million) has a higher base salary. Mark Messier of the New York Rangers has a base of $6 million, but could make more with incentives.

Tkachuk, 23, has only 94 goals in three full NHL seasons, but the 6-foot-2, 210-pound winger is considered one of the top "power forwards" in the league, a hard worker and a leader, and is often compared to Boston Bruins star Cam Neely. He has been the Jets' captain since he was 21.

PRO BASKETBALL

Antonio McDyess, the No. 2 selection in this year's NBA draft, signed with the Denver Nuggets. The 6-9 forward from Alabama was obtained by the Nuggets

from the Los Angeles Clippers on the day of the draft with former La Salle guard Randy Woods for Rodney Rogers and the rights to Brent Barry.

McDyess averaged 13.9 points and 10.2 rebounds a game for the Crimson Tide last season.

Ed O'Bannon, the ninth player selected in last June's NBA draft, signed with the New Jersey Nets. Under terms of the league's new rookie salary scale, O'Bannon has a three-year contract that will pay him between $3.25 million and $3.90 million.

Pete Myers, let go by the Chicago Bulls after they acquired Dennis Rodman on Monday, joined the training camp roster of the Charlotte Hornets. The 32- year-old swingman has been with five NBA teams, having spent the last two seasons with Chicago.

Tyus Edney, the Sacramento Kings' second-round draft choice, agreed to a contract. Terms were not announced. Edney was the 47th player chosen in the 1995 draft.

The Atlanta Hawks signed their second-round draft choice, guard Donald Boyce of Colorado, to a two-year contract.

Boyce, 6-foot-5 and 195 pounds, left Colorado as the Buffaloes' leading scorer with 1,995 career points. He averaged 18.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and four assists as a senior.

Center Jon Koncak, who had spent all 10 years of his NBA career with the Atlanta Hawks, signed with the Orlando Magic. Koncak, a 7-footer selected fifth overall in the 1985 draft, averaged 2.9 points and 3.0 rebounds in 62 games last season. He has career averages of 4.6 points and 5.0 rebounds.

First-round draft picks Gary Trent and Randolph Childress signed three-year contracts with the Portland Trail Blazers. Trent, a 6-foot-8, 250-pounder, was the 11th pick overall. Childress was 19th.

The Indiana Pacers released Vern Fleming and LaSalle Thompson and signed free agents Eddie Johnson and Ricky Pierce. Johnson and Pierce are both 36. Each is a 13-year NBA veteran who has won the league's Sixth Man award.

MISCELLANY

Mickey Tettleton, who hit .556 and drove in 11 runs for the Texas Rangers, won the American League player-of-the-week award for the final week of the regular season.

Cleveland's Albert Belle, who hit 17 homers in September, was selected AL player of the month. Seattle's Norm Charlton was chosen AL pitcher of the month after compiling a 2-0 record and 11 saves.

Undefeated (24-0) welterweight Kippy Diggs knocked out Philadelphian Frankie Mitchell in the eighth round at Foxwoods Casino Resort in Mashantucket, Conn. Mitchell, 36, had not fought in two years and was knocked down in the second and eighth rounds.

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