Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sports Shorts

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sports Shorts

Article excerpt

Arbitrator Awards Bourque $2.25 Million

An arbitrator awarded Ray Bourque slightly more than the Boston Bruins offered to pay him Tuesday night, apparently ending the club's threat to trade the star defenseman.

The decision gave Bourque a contract of $2.25 million a year for two years. The Bruins submitted a figure believed to be in the range of $1.85 million to just over $2 million. Bourque's request was reported to be between $4 million and $4.5 million.

Unlike baseball, in which arbitrators must award the team's figure or the player's figure, hockey arbitrators can choose an amount in between.

"We are disappointed," said Steve Freyer, Bourque's agent, who learned of the decision shortly before the Bruins opened their season against the Rangers in New York. "You never know what to expect, but when you go to arbitration, these things happen."

Arbitrator Richard Bloch's ruling probably removes the possibility that Bourque, a first- or second-team all-star in each of his 14 National Hockey League seasons, will be traded. Bruins general manager Harry Sinden had indicated that might happen, depending on the arbitrator's ruling.

Bob Goodenow, executive director of the NHL Players Association, said he was "particularly disturbed" by Bloch's analysis of Bourque's place in the marketplace. "I remain convinced that Ray Bourque should be compensated on par with the highest-paid players in hockey," he said.

Bourque, 32, is a four-time winner of the Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman.

***** HOCKEY Whalers Sign Top Draft Choice

The Hartford Whalers and top draft pick Chris Pronger agreed on a contractap. Pronger, the No. 2 overall draft pick, agreed to a four-year, $7 million deal. The deal includes a $4 million signing bonus and a $600,000 salary this season.

The Detroit Red Wings traded defenseman Yves Racine to Philadelphia for defenseman Terry Carkner. The Flyers also will get Detroit's fourth-round selection in the 1994 Entry Draft. …

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