- The Washington Times - Friday, October 12, 2001

The Washington Capitals will not know until today whether right wing Jaromir Jagr and defenseman Brendan Witt will be available for tonight's game against the Mighty Ducks in Anaheim, Calif.
Neither player practiced yesterday with the team in Anaheim after chartering from New York. The two players were injured during in a loosely officiated game against the Rangers on Wednesday night, won by the Caps 5-2.
Meanwhile, more details about Jagr's proposed deal with the Caps, first reported Wednesday in The Washington Times, are starting to appear. TSN, the Canadian sports TV network, reported yesterday that there is an option year attached to the five-year contract extension. The option belongs to the team, the network said, unless Jagr achieves certain objectives and then the option belongs to him at age 35.
A Caps official would say only that talks between the two sides on an extension are underway and there could be an announcement in the near future. J.P. Barry, Jagr's agent, has not returned phone calls.
Two of the Rangers who played in Wednesday night's game, defensemen Igor Ulanov and Dale Purinton, have been summoned to appear at disciplinary hearings today in Toronto, both for crosschecking opponents to the head. The league has already said it would crack down
hard on any individual whose stick came in contact with an opponent's head, whether accidentally or deliberately.
The fact that the disciplinary hearings are being conducted in person before NHL executive vice president Colin Campbell is an indication each player will be suspended for at least three games and probably more. Hearings conducted via conference calls usually result in warnings or one-game suspensions.
Purinton is charged with crosschecking Washington rookie right wing Stephen Peat across the head when the Rangers defenseman attacked him from behind just 3:39 after the game started. A fight ensued, with Purinton landing several blows before Peat righted himself and retaliated. Peat received a fighting major; Purinton was assessed a minor for instigating, a major for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct.
Ulanov, a former Cap, cracked Washington left wing Steve Konowalchuk across the head with his stick after the Cap had cleanly but solidly checked Rangers center Eric Lindros. Ulanov was assessed a major for crosschecking and a game misconduct. His suspension might be lengthened because he attempted to use his stick to go after Washington players who were sitting on the bench as he was being escorted off the ice.
In fact, if the league decides to throw the book at the well-traveled Ulanov, he might also face discipline for "slew-footing," an infraction involving deliberate tripping from behind with intent to injure. That is precisely how Jagr was hurt at 14:39 of the first when he was taken down from behind by Ulanov. Jagr left the game at that point and did not return.
Ulanov was not penalized on that play but Washington coach Ron Wilson complained about it after the game and also charged that Witt's injury also was caused by slew-footing. Witt was targeted after he, too, checked Lindros.
While the Caps are classifying Jagr's status as "day-to-day," the fact the club called up center Chris Ferraro from Portland does not appear to be a good sign, especially when a spare player, right wing Dmitri Khristich, is traveling with the team. To make room for him on the roster, Washington sent Peat back to the Pirates.
Tonight's game is the third in a five-game road trip for the Caps. They are in Phoenix tomorrow night and play the Kings in Los Angeles Tuesday night.
Washington also said yesterday that defenseman Frantisek Kucera, obtained from Pittsburgh in the Jagr trade, had been reassigned to Sparta Praha in the Czech Republic Elite League. He has played for the Czech team for several years before attempting an NHL comeback last season.

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