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19 июля 2002 года.
Kasparaitis Ready to Be Bully of Broadway -NYT


Darius Kasparaitis's sunny disposition off the ice would seem to contradict the mean streak he displays on it as one of the National Hockey League's hardest-hitting defensemen.

But Kasparaitis, who finished second in the league in hits last season, says he is not bothered in the slightest by his reputation as something of a cheap-shot artist.

"That's O.K.," Kasparaitis said over brunch yesterday on Manhattan's Upper West Side before he and his girlfriend, Ingela Munter, went looking for an apartment. "I like it when the people who are playing against me hate me."

It is just that kind of attitude that the Rangers were looking for when they persuaded the 29-year-old Kasparaitis to accept their six-year, $25.5 million offer on July 2.

Long known for their passivity on the ice, the Rangers are hoping that Kasparaitis and center Bobby Holik, the team's other major free-agent signing, can inject some snarl into a franchise that has failed to make the playoffs the last five seasons.

The Rangers' need for attitude helps explain why Eric Lindros, their star center, called Kasparaitis on July 1, the first day teams could contact unrestricted free agents.

"I said, `What the heck does he want?' " Kasparaitis said, knowing full well his history with Lindros, who sustained the first of his eight documented concussions from a clean Kasparaitis hit in March 1998.

What Lindros wanted was for Kasparaitis to sign with the Rangers so he would not be hounded on the ice by Kasparaitis anymore.

"I hurt him," said Kasparaitis, who has played with the Islanders, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Colorado Avalanche in his 10-year career. "That's why people think there's a rivalry between us. But I play against everybody like that."

Perhaps Lindros and Pavel Bure, two of Kasparaitis's favorite targets over the years, can breathe a little easier this season. "As long as they behave themselves in practice," Kasparaitis said with a laugh.

Kasparaitis will find himself in the unfamiliar position of protecting Lindros and Bure from players like Jason Wiemer, whom the Islanders obtained from the Florida Panthers, partly in response to the Rangers' signing of Kasparaitis the day before. Wiemer, who gave Lindros his second concussion in December 1998, is one of the many players in the league with whom Kasparaitis has a running feud.

Take, for example, a couple of incidents over the last two seasons.

After Wiemer had crushed Kasparaitis along the back boards in a game two seasons ago, Kasparaitis, holding his knee in pain, made a threat. "I was saying, `It's a long season, I could take your knee out, too,' " Kasparaitis said at the time.

Wiemer said: "I couldn't understand a word he was saying. I don't understand gibberish."

Last season, it was Wiemer's turn to threaten retribution against Kasparaitis, after Kasparaitis, who was playing for Pittsburgh, gave Bure, who was playing for Florida, a minor concussion with a hit.

"Last year, he was calling me, as everybody does, a cheap player," Kasparaitis said yesterday of Wiemer.

Kasparaitis has been hearing that kind of talk for nearly a decade.

When he broke into the N.H.L. during the 1992-93 season with the Islanders, North American chauvinists were still branding European players as soft. No one thought that about Kasparaitis after seeing him play, though.

"Sometimes, I even control the game because of it," Kasparaitis said, referring to his reputation. "When guys are chasing you around the ice trying to hurt you, they're not thinking about playing the game."

If there is a knock on Kasparaitis, it is that he is one-dimensional. But that dimension is one the Rangers have lacked for years.

"I think what I do is good for my team," said Kasparaitis. "It gives the team a lot of life. And it makes the game interesting."

Kasparaitis, who plays the left side, said his short tenure with the Avalanche last season - he was dealt to Colorado from Pittsburgh at the March 19 trading deadline - made him a better player.

"In Colorado, I learned that you don't have to run around all the time to be a good defenseman, and I think that helped me a lot," said Kasparaitis, who helped the Avalanche advance to the Western Conference finals before it was eliminated in seven games by the Detroit Red Wings, the eventual Stanley Cup champions.

One of Kasparaitis's assistant coaches in Colorado was Bryan Trottier, who was also an assistant in Pittsburgh when Kasparaitis was there. Trottier is Kasparaitis's new head coach with the Rangers.

"It's funny how I've followed Bryan around," Kasparaitis said. "So hopefully he'll stay in the Rangers' organization for at least six years."

Страничка Дариуса Каспарайтиса на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


29 июля. «Рэйнджерс» отказались от идеи выкупа контракта Дариуса Каспарайтиса. 

4 декабря. Дариус Каспарайтис: "Мой любимый прием - "мельница" // "Советский Спорт"

23 октября. Хабибулин и Каспарайтис - в "Ак Барсе" - "Спорт-Экспресс"

20 августа. Дариус Каспарайтис: "Кубок Мира выиграет самая дружная команда" - Спорт-Экспресс.

24 декабря. Kaspar Puts On Big Hit - Newsday

4 декабря. Kasparaitis a Jolly Ranger - Newsday

20 августа. Каспарайтису прооперировано правое колено.

11 августа. Каспарайтис - Король силовых приемов - Советский Спорт

20 февраля. Дарюс забыл обиду

19 февраля. Sather Down on Darius


"ЗВЁЗДЫ С ВОСТОКА" @ c 1997 года