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6 августа 2000 года.
NHL Notebook: Double edge Kasparaitis loves to hit hard but regrets hurting Lindros 
By Dejan Kovacevic, Post-Gazette Sports Writer 

Darius Kasparaitis was on the Southpointe ice all week, working and playing with children at the Penguins' hockey camp. 

Defenseman Darius Kasparaitis shows off his stickhandling skills to children at the Penguins' hockey camp Friday at Southpointe. Mario Lemieux and defenseman Jiri Slegr were on hand to help out, too. (Matt Freed, Post-Gazette)

"I love the kids," he said during a break two days ago. "It's a great feeling to be out here with them because you know they all look up to you. I remember my childhood, when I was learning the game, I felt the same way about the older players. But most of all, I like this because the kids are fun. They always know how to have fun with you."

Sometimes at his expense.

"I'm getting ripped all the time," Kasparaitis said, grinning wide. "I don't think they like my style of game. They're saying I'm too cheap."

It's not the first time he's faced such a charge, and it won't be the last. Kasparaitis, as fierce a competitor as any in the NHL, plays with an edge as sharp and dangerous as a sword.

But, aside from the kidding of a few children, Kasparaitis has always bristled at the notion that he is a dirty player, one who will intentionally injure opponents.

Ask him, for example, about his near-legendary check on Eric Lindros.

No one who attended the Penguins' game against the Philadelphia Flyers on March 7, 1998, will forget it. Lindros charged up the right wing toward the Penguins' zone, the puck on his stick and his head down. Kasparaitis, smelling blood, streaked to his left and leveled Lindros with a clean, shoulder-to-chest hit.

It was the first in a string of six concussions for Lindros, whose health and career are now very much in doubt at age 27. Earlier this week, he rejected the Flyers' $8.5 million contract offer for the coming season amid reports that his doctors will instruct him to stay away from hockey for several months.

Kasparaitis has kept close tabs on Lindros' progress.

"Hopefully, Eric will get better and play a lot more years," he said. "He's a great player, one of the greatest playing the game right now, and I'm sure he's going to come back. I never wanted to hurt him. I know I had the first hit on him, and I do look back on it, but it could have been anybody that I hit. It was just part of the game."

The same, Kasparaitis said, was true of Lindros' latest concussion-inducing hit, an open-ice blow by the New Jersey Devils' Scott Stevens in the Eastern Conference final this past spring.

"I don't think Stevens saw his head. He was just stepping up and finishing his check. That's what happened to me. I didn't even think about who it was. When you hit the guy, you don't want to hurt him. During the game, you're just trying to finish your checks, trying to play tough and hard. Sometimes players get hurt. Stevens did the same thing. He just finished his check. He was just playing the game. He knew Eric had head problems, and he probably didn't mean to go after his head. It's too bad it was Eric there."

Still, while Kasparaitis regrets that his check began a run of injuries for one of the league's brightest stars, he has shown no inclination that he plans to soften his game one bit.

In fact, he eagerly anticipates playing for the Penguins' new coach, Ivan Hlinka, who will demand that his defensemen maintain a punishing presence.

"Hopefully, he's going to let me play my style of game, to play the way I like to play, to play a physical game. Hopefully, he'll give all of us the freedom to do whatever we do best."

Hlinka is expected to use his centers in a conservative role, freeing the defensemen to move up for the occasional big hit.

"If we have a third guy back, that's great," Kasparaitis said. "Every time you see a guy with his head down or a loose puck that you feel you can get, you won't be worried about giving up a two-on-one. That would be unbelievable for me."

He's licking his lips already.

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