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|10 ноября 2007
Kondratiev clears waivers // Los Angeles Times
The 24-year-old Russian defenseman stays with organization, at least for now, but it's unclear whether he'll report to minor league team in Portland, Maine.
By Eric Stephens
Defenseman Maxim Kondratiev cleared waivers Friday and, for now, the 24-year-old Russian still has a future with the Ducks' organization after being assigned to their minor league team in Maine.
Kondratiev is expected report to the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League, for whom he played 37 games in 2005-06 after coming in a trade that sent Petr Sykora to the New York Rangers.
Whether he'll actually make it to Portland is unclear as Kondratiev is believed to be discussing his options with his agent, Mark Lapush. One of those options could be returning to Russia, where he played last season for Lada Togliatti.
Lapush could not be reached for comment.
A player considered to have an upside on offense, Kondratiev wasn't going to show it in Anaheim. The Ducks already possess seven NHL-caliber defensemen and could be adding Scott Niedermayer if the superstar returns to the team.
The Ducks signed Kondratiev to a one-year, $500,000 contract in July in an attempt to upgrade the depth of their defense, but he soon got caught in a numbers game once it was apparent that Joe DiPenta would beat him out for a spot on the third defense pairing.
Kondratiev was often a regular scratch, going scoreless in four games while averaging just 7 1/2 minutes of ice time. Once Mathieu Schneider returned from injury, it was clear Kondratiev's days on the roster were numbered.
"He needs to play," Coach Randy Carlyle said. "He'll get that opportunity someplace else or he'll go and play somewhere and prove to us that he can play -- and a lot."
Kondratiev came back to the NHL when the Ducks offered a one-way contract, which requires a player to pass through waivers if he is sent to the minor leagues. If he were to return to Russia, the Ducks would still hold his NHL rights.
Schneider is wearing a protective sleeve made of graphite on his left boot to protect his ankle, and it came in handy during the Ducks' recent home game against Dallas.
Sergei Zubov's slap shot hit right above the spot where Schneider suffered a non-displaced fracture on Sept. 14 during an exhibition game against the Kings.
"It's hard to say what might have happened," Schneider said. "I'm glad I had it on because it didn't really affect me. I was a little sore that night, but it's fine now."
Schneider said he doesn't notice the sleeve while he's skating and that he may wear a similar smaller device for the right boot.