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14 сентября 2000 года.
Media hound Korolev about contract status

By MIKE ZEISBERGER  -- Toronto Sun

KITCHENER -- Igor Korolev's primary concern these days is his health, not his wealth. 

Given his druthers, Korolev would rather talk about his healing left index finger, which already has much more flexibility than a year ago. 

Korolev underwent tendon surgery on the finger May 15. 

But when surrounded by a group of reporters yesterday, the inquiring minds on hand instead wanted to discuss Korolev's contract situation. Korolev, who is in the final year of his deal with the Leafs, is represented by Mark Gandler, the agent who handles the affairs of defenceman Alexander Karpovtsev. 

When asked whether he would sit out of training camp next year like Karpovtsev is doing right now, Korolev rolled his eyes. 

"Why talk about that now?" he said."That's a year away." 

Korolev said his deal with Gandler runs out when his contract with the Maple Leafs expires. The veteran forward then hesitated when a radio broadcaster wanted to know if Korolev thought Gandler was doing a good job. 

"So far, yeah," Korolev said after pausing for several seconds. 

Does he mean it? Is he having second thoughts about Gandler? Or was he merely toying with the media the way a cat plays with a mouse? 

Consider the fact that both he and defenceman Dmitry Yushkevich broke out into laughter after Korolev recounted his encounter with the media. Yushkevich also is represented by Gandler. 

Korolev also has been having a chuckle at reports that Chicago Blackhawks GM Mike Smith, who during his tenure as Leafs associate general manager brought Korolev to Toronto, might be interested in trading for him. Almost every day, Korolev has asked what the latest rumours are, all the while wearing a big grin on his face. 

"I want to stay here, but there's nothing you can do if you are traded," he said. "The most important thing is that my finger is much stronger than last year." 

Страничка Игоря Королева на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


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