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  • Thursday, September 23, 1999

    Kariya locks up spot

     TORONTO (CP) -- Rookie Steve Kariya appears to have skated his way into the Vancouver Canucks' lineup.
     Kariya, 21, a free-agent signing out of the University of Maine, is only five foot seven.
     "I've heard Theo Fleury say, and I've never met him but I'm around the same size, that when you're that size you're never done proving yourself," the younger brother of Anaheim star Paul Kariya said after a Canucks practice Thursday. "Every shift, I feel I want to go out there and contribute and play well and prove to people I can play at this level.
     "The knock on me has always been my size. It's a battle. But I've never minded it. I've always thought of it as a challenge. You use it as motivation."
     Coach Marc Crawford describes Kariya as "one of the most pleasant surprises we've had at camp."
     "He looks to have the ability to play with good people," Crawford said. "We think we've got some chemistry going on a line with him and (Andrew) Cassels and (Alex) Mogilny.
     "The way the game is changing, skill is becoming a trait you need on your team. Steve Kariya has been terrific."



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