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  • Monday, September 27, 1999

    Million dollar smile

    By GEORGE JOHNSON -- Calgary Sun
      VANCOUVER -- Ah, life is close to idyllic for Andrew Cassels these days.
     Beauty every which way he turns. The cloud-shrouded mountains in the distance. The boats docked in the bay.
     Oh, a gorgeous guaranteed $7.5 million US over three years. And, when he glances around, Steve Kariya at his left, Alex Mogilny at his right.
     "I couldn't ask for faster linemates, that's for sure," said the ex-Flame following yesterday's morning skate. "I see a lot of his brother Paul in Steve. Same great wrist shot. Same unbelievable first four or five steps.
     "It was a stressful summer but I'm starting to settle in here. Things have gone pretty good for me so far."
     If not so good for the Canucks, still in search of their first pre-season win last night. Their defence is a shambles, with Bryan McCabe traded, Ed Jovanovski at home in Windsor, Adrian Aucoin with the Canadian nats in Calgary and Mattias Ohlund still sidelined by a bruised eyeball.
     When the Canucks anted up dough over the summer to lure the playmaking centreman west, many in the hockey world were seen falling over in a dead faint. Cassels went from $1.1 million to $2.5 in a flash, on the heels of a so-so season with the Flames.
     "No, it didn't surprise me," defended Cassels. "They pretty much knew what we wanted. So when they offered it, I signed. I wasn't going to sit around and hope some other team would come up with another $100,000 so I could go back to the Canucks. I pretty much knew where I stood with Calgary. I talked to them during the season and gave them the first crack at re-signing me. "
     BRIND'AMOUR INJURED: Philadelphia centre Rod Brind'Amour, who has played in 484 consecutive regular-season games, suffered a hairline fracture in his left foot Saturday during the first period of the Flyers' 4-2 pre-season loss at New Jersey. The seriousness of the injury wasn't discovered until yesterday when Brind'Amour arrived at the team's morning skate complaining of pain and swelling.
     -- with files from CP

    VANCOUVER CANUCKS



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