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Avalanche trade Ricci to Sharks for Donovan, exchange draft picks

November 21, 1997

The Colorado Avalanche sent center Mike Ricci to the San Jose Sharks for right wing Shean Donovan and a first-round pick in next year’s draft in a trade announced Thursday night.

The Sharks also receive a second-round pick in 1998 from Colorado.

Ricci, 26, played six games with the Avalanche this season, after missing the first 16 games recovering from shoulder surgery. He has had four points, all assists.

He said he knew that the talent-laden Avalanche, who won the Stanley Cup in 1996, would have to let some players go sooner or later.

``I think we’ve got a lot of great hockey players here and there’s not a lot of ice time to go around,″ he said in a conference call with reporters.

Over the course of an eight-year NHL career, Ricci has amassed 132 goals and 195 assists. His best offensive season was 1992-92 in Quebec, when he had 27 goals and 51 assists in 77 games.

Last season with the Avalanche, Ricci had 13 goals and 19 assists in 63 games.

``I was happy in Denver, I can’t lie,″ he said. ``But I’m a hockey player and I love playing hockey and I’m going to work hard in San Jose.″

Sharks general manager Dean Lombardi said Ricci helps bridge the gap between the Sharks’ veterans and young talent. He worked hard to get Ricci when he found out he was available.

``When there’s a certain kind of player we want and he’s available, we’re going to do everything we can to get him,″ Lombardi said. ``And he (Ricci) fit the M.O.″

Avalanche president-general manager Pierre Lacroix said Donovan, 22, is a big forward who will help the team. He said the acquisition of another draft choice will give the Avalanche a better chance of getting the players wanted for their future.

Donovan has recorded three goals and three assists so far this season. He will play Friday night at McNichols Arena when the Avalanche host the Toronto Maple Leafs, Lacroix said.

Donovan, who was a second-round pick by the Sharks in 1993, has 22 goals and 14 assists in 161 career games.

Ricci planned to join the Sharks on the road against the Washington Capitals on Saturday.

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