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Boston Herald
Khristich rules out any return to B's
by Stephen Harris

Wednesday, August 25, 1999

SALEM, N.H. - Looking tanned and fit, Dmitri Khristich said yesterday he's not at all worried he hasn't yet signed on with a new NHL team and re-emphasized that he would not under any circumstances play again for the Bruins.

``No, no, not even if the money was right,'' said Khristich. ``I want to get away from here. I'm not interested in coming back here.''

Khristich, joining a handful of Bruins for an informal skate at the new IceCenter, said he speaks to agent Larry Kelly each day. But a week after the B's made the startling and unprecedented decision to ``walk away'' from his $2.8 million salary arbitration award, he hasn't yet gotten an offer to his liking.

``No, I'm not worried,'' said Khristich. ``Yes, I think there are teams that want me. My agent is working on it. I don't call my agent every other hour, just once a day. If something happens, he'll find me.''

If Khristich signs a contract for less than $2.24 million, the B's have the right to match the offer. It's likely they would threaten to do so, then try to swing a deal with the team that signed the right winger - so that they might get something in return for letting last year's top goal scorer walk away.

Khristich expressed the belief that he's been unfairly made a scapegoat by the Bruins' brass.

``I've been blamed for everything bad that has happened here,'' he said. ``I don't want to be treated like that. If he (president and general manager Harry Sinden) doesn't see me doing anything good, why did he even want me?

``He says I didn't get my points, but we won the (first-round playoff) series (against Carolina). Maybe it's not just about points. I was there. I was part of the team's success. If you go player by player, still I was one of the better ones.

``If you want to look at everything negative, you can always find things. When the team wins, they say, `That's what they did.' They say, `Kristrich, yeah, he was there somewhere, but he did nothing.' Then when we didn't win (the second round vs. Buffalo), it was, `Khristich, oh, we didn't see him.' They forget that they didn't see anything from everybody else, either.''

Khristich thinks Sinden hopes this first-ever walkaway in the five years of the current CBA frightened future players from filing for salary arbitration.

``That's what they're trying to say to players: `Salary arbitration is not a great thing for Group II players. Don't use it. Just sign for whatever the team offers,' '' said Khristich. ``That's not right.''

Earlier yesterday, Khristich took part in a charity golf tournament, along with a large group of Bruins players. What was he hearing from his ex-mates?

``They were saying, `We had a team who made the second round of the playoffs, but instead of making the team better, they made it less,' '' said Khristich.

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