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Bruins Get Guerin For Holdout Carter

The Boston Bruins obtained Bill Guerin, the NHL's third leading goal scorer, and sent holdout Anson Carter to the Edmonton Oilers in a trade of right wings Wednesday night.

The Oilers also received Boston's second-round draft pick in 2001, a choice of switching first-rounders with the Bruins in 2001 or 2002 and future considerations.

Without Carter, who had 22 goals in 59 games last season, the Bruins are 6-8-2-1 with just 42 goals in 17 games this season. Guerin, who played at Boston College, was tied for fourth in the NHL with 22 points and had 12 goals going into games Wednesday, when the Oilers were idle.

"He has a terrific shot. He skates very well. He's energetic. He plays with some grit," Bruins general manager Mike O'Connell said. "I think he'd fit right in with what we're trying to accomplish. Right now, he's one of the top forwards in the league."

Guerin is expected to be in the lineup Thursday night against New Jersey, the team that took him with the fifth overall pick in the 1989 draft. The Devils traded Guerin to the Oilers on Jan. 4, 1998, two months after Guerin ended his own holdout. Guerin missed the Devils' first 21 games that season because of the contract dispute.

The Oilers get a player four years younger and earning less money, while the Bruins pick up a physical player who fits coach Mike Keenan's emphasis on aggressive play that has increased since he replaced the fired Pat Burns.

"He's a prototypical Boston Bruin," Keenan said.

The longer Carter, 26, held out, the more his return to the Bruins seemed improbable. They reportedly made the restricted free agent two offers one year for $935,000 and two years for $2.6 million. With Edmonton, Carter signed a two-year, $3.6 million contract, according to TSN.ca, the Web site of Canada's all-sports network. He made $850,000 last season.

"We are convinced this deal will have positive results both short and long term," Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe said. "I can honestly say that I strongly believe Anson Carter is going to be a major impact player for us now and for years to come."

Guerin, 30, reportedly earns $3,212,500 and can become an unrestricted free agent after the 2001-2002 season. He was part of Edmonton's high-scoring first line with Doug Weight and Ryan Smyth.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Carter came to Boston in a trade with Washngton on March 1, 1997. He had 16 goals and 27 assists in 78 games the next season and added 24 goals and 16 assists in 55 games in 1998-99. His 47 points last season were a career high, but he had just 148 penalty minutes in four NHL seasons.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Guerin had more than 100 penalty minutes in four of his previous nine seasons and had 175 goals and 178 assists in 570 games with New Jersey and Edmonton going into this season. He was part of the Devils team that won the Stanley Cup in 1995, scoring three goals and adding eight assists in 20 playoff games.

In the 1998-99 season, Guerin's first full campaign with the Oilers, he scored a career-high 30 goals with 34 assists in 80 games and was named Edmonton's most valuable player. Guerin also had 133 penalty minutes that season.

In 70 games last season, Guerin had 24 goals and 22 assists with 123 penalty minutes. This season, he has 12 goals and 10 assists in 21 games, three points behind Edmonton scoring leader Weight.

O'Connell said he first talked trade with the Oilers last summer but discussions heated up about 10 days ago after Carter made it clear he wouldn't return to the Bruins.

"We told all teams we're not going to move him just for the sake of moving him," O'Connell said. "We were prepared to go as long as it took until we got what we felt was a good deal for the Bruins."

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