Ciger Goes No. 1 In Waiver Draft

The expansion Nashville Predators took former Edmonton center Zdeno Ciger with the first pick of the NHL waiver draft Monday.

Ciger, who played the last two seasons in his native Slovakia, had 31 goals and 39 assists in his last NHL season (1995-96) with the Oilers.

Tampa Bay selected Brent Gilchrist, a forward who helped the Detroit Red Wings win a second straight Stanley Cup title, with the second pick in the nine-player draft. The Lightning later traded Gilchrist back to Detroit for a sixth-round pick in the 1999 entry draft.

Gilchrist, entering his 11th NHL season, had 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists) in 61 games last season with Detroit. He is not expected to play before early November because of a hernia injury.

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The Anaheim Mighty Ducks, selecting third overall, took defenseman Pascal Trepanier from the Colorado Avalanche. The Chicago Blackhawks then selected enforcer Dennis Bonvie, who had 295 penalty minutes in 57 games with the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs, Edmonton's minor league affiliate.

The Toronto Maple Leafs then took defenseman Kevin Dahl from the St. Louis Blues. Dahl spent most of last season with the IHL's Chicago Wolves.

Montreal reacquired goaltender Frederic Chabot from the Los Angeles Kings. Chabot spent four years in the Canadiens' organization before being traded to Philadelphia for cash in 1994.

The other players selected were defensemen Maxim Galanov (Pittsburgh from the New York Rangers) and Rory Fitzpatrick (Boston from St. Louis) and center Kip Miller (Pittsburgh from the New York Islanders).

Among the veterans bypassed in the draft were goaltenders Kay Whitmore (New York Rangers), Jim Carey (Boston) and Glenn Healy (Toronto), defensemen Zarley Zalapski (New York Rangers), Neil Wilkinson (Pittsburgh) and Al Iafrate (Carolina) and forwards John Cullen (Tampa Bay) and Randy Cunneyworth (Buffalo).

Vancouver filled its back-up goaltending spot by re-signing restricted free agent Corey Hirsch to a one-year deal 9minutes before the draft.

Canucks president and general manager Brian Burke urged Hirsch to agree to the deal before the draft or the Canucks would select one of the goalies in the draft.

Hirsch, who played only one NHL game last season, will back up starter Garth Snow.

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