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Leafs Make Some Moves

After the signing of former Boston forward Dmitri Khristich to a $10 million, four-year deal, the Toronto Maple Leafs released popular Steve Sullivan on Thursday.

Khristich, 30, lands with his fourth NHL club after a well-publicized contract battle with the Bruins, for whom he scored 29 goals last season. Boston GM Harry Sinden refused to pay the $2.8 million the Ukrainian forward was awarded by an arbitrator in August, making Khristich a free agent.

The Bruins retained matching rights if any club signed him for 80 percent or less of the $2.8 million. The Leafs sent Boston a second-round draft pick in 2000 for his rights.

Khristich will get $850,000 this season, $2.5 million for each of the second and third years, and $2.75 million for a fourth year, at the club's option. He'll also receive signing bonuses of $750,000 and $700,000 to be paid over the next two years, plus $300,000 if a fourth year kicks in.

"I'm looking forward to getting back in the NHL," said Khristich, who has been working out with a team in Kiev.

Sullivan was being used sparingly, had no points, and his 155 pounds didn't suit GM-coach Pat Quinn's intention of making the Leafs bigger.

"Hopefully, I'll get picked up and start fresh somewhere else," Sullivan said Thursday.

Sinden contended Khristich disappeared during last year's playoffs. But Quinn didn't heed that criticism.

"There was that out there," Quinn said of the player's reputation. "But that has been, in my opinion, a bad tag."

Attempts to sign Khristich intensified after captain Mats Sundin suffered a broken bone in his right ankle Oct. 9.

"The team's scouting reports, even long before I got here, are solid on this guy. He looks to me like the kind of guy who can play a two-way game pretty well," Quinn said.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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