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Kings waive Marco Sturm, Ducks extend GM Bob Murray

February 25, 2011 | 10:31 am

Sturm_400 The local hockey teams made some news early Friday, when the Kings placed left wing Marco Sturm on waivers and the Ducks announced they had signed General Manager Bob Murray to a four-year contract extension through the 2015-16 season.

Sturm played on the Kings’ top line Thursday night in their 4-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild and had an assist, but he had bounced around from line to line since he was acquired from the Boston Bruins. He had four goals and nine points in 17 games.

The German-born winger never met the Kings’ expectations, which were unreasonably high in the light of the major reconstructive knee surgery he underwent last spring. It usually takes players a year to fully recover from that kind of procedure and for a player whose game depends on speed as much as Sturm’s does, losing even a half-step can reduce his effectiveness. He’s not a bad guy or bad influence in the locker room.

Waiving him could be the first step toward another move or just an effort to see if anyone is willing to take Sturm and what’s left of his $3.5-million salary. The Kings could still use a productive winger and have been looking around in advance of Monday's NHL trade deadline, though they have yet to make a move.

Murray’s extension was something of a surprise. The Ducks missed the playoffs last season and are outside the top eight in the West at the moment in the constantly changing Western Conference standings, though their recent slide can be attributed to the apparent case of vertigo that has plagued goaltender Jonas Hiller.

Murray took over for Brian Burke in 2008 and inherited a team that had no salary cap space and no prospects, putting him in a difficult situation. He has helped rebuild the organization’s depth, but the on-ice results have been mixed and the Ducks might miss the playoffs for a second straight season.

More later at Latimes.com/sports.

-- Helene Elliott 

Photo: Marco Sturm. Credit: Harry How / Getty Images

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