The Salt Lake Golden Eagles, who begin the franchise's 20th anniversary season Friday night at Milwaukee, lost one player to the National Hockey League waiver draft Monday. But they gained the reassignment of seven other members of the Calgary Flames' organization - including exciting rookie Theoren Fleury.
The Buffalo Sabres Monday claimed free-agent defenseman Steve Smith, who was the 10th-leading playoff scorer in the American Hockey League's Calder Cup tournament last season when he was with the Hershey Bears of the Philadelphia organization. Smith had been slated for the Eagles.But, with Fleury being reassigned officially to Salt Lake - Coach Paul Baxter expected to get him all along but kept his fingers crossed - the Eagles had little worry about losing Smith.
Fleury is the 155-pound tough guy coming out of juniors who helped the Eagles in 10 games last spring, scoring five points in his first professional game. In his 10 Eagle games, he had 14 goals, nine assists and 23 points.
Also reassigned to the Eagles Monday afternoon were former team captains Rich Chernomaz and Stu Grimson plus Chris Biotti, Rick Hayward and Dave Reierson off last year's champions and newcomer Paul Ranheim, a respected rookie centerman.
The Eagles still have only one goaltender, rookie Wayne Cowley, who was said to have been the best goalie in the Flames' training camp.
The reassignments give the Eagles 20 players.
They will play at Milwaukee's new arena Friday to open defense of their two straight Turner Cup championships, and they're at the Indianapolis Ice, the new IHL team, on Saturday. They open the home schedule Tuesday, Oct. 11, against Kalamazoo in the Salt Palace.