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Chambers has minor surgery

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Shawn Chambers had two bone chips removed from his left knee Friday in Minneapolis.

Chambers, 25, said he expected to start riding a stationary cycle in five days, skating in a week and participating in practice drills in two weeks.

Chambers, who had been bothered by bone chips in his knee since the 1990-91 season when he played for Minnesota, said he likely would not be able to play in a game for five weeks.

It was the fifth surgery on Chambers' left knee in the past two years.

Chambers played just seven games last season, two for the Washington Capitals and five with the Baltimore Skipjacks of the American Hockey League.

He returned to Tampa on Saturday and will not accompany the team on its five-game road trip.

No more bellowing

Minnesota fans were not happy when the North Stars traded popular left wing Brian Bellows to Montreal for right wing Russ Courtnall.

But Courtnall now is the most requested Star for radio talk shows in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area after tallying a short-handed goal and an assist in the North Stars' 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday.

Magic welcome

Hey, it's not the Stanley Cup, but it was a nice gesture.

Orlando Magic general manager Pat Williams sent Phil Esposito and the Lightning organization an engraved crystal bowl that read:

Congratulations:

Tampa Bay Lightning, 7

Chicago Blackhawks, 3

Opening Night

October 7, 1992

Moving Stars?

Minnesota owner Norm Greene is considering moving his team from the 15,274 Met Center in Bloomington to the 18,000-seat Target Center in downtown Minneapolis.

The North Stars' payroll has doubled from $6-million to $12-million over the last two years, while the season-ticket base has dropped from 7,000 last season to 6,300 this season.

Greene wants to make the move because corporations would be more likely to buy tickets at a downtown arena.

The Target Center also is the home of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Scratched

Lightning defenseman Rob Ramage, who played 34 games for Minnesota last season, did not play Saturday night because of a sore shoulder. Also scratched from the Lightning's lineup were left wing Mike Hartman and right wing Martin Simard.

_ CAMMY CLARK

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