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KINGS UPDATE; CONCUSSION FRUSTRATES GOALIE STORR.

Byline: Matt McHale Staff Writer

Jamie Storr looked lost amid the celebrating in the Kings locker room after Thursday night's 8-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Said he feels lost, too.

Storr, who took over as the Kings' top goaltender in early November, was in street clothes, recovering from a concussion suffered Dec. 11 when he struck his head on the crossbar during a 4-2 victory over the Montreal. Until Thursday, that was the last time the Kings won.

He started two more games he probably wished he hadn't, a 7-1 loss to New Jersey and an 8-3 blowout to the New York Rangers. That's when he realized something was terribly wrong.

Now it could be two weeks before he is just back on skates and still longer before he returns to the active roster.

"There still isn't much I can do," said Storr, who has just begun light riding on an exercise bike. "I can't even push that because I still have dizziness and light-headedness. I'm not sure when I'll get back."

Although Stephane Fiset hasn't played poorly in goal since Storr went out, this is a critical time for the Kings at the position. The club is expected to protect just one goaltender in this summer's expansion draft.

Fiset, 29, recently signed a three-year contract extension. But Storr, who turned just 24 last Tuesday, is considered the club's future at the position. Now everything is in limbo.

Unlike defenseman Garry Galley, who is skating again after suffering a concussion around the same time, Storr's next step is adding a little endurance to his bike work. That will be a big day and it still is a ways off.

"Concussions are mysterious because everyone responds differently," Kings coach Andy Murray said. "No two are alike. We laugh because Jamie is a different kind of fellow when he's healthy, but there is nothing funny about concussions."

Concussions are a swelling of the brain caused by a blow to the head. Repeated concussions can cause brain damage and have forced several players - most notably Pat Lafontaine - to retire in their primes.

Storr suffered a concussion two years ago during the Kings' playoff series against St. Louis. Like this time, he continued to play several games after the initial blow with disastrous results.

After the injury in Montreal, Storr was cleared by doctors to play against New Jersey and New York but was replaced after one period in each game.

"Maybe I shouldn't have done that, but the team wasn't doing well and you want to help out," he said. "You want to be part of the solution, but I only made it a bigger problem. Now we have to move slowly. It was great to see this win, but it was hard not to be a part of it."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jan 1, 2000
Words:468
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