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Devils trade Muller for Richer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils announced Friday night that they have acquired Stephane Richer and Tom Chorske from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Kirk Muller and Roland Melanson.

Devils GM Lou Lamoriello disclosed the trade involving the Devils captain and the Canadiens high-scoring forward during the second period of New Jersey's exhibition game against the New York Rangers.

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'We're trading for an explosive player, a player who we feel can bring another dimension to our team which we thought was needed,' said Lamoriello ofRicher. 'We're also getting a player that has won the Stanley Cup.'

Lamoriello denied the deal was precipitated by Muller's breaking camp and recent demand to have his contract renegotiated.

Muller, a seven-year veteran, walked out of training camp Sept. 16., shortly after Scott Stevens was awarded to New Jersey from St. Louis as compensation for former Devil and Type I free agent Brendan Shanahan this summer.

Stevens contract will pay him more than twice the salary of any player on the Devils roster.

Richer, 25, a two-time 50-goal scorer and member of the Canadiens 1986 Stanley Cup team, has scored 198 goals and 168 assists in 413 NHL games.

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Muller, 25, was New Jersey's first pick and second overall in the 1984 Entry Draft behind the top pick, Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux. The converted left-wing/center, who has missed only four regular season career games, has scored 185 goals and 335 assists in 556 games.

Melanson, 31, is a veteran goaltender who has also played with the New York Islanders, Minnesota North Stars and Los Angeles Kings. He played 54 games in New Jersey's Utica farm team last season, recording a 23-28-1 mark.

Chorske, a 25-year-old right wing, scored nine goals and 11 assists in 57 games with Montreal last season, his first full season with the club.

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