SCARE IN VANCOUVER: Troy Murray of the Blackhawks was breathing easier yesterday after choking when part of his dental plate lodged in his throat during a Monday game at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver.

The incident began when Murray was hit in the mouth by a puck during the game against the Canucks. He began choking and fell to his hands and knees, whereupon trainers from both teams rushed onto the ice and began first aid. A Vancouver team physician also went on to the ice to supervise. Murray was taken to a hospital, where the obstruction was removed from his throat, and released.

TRADE: The Nordiques acquired G Jacques Cloutier from the Blackhawks for much-traveled F Tony McKegney. Cloutier, 31, is in his ninth season. He has been a backup to rookie Ed Belfour, compiling a 3.57 goals-against average in 10 games. McKegney, 32, is joining his seventh NHL team, including his sixth in the last six years. In 50 games with the Nordiques, he had 33 points, including 17 goals.

BACK AGAIN: The Red Wings recalled G Alain Chevrier from San Diego and D Gord Kruppke from Adirondack. Chevrier joined the club as a free agent last July. He played in two games -- with a 0-1-0 record and 7.50 goals-against average -- for the Red Wings before going to San Diego.

Kruppke, a second-round draft choice in 1987, played in 30 games for Adirondack, collecting one goal, six assists and 111 penalty minutes.

The team also assigned goalie Dave Gagnon and defenseman Chris Luongo to Adirondack, Red Wings spokeswoman Kathy Best said.