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GUIDE TO HOCKEY GUIDE TO HOCKEY GUIDE TO HOCKEY GUIDE TO HOCKEY
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Five Star            - ELECTRONIC EDITION -            * * * * *
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Issue 77                September 1, 1997             Over 465KB
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** LCS: GUIDE TO HOCKEY 1997-98 PLAYER RATING EXTRAVAGANZA! **
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WELCOME
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Yes, the summer is over and we're back with another season of NHL
coverage. We kick things off with our fourth annual Player
Rating Extravaganza. It's not really an extravaganza, but that
sure sounds better than sayin' we're back for the fourth year in
a row with the same old crap. So let the Extravaganza begin!

As per usual, we rank the top ten players at each position,
except on defense where we rank the top twelve. Why twelve on
defense? Because we love to give until it hurts, that's why.

After we list the top ten, or twelve, we also include a few
players that fall in each of the following categories:

HONORABLE MENTIONS:   Poor souls that just missed the
charts.

MOVIN' ON UP: These guys are movin' on up to the East side
faster than the Jeffersons. Keep an eye on 'em.

NOW I GOT WORRY: Players listed here are falling faster
than Benny Hill's pants.

WHICH WAY DO I GO, GEORGE?: A crossroads has been
presented. To the left, a return to stardom. To the right, a
direct route to Loserville.
Our rankings aren't just based on who had a great season last
year. We try to look at the whole picture. Everything is taken
into consideration, including past history, future potential,
overall skill, intelligence, leadership, big-game ability, and
penmanship. Most of the write-ups will explain why a guy got
ranked where he did. While most decisions were clear cut, there
were a few situations where we just couldn't make up our minds.
In those cases, the deciding vote went to whichever guy looked
more like an original cast member of Happy Days.

Hopefully we haven't forgotten anyone in compiling our lists. We
didn't include Gary Roberts because it's still uncertain exactly
how well he'll play, if at all. But if he's anywhere near his
old self, Roberts would preside in the top spot on left wing and
everyone else would move down a spot. Gary Roberts is just that
good.

There are a whole mess of quality young players out there that
could be listed in the Movin' On Up section, but we
tried to limit ourselves to the best one or two guys. So don't
be offended if your favorite player is missing in that category.

If you think we forgot someone all together, or you disagree with
our rankings, don't be scared to write a letter. Just be sure to
mail it to someone who cares. Aw, that's just a joke, settle
down. We love to hear from you, our valued readers. Just try to
keep profanity to a minimum. We have sensitive eyes. And it's
hard enough to read the letters through the bottom of a bottle
without having to sound out vulgar insults.

Well, that's about it. Enjoy. And oh yeah, we'll be back on
September 15 with a Season Preview. Look for it.


---------------------------------------------------------------
LCS: Top Rated Centers
---------------------------------------------------------------
by Michael Dell

1. Eric Lindros, Philadelphia Flyers: He's not
as dynamic as Joe Sakic, as sound defensively as Peter Forsberg,
or as fast as Sergei Fedorov. But no other center can impact a
game quite like Eric Lindros.

Big number 88 is clearly the most dominating physical force in
the NHL. His mere presence can change the flow of a game. When
he's on the ice the opposition not only has to fear the damage he
can do on the scoreboard, but also the damage he can inflict on
their bodies. Lindros is a freight train on skates. He's not
much in the way of agility, but he can generate some serious
velocity in a straight line. And there's nothing he likes to do
more than disperse that momentum through some serious head-on
collisions.
There aren't a whole lot of guys willing to take Lindros on in
the hitting department. Ed Jovanovski made a good run at it in
the 1995-96 playoffs, but look what it did to him. Apparently,
going by Eddie Jo's performance last season, Lindros knocked all
the talent out of him. Darius Kasparaitis thought about taking
Lindros on during the first round of this past postseason, until
Lindros railed him into the backboards early on in Game One.
After that Darius had trouble thinking about anything.
Colorado's Adam Foote has mixed it up with Lindros on occasion,
but they don't really play each other enough for it to be a
rivalry. Lindros' toughest opponent over the years as been Scott
Stevens, but even the New Jersey captain seems to be merely
surviving these days during their one-on-one battles.

Lindros does more than just maim. Now that Mario Lemieux has
retired, Lindros' 1.47 career points-per-game average is second
only to Wayne Gretzky. The catch is that he never plays that
many games. Lindros is more fragile than a fishnet-clad leg lamp
one would win in a trivia contest for knowing the name of the
Lone Ranger's nephew's horse. Eric appeared in 52 contests last
season and has only played more than 65 games in a season once,
that being in 1995-96 when he suited up for 73. But to this
point in his career, injury seems to be the only thing that can
slow down Lindros. Now that he's had his first taste of Stanley
Cup Finals action, Lindros will be a mission man this season.
Good luck trying to stop him.

2. Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche: Sakic had
somewhat of a disappointing season last year, with a severe calf
laceration costing him what surely would have been his fifth 100-
point campaign. But even if he remained healthy, it's unlikely
he would have matched the career-high 51 goals he had the
previous year. Joe just wasn't finding the net last season,
posting a mere 22 goals in 65 games. The reason for the power
outage? Probably just fatigue. Between Colorado's Stanley Cup
championship and the World Cup tournament, Joe has played a
ridiculous amount of hockey over the past year. This recent off-
season should do wonders for him. Look for the Colorado captain
to come out firing in 1997-98. After all, he's now got 17
million more reasons to score goals.

Yes, it's hard to believe, but Joe Sakic, the quiet Quebec
superstar who most fans probably couldn't have picked out of a
lineup before the move to Colorado, will pull down a hefty $17
million dollars for the upcoming season thanks to the cut-throat
tactics of Neil Smith and the New York Rangers. And there's a
reason why the Rangers wanted him. Now that Mark Messier is on
the downside of his career, Sakic is clearly the best clutch
player in the NHL. After rarely making a playoff appearance
during his first seven years in Quebec, Sakic has emerged as the
league's premier playoff scorer. The numbers don't lie.
Throughout his career Sakic has averaged 1.25 points per game
during the regular season and 1.37 points during the playoffs.
The jump in goal scoring is even more dramatic, from a .47
regular-season standard to .65 when the Cup's up for grabs. Over
the past two seasons, Sakic has bagged 26 goals and 59 points in
39 postseason contests. Those are by far the best numbers in the
league.

It's Sakic's quickness that makes him so hard to contain. He may
not be able to fly around the rink like Sergei Fedorov or Peter
Bondra, but not many can accelerate from a dead stop or change
direction at top speed like Sakic. The best word to describe him
is explosive. He uses short, quick bursts of speed to either
gain separation or force defenders back on their heels. If
challenged, Sakic can either dart wide or beat his man clean with
a one-on-one move. However, instead of forcing the issue with
defenders, he would much rather prefer to cut laterally or circle
back while holding the puck, thereby creating passing lanes for
his teammates. Sakic loves to control the puck. He'll hold it
for an eternity, allowing the defense time to break down, before
surveying the scene and dishing it off to an open man. Sometimes
it seems that Joe's got all the vision and the rest of the world
is wearin' bifocals.

He truly is a playmaker first and a goal scorer second. Which is
hard to believe, considering he owns the best wrist shot in
hockey. There have been volummes of poetry written about the
beauty of Sakic's wrister... okay, most have been by me, but what
can I say? I have a lot of free time. Once again, it's Joe's
quickness that makes the shot so deadly. He's a lot like the
Sundance Kid... he shoots better when he moves. He can let it go
off either foot, in mid-stride, hopping on one leg... it doesn't
matter to Joe. That's why goaltenders have such a hard time
getting a read on it, they can never tell when it's coming.
Sakic also likes to position the defender as a screen before
firing, complicating matters even more for the netminder.
Watching Sakic do his thing is really something to behold. The
price tag is kind of steep, but c'mon, isn't it worth it?

3. Peter Forsberg, Colorado Avalanche: Through
the course of reading the various player descriptions in this
issue, you'll hear the term "complete player" a whole mess of
times. There are two reasons for that. First, that should be
the goal of everyone who laces up the skates, to one day be a
complete player, or someone who excels at every aspect of hockey.
The second reason the term is used so frequently is, well, I have
a limited vocabulary.

Peter Forsberg is the most complete player in the NHL. If he was
anymore complete, there'd be enough there for two great hockey
players. Offensively, Forsberg has all the bases covered. Not
only does he have great speed, he's so strong that it's virtually
impossible to knock him off his skates or even tie him up. And
his hands are simply amazing. Whether in the open or bogged down
in traffic, when the puck is on his stick some top quality
entertainment is sure to follow. He can literally make the puck
talk, but only in a German accent... that's odd. As if
mystifying defenses with elaborate stickhandling displays wasn't
enough, Forsberg can also perplex and befuddle with a plethora of
passing pizazz. God bless alliteration. While Forsberg has been
known mainly as a setup man during his first three seasons in the
league, he definitely has the ability to score some goals, his
shot is strong and he's excellent around the net. The potential
is there, he just has to apply himself. If all goes well, he
should be a 35 to 40-goal guy this coming season.

As staggering as his skills are on offense, Forsberg is equally
impressive defensively. He just has natural instincts for the
defensive game. He rarely, if ever, gets caught deep on plays.
Once in his own end, his coverage is superb. Forsberg is strong
enough to tie up even the most physical of opponents and ride
them off the puck. He's also shattered the soft-European
stereotype by becoming one of the fiercest competitors in the
game. Forsberg flat out loves to hit.

Add everything up, and it's easy to see why he's the most
complete player in the NHL. So why the hell isn't he even the
top rated center? Well, sometimes being so perfect in every way
can actually be a detriment. When Forsberg isn't scoring, he
just seems content to play defense without forcing the issue.
And there's nothing wrong with that. That's what makes him such
a great player, being able to help the team even when he isn't
scoring. Unfortunately, you can't be the best player in the
league if you don't make an impact in the postseason. Think back
over the past two years. Whenever the Avalanche need a big goal
who always seems to come through? Two words... Joe Sakic.
Before Forsberg can be the best player in the game, he has to
start coming through with the big play like Sakic. He's had a
tendency to disappear at times during the playoffs, where his
points-per-game average of 1.05 is far less than his 1.30 regular
season average. Focusing on defense is nice and all, but
Forsberg is capable of doing so much more. Come playoff time, he
needs to dominate at both ends of the ice, not just one. Once
this lone flaw gets corrected, it won't be long before ol' Petey
is sitting pretty at the top of the list.

4. Sergei Fedorov, Detroit Red Wings: Hey, look
whose name is on the Stanley Cup! After taking enormous grief in
hockey circles for some disappointing playoff years, Fedorov
silenced his critics by being one of the most important cogs in
Detroit's Cup victory. Sergei led the Wings in postseason
scoring with eight goals and 20 points in 20 games. Ironically,
that's his lowest postseason points-per-game average in the last
five years, but no one was complaining. The difference this year
was that he came through with big plays in crucial situations,
even tying Claude Lemieux for the playoff lead in game-winning
goals with four.

The playoff success came after a somewhat disappointing regular
season, in which Sergei saw his ice time cut back dramatically by
coach Scotty Bowman. The legendary bench boss wanted to spread
his attack out over four lines and often had Sergei centering a
third unit with limited talent. If that wasn't bad enough,
Bowman also used Fedorov on defense. The result was the worst
offensive output of Fedorov's career, as he finished third on the
team in scoring with a very mortal 30 goals and 63 points in 74
games. Fedorov wasn't real happy about his new role, but he made
the best of it in order to help the team. Aw, that's just
considerate. There aren't many stars in the league that would be
willing to make such a sacrifice. But he swallowed his pride and
took one for the team. He deserves a lot of credit for the way
he handled things.

And that's what really separates Fedorov from average Joe
Superstar. He can be a team's marquee scorer or he can be placed
in a strict defensive role and dominate there, as well. That
versatility is hard to find. The reason he's able to switch
gears from offense to defense so effortlessly is his skating.
Fedorov is, without doubt, the best skater in the NHL. No one
can match his power, speed, and agility. Paul Kariya is a close
second, but Fedorov gets the nod because of his strength. Plus,
he just looks cooler in full flight. They could sell tickets
just to watch Sergei skate warmups.

Fedorov's game really doesn't have any weaknesses. His one knock
could be that he doesn't score as much as he should, but the
nights he isn't scoring he's still doing the little things
defensively that don't end up in the boxscores. He's a complete
player. And he's Russian, so that's pretty cool. But between
you and me, keep an eye on them Russians...

5. Mike Modano, Dallas Stars: Wow, did Mikey Mo
jump start his career last season or what? His 35 goals and 83
points were pretty much the same numbers he put up the previous
year, but Modano did all his improving away from the scoresheet.
Being a great player isn't about putting up big scoring numbers,
it's about playing great hockey. To do that you have to be
strong at both ends of the ice, make smart decisions with the
puck, and do whatever you can to make your team better. That
pretty much described Modano's season to a tee.

Modano always had the talent to be a great one. He checks in at
6'3", 200 pounds and can skate like the wind. A tremendous one-
on-one player, he's capable of flying solo on any given rush.
And when it comes to shooting, few can inspire as much fear in a
goaltender. The puck seems to leap from his stick. His slap
shot is positively awe inspiring. Netminders don't try to stop
it as much as survive it.

Yet for some reason, despite his dominating skills, Modano never
really put it all together until this past season. In the old
days, when Modano didn't score, he didn't do anything. He'd have
a tendency to just wander around on the periphery, letting
himself and his teammates down. That all changed in '96-97.
Instead of disappearing when the puck wasn't going in for him,
Modano became a stand-up citizen for the Stars. He never took a
shift off, working tirelessly to become a complete player. He
found as much pride in denying a goal as in scoring one. The
work paid off for everyone involved. The Stars won the Central
Division with the second-best record in the NHL and Modano earned
some personal glory with his first ever Selke Trophy nomination,
thanks in large part to his +43 rating, which was a dramatic
reversal from the -12 he posted a year earlier.

When evaluating talent, there's an old saying among hockey
coaches that sometimes guys have all the tools, but lack the
toolbox to carry them in. Well, thanks to hard work and
dedication, Mike Modano found his toolbox... yeah, apparently it
was up in the attic under some old clothes. He also found one of
them wacky moose heads. Thems keen.

6. Mats Sundin, Toronto Maple Leafs: He
disappeared there for a few seasons, but the Big Swede is back.
And he's back in a big way. Sundin was one of the few bright
spots last season in Toronto, finishing seventh in league scoring
with 41 goals and 94 points. Sundin's stride is so long and
effortless that it belies his great speed. Even when defenseman
are able to keep up, Sundin's size makes him more than most can
handle. With his enormous wingspan, he can turn defenders inside
out or simply go wide and protect the puck better than the Secret
Service. His lengthy reach also translates into some mighty
powerful leverage on his wrist shot. The result is an absolute
bomb that can overpower goaltenders from anywhere on the ice.

And while he may not initiate contact as much as he should,
Sundin does have a bit of a mean streak. When things get rough
he won't rabbit. Although, because of his great size and
spectacular finesse skills, some might say that he's a rabbit
disguised as a bear. I'm not sure who would say something like
that, but it could be said. Like, maybe a zoo warden could say
it. Because a zoo warden would have experience being around
bears and rabbits, so he'd probably punch up his normal, every-
day dialogue with such obscure animal references. That is if
rabbits are even in zoos. If they aren't, they sure as hell
should be. Those long-eared, pink-eyed, carrot-munching weasels
have had it easy with those cushy medical research gigs all these
years. It's about time they bust some rocks in the big house.
Damn rabbits.

7. Mark Messier, Vancouver Canucks: This whole
move to Vancouver is kind of disheartening. It's just not right
that the man responsible for ending New York's 54-year Stanley
Cup curse in no longer calling Madison Square Garden home. For a
guy who is supposed to be the best leader in sports, Messier sure
didn't waste any time in turning his back on his Ranger
teammates. Whatever the reason for his departure, whether it was
strictly money or a desire to finish his career back in Canada,
Messier now finds himself on a club that is in desperate need of
guidance. His leadership qualities will get put to the test by
the often directionless Canucks.

Aside from a winning attitude and veteran leadership, Messier
will also bring one of the best wrist shots in hockey to
Vancouver. In the whole realm of the NHL, there may not be
anything cooler than seeing Messier come in on right wing and
wire one of his patented, one-footed wristers on net. As soon as
he lifts that right leg off the ice, the goaltender's beat.
Messier has used that wrist shot, among other things, to score 83
goals over the past two seasons. That's some amazing output for
a 36-year-old center, so he can obviously still get the job done.
The main concern now is his health. He missed 11 games last year
with a variety of ailments and has shown signs of wearing down
towards the end of the last couple seasons. A red flag may have
gone up with Ranger brass this past Spring when Messier had just
three goals and 12 points in 15 playoff games. Is he slowing
down? Sure. Is he done? Don't bet on it.

8. Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings: It was
definitely worth the wait. For any longtime hockey fan, there
wasn't a better sight in the world than seeing Stevie Y lift the
Stanley Cup. After 13 years of struggle, Yzerman finally reached
the top of the hockey mountain and there's never been a more
deserving soul. The journey wasn't without its sacrifices.
Always known as a brilliant individual scorer, Yzerman
voluntarily changed his game over the past three seasons in order
to become a better two-way player. The transition cost him
points and headlines, but it made the Red Wings a better team.
There aren't many superstars that would make such an unselfish
move, but Yzerman is somethin' special.

There's no denying that Yzerman has lost a step or two from his
younger days. He can no longer just grab the puck and go end-to-
end at will. But what he's lost in flash, he's made up for in
smarts and shift-to-shift consistency. Yzerman also elevates his
play when the game's on the line. Whenever the Wings needed a
clutch goal during their Cup drive, it was number 19 that scored
it. He personifies everything a captain should be. But what
else would you expect from the guy that bleeds Detroit red? Wait
a minute... that really doesn't make any sense. I mean, hell,
everyone bleeds Detroit red. See if he was, like, in New York,
and I said he bled Ranger blue, that would mean somethin'
there... probably that he had some sort of vitamin deficiency,
but it would still mean something.

9. Wayne Gretzky, New York Rangers: Gretzky made
a swell Broadway debut, collecting 25 goals and 97 points in his
first year as a Blueshirt. Those numbers are a bit misleading,
though, with most of them coming in the first half of the season.
Gretzky went buckwild early, collecting 16 goals and 62 points
before the All-Star Break. However, as the season went on,
Gretzky's production fell off. He even suffered through a brutal
20-game goal-less streak. But Wayne was just pacin' himself.
When the playoffs started he cranked it back up and led the
Rangers with 10 goals and 20 points in 15 games, boasting two hat
tricks along the way.

Even at 36, Gretzky hasn't lost any of his playmaking craftiness.
He made a couple passes off the side of the net last season that
were somethin' to see. He can still bring the heat with his
slapper, but that's the only way he'll score. His wrist shot is
softer than Pop 'N' Fresh's midsection. He's also a defensive
liability whenever matched up with the opposing team's best.
That can be a problem.

Gretzky proved he could still be an impact player, but things are
going to be a whole lot tougher this season without Mark Messier
around to draw attention from the opposition. The Rangers will
undoubtedly try to fill the void left by Messier with some sort
of signing or trade. Or they could fill the void with pie. Lots
and lots of pie. But this is clearly Gretzky's team now.
Pressure's on.

10. Ron Francis, Pittsburgh Penguins: We have
the utmost respect for Francis. He's the very definition of the
word "professional". He shows up every night and does his job,
never complains, and always puts the team first. He's just a
great person and a tremendous role model for young players to
emulate. That point wasn't lost on Jaromir Jagr, who credits
Francis with helping him develop into the player he is today.

Francis is invaluable to the Pittsburgh Penguins for the
leadership he brings on and off the ice. But he can still put up
some serious numbers. Last season he had 27 goals and 90 points
in 81 games. That was good for ninth overall in the league. Not
bad for a 34-year-old veteran who seldom gets the respect he
deserves. True, Francis may have lost a step, but he didn't
exactly depend on a full staircase to begin with. His game is
based on intelligence and moving the puck, and that sort of thing
just gets better with experience. Age has brought some health
concerns, though, as Francis has battled a bad back the last few
years. But since he plays through everything, you'll never know
he's hurting unless you really pay attention... sort of like John
Wayne in "El Dorado".

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Adam Oates, Washington Capitals: Oates usually
always ends up in the "Honorable Mentions" section. All he had
to do to make it this year was get the Capitals into the
playoffs. That would have seemed like a safe bet. After all,
Oates had racked up 18 goals and 70 points in 63 games with the
lowly Bruins before the trade. Yet after arriving in Washington,
Oates came through with only four goals and 12 points in 17
games, "leading" the Caps to a 7-8-2 record and a ninth place
finish in the Conference. That'll suck. The good news is that
Oates signed a three-year deal over the off-season and will be
back in the fold for '97-98. And mark it down now, the Caps will
be a juggernaut this season.

Doug Weight, Edmonton Oilers: No doubt, Weight
is one of the best playmakers in the NHL. He could set up a bag
of potatoes for a goal... mmmm, potatoes. But before Weight ever
cracks our top ten, he's going to have to pick up the goal
production. His career high is 25, set in 1995-96, and he had a
mere 21 last season to go along with 61 assists in 80 games.
Weight just isn't a shooter. He finished third on the Oilers
with 235 shots. While a modest total, it broke his previous
career high by a 31. Weight would much rather set up a teammate
than score himself. That's quite the admirable trait. But if
he's only gonna score 20, then he's gonna have to set up 80. He
might have been able to hit the 80-assist plateau last year if it
wasn't for a slow start that saw him register only 28 helpers in
his first 46 contests. He finished strong, though, with 33 in
his final 34 games. That's the kind of production the Oilers
need out of Weight for a whole season.

Rod Brind'Amour, Philadelphia Flyers: How good
was Brind'Amour during the playoffs? If the Flyers win the Cup,
Brind'Amour gets his name on the Conn Smythe. He was Mr.
Everything for the Flyers. So how does he get rewarded? By
having his name mentioned in trade rumors all summer long, of
course. It's not that the Flyers want to get rid of him, it's
just that every other team in the league wants him. Brind'Amour
is the ideal second line center. His numbers were way down last
season (27-32-59), but he's normally a point-per-game guy that is
responsible defensively and almost unbeatable on faceoffs. He's
also as durable as the day is long, having played in every game
the past four seasons. He rarely gets the headlines, but
Brind'Amour is as good as they come. If the rumors of him being
moved to Carolina for Sean Burke are true, the Flyers won't
realize what they had until it's gone.

MOVIN' ON UP

Saku Koivu, Montreal Canadiens: The li'l Finn
exploded out of the gates last season with Montreal, anchoring at
the time the league's most prolific scoring line with Mark Recchi
and Brian Savage. But just when it seemed Saku was ready to take
his place among the league's elite, he suffered a knee injury in
a 3-2 win over the Blackhawks on December 7. The injury derailed
his season and left the Habs a broken team. Even when Saku
returned, he wasn't quite the electrifying player he was before
the injury. Look for him to bounce back strong this season. He
has all the tools to be one of the game's most exciting players.
He's extremely quick on his skates, creative with the puck, and
his name is just fun to say.... c'mon, say it with us... Saku
Koivu, Saku Koivu, Saku Koivu.

At only 5'9", 175 pounds, Koivu is too small to be Montreal's
number one center if the club hopes to compete for a championship
anytime soon, but he's still damn cool. That's good enough for
us... it's not like we're the ones trying to build a championship
team in Montreal. Because if we were, we certainly never would
have traded Pierre Turgeon for Shayne Corson. What was that
about? Friends don't let friends drink and general manage.

Keith Primeau, Carolina Hurricanes: The trade to
Hartford was the best thing for Primeau's career.    It was obvious
he wasn't going to be allowed to develop at center   in Detroit, so
getting the chance to swim with the Whale was just   what the
doctor ordered. At 26, now's the time for Primeau    to make his
move and become a dominant center.

He's already one of the most feared physical players in the game.
The 6'5", 220-pounder doesn't just hit guys, he destroys them.
Arenas all over the NHL have to be checked for structural damage
once Primeau leaves town. He can also throw with the best of
them. He had eight fights last season, but his most famous
tussle was probably a few years back when he took it to Bob
Probert during a Detroit practice.

Primeau can do so much more than just bust heads. Considering
his size, he's an unbelievable skater. Once he gets rolling he
can really motor. And he also has the hands to bust out the
moves at full speed. People never think of him as a finesse
player, but Primeau can score some goals that are pimp smooth.
The only problem with him playing the middle is that he isn't
really a great playmaker. He's not terrible at moving the puck,
but it's not his strong suit. He's at his best when he barges it
to the net himself.

With his talent and size, Primeau could be a 40-goal, 80-point
guy. His big problem has always been consistency. One night
he'll look like a world beater and the next time out he'll hardly
get noticed. He never really had a chance to find his niche with
the Wings since he was always being moved around so much, but he
has a definite role as the Hurricane's top center. Now that he's
had time to adjust to his expanded role, look for a major
improvement on the 26 goals and 51 points he had last season.

Chris Gratton, Philadelphia Flyers: Bobby Clarke
knows a good thing when he sees it. The Flyer GM wasn't about to
let the 22-year-old, 6'4", 218-pound Gratton slip through the
free agent market without making a serious run at him. Now
Gratton brings even more size and strength to what was already
the biggest team in the NHL.

Last year was clearly a breakthrough season for the young center,
as he established career highs in goals (30), assists (32),
points (62), and penalty minutes (201). He was one of only two
players (Keith Tkachuk) to lead his team in both points and
penalty minutes. Gratton has a heavy shot and loves to play an
aggressive, physical game. He's also proven to be extremely
durable, missing just two games in his four-year career. He
should be a perfect fit for the Flyers. Imagine a power-play
front line of Eric Lindros, John LeClair, and Gratton? That's
some scary stuff. The one downside to Gratton at this point is
his defensive play. He was a -28 for the Lightning Bolts last
season. If he wants to get better in that area he'll have one of
the best role models possible as a teammate next season in the
form of Joel Otto.

Jozef Stumpel, L.A. Kings: Hey, I wonder if the
Bruins could pick up my pants the next time the Kings take them
to the cleaners? Kings GM Dave Taylor swiped the up-and-coming
Stumpel, along with Sandy Moger, from Boston for Dimitri
Khristich and Byron Dafoe. It's nice to see the Bruin brass is
still wacky on the junk. That whole just-say-no thing was really
getting kind of preachy.

This trade will pay huge dividends for the Kings. Stumpel, 25,
is just now starting to find his stride in the NHL. He had a
career year with the lowly Bruins last season, setting new
personal bests in goals (21), assists (55), and points (76).
Stumpel is by no means a physical player, but he does have great
size (6'3", 208). He's also extremely skilled. He can pull off
stickhandling moves that most players can only dream about. I
once saw him do a toe-drag through his own legs in full flight to
beat a guy one-on-one. Aw, that's just fancy. Keep an eye on
Stumpel, he's one to watch. You might want to keep watching the
Bruins, too. They'll be the team in last place with all the
mediocre players. Well, except for Anson Carter and Landon
Wilson... those are two cool cats, dad.

NOW I GOT WORRY

Pat LaFontaine, Buffalo Sabres: Laffy's future
is still very much up in the air thanks to his ongoing battle
with post-concussion syndrome. He's one of our all-time
favorites, so we hope to see him back out there terrorizing
defenses. But even if he doesn't come back, we'll always have
the memories... and his wallet. We lifted it the last time he
was in town. Hey, we have to get money somehow.

Doug Gilmour, New Jersey Devils: Gilmour
rebounded from two rather subpar seasons to post 82 points in 81
games for the Leafs and Devils. Unfortunately, his personal
renaissance hit a snag in the playoffs. Gilmour all but crippled
New Jersey's bid for a second championship by failing to score a
goal and registering just four assists in 10 playoff games. Over
his last three postseason appearance, Gilmour has just one goal
in 23 games. At 34, the idea that Gilmour is still strong enough
to lead a team to the Stanley Cup is somewhat questionable.

WHICH WAY DO I GO, GEORGE?

Jeremy Roenick, Phoenix Coyotes: Ah, remember
the good ol' days when Jeremy Roenick would talk about himself in
the third person, draw eyes on his blade, and just be one of the
most dominating offensive forces in the game? Or how about the
time him and Tony Amonte dressed up as Batman and Robin for
Halloween? Aw, that was great, that was fun.

But Roenick hasn't been having much fun lately. A series of knee
injuries have clearly taken their toll on JR. His scoring has
dropped off dramatically, with his points-per-game average
declining in each of the past three years. He was starting to
play like his old self late last season and did some wonderful
work shadowing Paul Kariya in the playoffs, but yet another knee
injury ended his postseason early. The good news is that the
injury did not require surgery and Roenick should be ready to go
when training camp opens. And he'll need to be at full strength
if he hopes to regain his former superstar status. One more
uninspired season like he had last year and it could be a one-way
ticket to Palookaville.

Jason Arnott, Edmonton Oilers: For awhile there
it seemed like Arnott was going to be Edmonton's next Mark
Messier. He was a big, strapping lad that scored goals and
carried his heart on his sleeve. Which while inspirational,
can't be at all sanitary. Yet instead of developing into one of
the best young centers in the game, Arnott has seemed to hit a
wall. His overall game hasn't really progressed much and
injuries have kept him out of 33 games the past two seasons,
rendering him unable to match the 33 goals and 68 points he put
up in his rookie year of 1993-94. His 19 goals and 57 points in
67 games last season were far below what a player of his caliber
should be producing in his fourth season. To make matters worse,
he also finished at an embarrassing -21. Now there's even talk
in Edmonton that the 23-year-old might get dealt. Arnott
definitely needs a strong season to turn his career back in the
right direction. And there's no time like the present.


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LCS Top Rated Left Wings
-----------------------------------------------------------------
by Michael Dell

1. John LeClair, Philadelphia Flyers: We are
proud converts to the church of LeClair. The conversion started
at the World Cup, where the mammoth Flyer winger was a one-man
wrecking crew for Team USA. After doing the stars and stripes
proud, LeClair returned to Philly and started busting heads.
Eric Lindros was still out with a strained groin, but it didn't
matter much to LeClair. He just went about his business of
scoring goals and finishing checks. The end result was a second
straight 50-goal season. The combination of the early season
success and the memorable World Cup proved once and for all that
LeClair is a great player even when number 88 isn't around.

Which brings up an interesting question. Who's better: John
LeClair or Eric Lindros? Some might scoff at such a comparison,
but the idea that LeClair is the superior player is not at all
far-fetched. He actually stacks up quite favorably to his more
famous center. Both guys own overpowering, almost scary, shots.
A goaltender that gets in the way of either guy's slap better
have his estate in order. Granted, Lindros is the better passer,
but LeClair actually has better hands around the net. The
skating department is all LeClair. Most people don't realize
just how fast he is. He can also change direction better than
anyone else his size. Both LeClair and Lindros are solid
defensively, but LeClair is the more consistent in his defensive
effort. That league-leading +44 was no accident.

Where Lindros has it all over LeClair is in aggressiveness. It's
not that LeClair won't run a guy through the boards, because he
will... oh, he will, it's just that he's too nice a guy. Lindros
is flat out mean. This shows up it their penalty minute totals,
where LeClair mustered just 58 in 82 games while Lindros compiled
136 in only 52 contests. However, that info leads us to another
important point. LeClair is much more durable. Over the past
two seasons, Lindros has missed 39 games due to injury.
Meanwhile, LeClair has gone 82 strong both times out.

Choosing between the two stars is extremely difficult. Lindros
will get more points, since he's the better playmaker, and his
fiery temper also makes him more of an impact player, since he
can take over a game with his physical beatings. But on the
other hand, LeClair is going to be there every night working like
a champ at both ends of the ice. Aw, they're both pretty good.

Even though LeClair is tight with Lindros, he didn't run away
with the top spot among left wingers. He received some fierce
competition from Paul Kariya. But LeClair won the honor of being
placed number one on the strength of one argument. If the two
guys go into the corner together, LeClair's comin' out with the
puck and Kariya's getting a seat in the third row. For all of
Kariya's amazing talents, LeClair could still squash him like a
bug. Case closed.

2. Paul Kariya, Anaheim Mighty Ducks: This kid's
got all the skills. He could very well be the most exciting
player in the game today. Kariya's skating is so explosive that
he can break into the open at any moment and score one for the
highlight reel. He's a superb playmaker, a brilliant
stickhandler, and a natural goal scorer. Hmm ha, can't ask for
much more than that.

There are two areas of concern when discussing Kariya. The first
is obviously his size. The mighty Duckling is listed at 5-11,
175, but that's a bit generous. Whenever he takes the ice it's
hard not to fear for his life. Luckily, Kariya is such an
incredible skater that few players can even keep up with him let
alone rub him out. While similar in size, Kariya will never be
confused with good ol' Theo Fleury. The only checks Kariya likes
are the kind he cashes on the first of the month. And forget
about him stirring things up physically. He had just six penalty
minutes last season. Staying out of the box is good and all, but
six minutes? It might be time to check for a pulse.

Kariya also needs to step it up a bit more defensively. He
finished last season at a +36, so it's kind of hard to complain,
but that number is a little misleading. Anytime a dominant
scorer plays for a defensive club like the Ducks, his +/- is
going to be up there. Kariya did, however, improve his defensive
play a great deal from the previous season. That's always nice
to see. Great players recognize their weaknesses and improve
them. So Kariya's on the right track. He just needs to keep
workin' at it.

3. Keith Tkachuk, Phoenix Coyotes: The first
year in Phoenix was a rousing success for Tkachuk. He got his
captaincy back, he led the league in goals with 52, and he got to
wear some of the wackiest duds since the road company production
of "The Wiz".

The 52 goals were a career high and marked his second straight
50-goal season, having hit the half-century mark exactly the
previous year. While the goals were up, Tkachuk's 86 points were
a 12-point drop off, but that old tune was heard all over the
league. The important thing to remember is that he did score
more goals than anyone else. Although, to be honest, his total
was padded a bit by a league-leading eight empty-net goals. Al
Iafrate once said, "Empty-net goals are for sissies." That may
or may not be true, but just remember one thing... Trix are
indeed for kids. Anyway, Tkachuk's scoring carried over into the
playoffs where he notched six goals in seven games. That's some
nice work. It wasn't enough to clip the Ducks, but he did his
part.

At 6'2, 210 pounds, Tkachuk is the prototypical power forward.
He plays a bruising, physical game and doesn't back down from any
challengers. He was one of only two NHLers to lead his team in
both scoring and penalty minutes, compiling a substantial 228
minutes in the box. Tkachuk can change the flow of a game with
his aggressive play. He proved it at the World Cup when he beat
the hell out of Claude Lemieux in the opening minutes of a
preliminary round matchup with Team Canada. The fight got him
the gate, but he sent a message to the favored Canadians that the
younger American squad wasn't about to be intimidated. Without
that fight, and what it represented, it's hard to believe the US
would have won the tournament. Only a great player would be
capable of seizing the moment and performing such a heroic
action. That fight is when Tkachuk became a great player.

But Tkachuk has plenty of flash to go with his bash. Just when
defenses prepare to get run over or beaten to a pulp, Tkachuk
switches gears and waltzes around them with his speed and
stickhandling. He has the best hands of any of the league's big
men and can put on the ritz while in full flight. His soft touch
also shines through in front of the net, where he's the absolute
best at picking shots out of the air. There's just nothing the
guy can't do.

4. Brendan Shanahan, Detroit Red Wings: Shan the
Man was number one on our list last season. He definitely put up
the numbers to defend his crown, scoring 47 goals and 88 points.
If that wasn't enough, he even went out and helped lead the Red
Wings to their first Stanley Cup in 42 years, coming through with
nine goals and 17 points in 20 postseason outings.

Hmm, that all seems pretty good. Then why isn't Shanny back at
the top? Let's see... what could it be? Oh, I don't know... was
it his personality? Nope, Shanny was still his old affable self.
Did he turn yella? Not at all, he had six fights and 131
minutes. Wait a second, I remember now... Shanny fell to the
four spot because HE TURNED WEASEL AND STABBED THE WHALE
IN THE BACK LIKE A TWO-BIT PUNK!

The Whale were looking for a leader, someone to rally the city
behind the team and keep the mighty sea mammals swimming in
Hartford. All eyes turned to Shanahan. He was the charismatic
star the club had so desperately needed. He was their last hope.
But apparently the "C" on his sweater stood for "cop out".
Instead of trying to make a difference, Shanahan jumped ship and
demanded a trade. He ended up in Detroit carrying the Stanley
Cup and the Whale ended up in Carolina. That's just not right.

The Whale were looking for help and Shanahan responded by
plunging a harpoon right in their blow hole. Et tu, Shanny? He
might as well have stabbed us in the heart, as well. There just
aren't many heroes left out there. Well, there's Shaft... but
that should really go without saying.

5. Adam Graves, New York Rangers: Graves bounced
back from a 22-goal disappointment in 1995-96 to post 33 this
past season, cracking the 30-goal mark for the third time in his
career. Among his red lights were ten power-play tallies, four
short-handers, three game-winners, and a league-leading five
game-tying goals. As those numbers clearly show, Graves excels
in any and all game situations. He has the tenacity of a bulldog
when it comes to working the front of the net on the power play.
No one does it better. And while he lacks the speed of most
premier penalty killers, his intelligence and hockey sense always
has him in the right place to bust up opposing man-advantages.

Graves gets most of his goals from within ten feet of the net.
He's all about rebounds and deflections. But that doesn't mean
he can't score from the outside. After all, you can't score 52
goals, as Graves did in 1993-94, by just collecting garbage. His
slap is heavy, but his main weapon is a quick, accurate wrister.

While the goals are nice, they're really just icing on the cake.
Or, if you prefer pie, the icing on the pie. Graves could go
pointless for the entire season and still be an all-star for the
work he does without the puck. He always thinks defense first.
He probably saves as many as he scores. Which brings up the
obvious question of how come Graves is never mentioned in Selke
talk? He really should be, ya know. And if they gave out an
award for the best pound-for-pound hitter in the league, Graves
should win that one, too. His checks are solid, clean, and more
bountiful than the Fall Harvest. When hits alone aren't enough
to settle down the opposition, Graves will drop the gloves and
learn 'em old school.

Graves is a natural leader that always puts the team ahead of
himself. If someone has a problem with one of the Rangers, they
also have a problem with Graves. And it's not a good idea to get
on his bad side. He's just the ultimate team player. Whether
it's standing up for his mates or moving to center to anchor a
checking line, Graves will do whatever it takes. And he never
takes a night off, both literally and figuratively. Graves
played in all 82 last season and has only missed one game in the
past five years. That's incredible considering that most nights
he's playing with a bad back. But what else would you expect
form Graves? He isn't going to let the team down. Adam Graves
is just everything a hockey player should be.

6. Valeri Kamensky, Colorado Avalanche: There's
an old hockey axiom that states "No one asks how you score them,
just how many." Well, an exception has to be made for Valeri
Kamensky. He may never get 50 or 60 in a season, but one
Kamensky goal should be worth four or five from an average
player. Every Kamensky goal is a work of art. A masterpiece for
the senses, created with care by perhaps the most skilled hockey
player on the planet.

He has so much talent that it's almost unfair. He's an excellent
passer that moves the puck extremely well, but it's the aspects
of his individual game that are so magnetic. He's a threat to go
the distance every time he touches the puck. His skating is as
swift as it is effortless. Combine that with his wizard
stickhandling and Kamensky can weave through the tightest of
defenses with the greatest of ease. Once into the open, he can
unleash one of the most lethal slap shots in the game or simply
pick a goaltender apart with an accurate wrister. And good luck
to any netminder left one-on-one with the lanky Russian magician.
He'll turn 'im inside out faster than a bottle of malt liquor
disappears around the offices of LCS: Guide to Hockey.

Kamensky has the ability to dominate games, but he really doesn't
do it as much as he should. Sometimes it seems he's willing to
just stand in the wings and allow Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg to
grab the spotlight. A more dominant showing each time out would
move him up in the rankings. As it is, he's still a one-of-a-
kind offensive talent and a proud member of the best line in
hockey. So that's pretty cool.
7. Adam Deadmarsh, Colorado Avalanche: Valeri
Kamensky isn't the only standout left winger on the Colorado
Avalanche. Adam Deadmarsh is quickly movin' up the charts thanks
to his blazing speed and fierce intensity. Deadmarsh, 22,
enjoyed a breakthrough season in 1996-97. With Joe Sakic and
Peter Forsberg each missing extended periods of time due to
injury, Deadmarsh stepped up and became the go-to guy for the
Avalanche. He ended the year leading the team with a career high
33 goals. See, right there, that would be enough, but Deadmarsh
also led the club in the emotion department. He plays an
extremely fast-paced, aggressive style, taking the body on every
occasion and always getting mixed up in the rough stuff. He was
second on the club with 136 penalty minutes, even boasting a
healthy 12 fighting majors. Aw, that's just good clean fun.

Deadmarsh has the potential to be a major player on the left wing
scene. He's definitely on his way to superstardom.
Unfortunately, his performance during this past postseason was,
shall we say, weak? Shall we say embarrassing? We shall say
embarrassing. Deadmarsh had just three goals and nine points in
17 playoff games. As sad as those numbers are, they could have
been overlooked if he was his usual physical presence. But
sadly, Deadmarsh picked the absolute worst time of his career to
show his youthful inexperience. The kid was just flat out
invisible against Detroit. His team needed him for a spark and
he was AWOL. That just doesn't cut it when you're trying to
repeat as champs. The good news is that Deadmarsh should have
ample opportunity to redeem himself this season. Here's hoping
he does.

8. Vincent Damphousse, Montreal Canadiens:
Damphousse played center last year for the Habs, but left wing is
so shallow these days in the NHL that Vinny got drafted to fill
out the ranks. The fact that the former port-sider could make
such an effortless transition to the middle says a lot for
Damphousse's overall game. He's most well known for being a
sniper, but Damphousse is quite the competent playmaker. He's
had at least 51 assists in each of the past five full seasons.
He skates all knobby-kneed, but has decent speed once he gets
rollin'. Damphousse is one of those guys that can't be a club's
marquee player, but he can fill out a team's top line all swell
like. That's why he really belongs on left wing. He's more of a
complimentary player than a focal point.

9. Geoff Sanderson, Carolina Hurricanes: For a
while there it seemed as if 1996-97 was going to be the year
Sanderson broke through to the big time. The Whale started the
season off in first place in the Northeast Division and Sanderson
was one of the main reasons why. In his first 44 games,
Sanderson racked up 24 goals and 44 points. That's some quality
stuff. But the second half of the season hit Sanderson and the
Whale harder than a drunken sailor's rusty harpoon. As the Whale
beached themselves and ended up out of the playoff hunt,
Sanderson could produce no more than 12 goals and 23 points over
his final 38 games. Hard to get happy after that one. There are
a number of reasons for the collapse, what with the team leaving
town and all, but if Sanderson were a great player he wouldn't
have allowed his team to fold.

Sanderson has all the tools to be a dominant performer. He has
one of the most powerful skating strides in the game. When he
hits full speed he's solid gone. And no one can score from the
wall like Sanderson. When he's truckin', his slap shot is almost
unstoppable. He's a 50-goal scorer waiting to happen.
Unfortunately, he's been waiting for some time now. Sanderson
appeared destined for superstardom when he bagged 46 goals in
1992-93, just his second season in the league. He followed that
up in 1993-94 with another solid 41-goal outing, but it's been
downhill ever since. He put up a measly 18 goals in the lockout-
shortened 1994-95 season, 34 in 1995-96, and then 36 this past
year. The only way Sanderson is going to reach 50 is through
hard work, dedication, and desire. The potential is definitely
there, whether or not he'll ever reach such lofty heights is
entirely up to him.

10. Ryan Smyth, Edmonton Oilers: Normally we
don't pay attention to one-year wonders. We like to see a guy
put up the numbers for at least two seasons before we include
them in the rankings. But the left side is in some serious need
of fresh blood. And it's kind of tough to overlook the year
Smyth had with the Oilers. The 21-year-old, second-year winger
exploded for 39 goals and 61 points, a dramatic improvement over
the two goals and 11 points he put up during his 48-game rookie
campaign. Smyth also tied Brendan Shanahan for the league lead
with 20 power-play goals. It's impressive for a youngster to
assert himself on the man-advantage like that. The most
encouraging thing about Smyth's season, though, was his work
during the playoffs, where he finished second on the club in
scoring with five goals and 10 points in 12 games.

HONORABLE MENTION

Niklas Sundstrom, New York Rangers: It's tough to
find a 22-year-old player that's even serviceable defensively,
let alone one that truly enjoys playing it. Yet that's exactly
what the New York Rangers were lucky enough to find in the form
of Niklas Sundstrom. The second-year Swedish winger has already
earned a spot on the NHL's short list of great defensive players.
He has a tremendous intelligence for the game and naturally
thinks defense first. That's pretty much a coach's dream.
Sundstrom also has enough offensive skills to become a serious
two-way threat in the future, as demonstrated by the 24 goals and
52 points he bagged last season for the Blueshirts.

Don't look now, but Sweden just continues to crank out some of
the most complete hockey players in the world. Sundstrom is a
proud member of the Great Swedish Invasion that also includes
such standouts as Peter Forsberg and Daniel Alfredsson. Not only
can these guys all play hockey, word is they also make some real
wizard modular furniture.

MOVIN' ON UP

Martin Gelinas, Vancouver Canucks: After years
of disappointment, Gelinas is finally starting to deliver on the
potential that made him a first-round Draft pick (7th overall) of
the Los Angeles Kings in 1988. Before Gelinas ever had a chance
to debut with the Kings, he was shipped off to Edmonton in a
trade for some guy named Gretzky. He spent a little over four
seasons with the Oilers and was a member of the "Kid Line", along
with Adam Graves and Joe Murphy, when the Oil won the Stanley Cup
in 1990. But overall he was a major bust. After a brief stint
with the Nordiques, Gelinas was claimed off waivers by Vancouver
in January of '94. Canuck GM Pat Quinn has been wearing a smile
ever since.

In 1995-96, Gelinas recorded 30 goals and 56 points, both career
highs at the time. He followed that up this past season by
leading the Canucks in goals (35) and finishing second on the
club in points (68), doing his best to make up for the
disappointments of Pavel Bure's lackluster return and Trevor
Linden's knee injury. While the numbers are impressive, Gelinas
brings more to a game then just stats. Speed is a major part of
his game. And he doesn't just zip around making pretty designs
in the ice. Gelinas loves to hit. He plays a physical, gritty
game, while also having the hands of a skilled player. That's a
nice combination. The only reason it wasn't nice enough to crack
the top ten is that those years of underachieving are hard to
forget. It's also easier to put up the points when you're not
the marquee player. Gelinas might have been catching a few teams
by surprise. He won't this season. Another strong year and
he'll make the charts.

NOW I GOT WORRY

Luc Robitaille, Los Angeles Kings: Somebody
needs to hook Luc up with a four-leaf clover or somethin',
because he ain't lookin' so lucky these days. Robitaille could
muster just 24 goals and 48 points in 69 games last season, this
while playing on a team with Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, and
Brian Leetch. How does that happen? Well, Luc's got worry. He
scored no fewer than 44 goals his first eight seasons in the
league, averaging a mighty .61 goals per game. It's been a much
different story the past three seasons. Over that time Luc's
clicked at just .36 goals per game. Hmm ha. Times they are a
changin'. Maybe the move back to L.A. will help. It certainly
can't hurt.

WHICH WAY DO I GO, GEORGE?

Martin Rucinsky, Montreal Canadiens: It's not
that Rucinsky had a terrible season last year.   He did score 28
goals and 55 points in 70 games. That's not bad. But it's not
that good, either. When he arrived in Montreal from Colorado
last season Rucinsky appeared ready for superstardom, finishing
the season strong with 25 goals and 60 points in 56 games. Now
see, that's some good stuff... being a over a point a game and
all. But this past season Rucinsky was more like the third-liner
he was with the Avalanche and Nordiques and not the main
attraction he appeared to be his first year with the Habs. His
work this coming season will define his true place on the NHL's
evolutionary ladder.

Kevin Stevens, New York Rangers: Artie, as he's
known in LCS circles, could enjoy a rebirth with the Rangers this
coming season. If playing with Wayne Gretzky can't resurrect his
scoring touch, nothing will.


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LCS Top Rated Right Wings
-----------------------------------------------------------------
by Michael Dell

1. Jaromir Jagr, Pittsburgh Penguins: Not only
is Jagr the best right winger in the game, he's also the best
player. Period.

The Czech Wonder Kid finished last season with 47 goals and 95
points in 63 games. Those are amazing numbers, but they would
have been even more unbelievable if it weren't for a chronic
groin injury that reduced Jagr to a one-legged skater after the
All-Star break. Before the injury hit, Jagr had bagged 41 goals
in his first 44 games. This in a year when Keith Tkachuk led the
league with a rather paltry 52 goals. If Jagr doesn't get hurt,
a 70-goal season was a distinct possibility.

Some who didn't get to see many Penguin games last season will
try and write off Jagr's success as a result of playing on the
same line with Mario Lemieux. Well, don't believe the hype.
Lemieux was a shell of his old self last year. It was Jagr that
was carrying him, not the other way around.

When healthy, Jagr is virtually unstoppable. Not only is he the
strongest skater in the game, he's also the best stickhandler.
Once he gets command of the puck, forget about it. All
defensemen can do is hold on and hope for the best. Jagr's game
has also matured to the point that he doesn't try and beat the
whole team every time he touches the rock. He'll still go
buckwild on occasion, but Jaromir knows how to use his linemates
now and isn't scared to give up the puck. His tremendous hands
always gave him the potential to be a great passer. Thanks to
some hard work and dedication, he's become one.

Speaking of hard work, Jagr's put in a ton of it to improve his
shot. When he first broke into the league he'd seldom shoot,
preferring instead to carry the puck the whole way and score with
a nifty deke. Now, thanks to years of extra practice with
assistant coach Rick Kehoe, Jagr has one of the hardest wrist
shots in the league. He can beat goalies clean from the top of
the circles with it. And his wrist shot needs to be a cannon
because he's all but allergic to slap shots. Jagr's probably
taken five in his whole NHL career.

Defensively, Jagr is much better than most people think. He
doesn't have the natural defensive instincts of a guy like Peter
Forsberg, but Jagr is sound in his own end and can crank it up
defensively when needed. The only real knock on Jagr's game is
that he isn't a physical player. That doesn't mean he shies away
from contact. This guy lives in traffic and is the best board
man in the game. It's just he's not going to punish the
opposition with checks or initiate a physical confrontation.
While some might hold this against him, and he could stand some
improvement in this area, it's really just not his game. Jagr
prefers to quietly go about his business of being the best
offensive player in the world. When someone else can do the
things that Jagr can do with the puck and play a bruising
physical game on top of it, then there's some real cause for
concern. But for now he should just be enjoyed for what he is:
the greatest offensive talent in the NHL.

2. Teemu Selanne, Anaheim Mighty Ducks: With
each passing game it gets harder and harder to imagine that the
Jets traded Selanne. Oleg Tverdovsky is a swell kid and all, but
we're talkin' about the Finnish Flash! You just don't trade the
Finnish Flash.

Teemu's arrival in Anaheim immediately turned the Ducks into a
playoff contender. He's got the full arsenal of offensive
skills. Whether it's skating, shooting, stickhandling, or
passing, Selanne is among the league's elite. But he's not just
all flash. He doesn't pack it in when things get rough. He
loves to hit. The guy's a complete player.

Which brings up one of hockey's more interesting "who's better"
discussions. There are three big ones floating around at the
moment. They involve Colorado teammates Joe Sakic and Peter
Forsberg, Philly's Eric Lindros and John LeClair, and Selanne and
his good buddy Paul Kariya. So which Duck is the mightiest?
Well, Kariya is the slightly more explosive scorer, but Selanne
is the more complete player. Everyone hyped up Kariya last year
because the Ducks got off to such a horrible start without him,
but if it was Selanne who was out of the lineup and Kariya who
was healthy the results wouldn't have been any different. It
takes both superstars together to power the club. Kariya may get
more headlines, but don't for one second let that overshadow
Selanne.

3. Peter Bondra, Washington Capitals: Bondra
continues to rise in our rankings. There's just no stopping the
Slovakian speedster. He played through some nagging injuries
last season to put up 46 goals in 77 games. That's down a bit
from the 52 he bagged in 67 games the previous year, but scoring
was just a rumor last season in the pathetically mediocre NHL, so
those numbers are still mighty impressive.

Bondra is just a pleasure to watch play. If you like speed,
Bondra's got it. He's explosive even from a dead stop.
Defensemen just don't know how to handle him. If they lay back
Petey can cut loose with a 100mph slap shot and score from the
line. If they step up, Bondra's got the skills to just waltz
right around them. And once he gets a step it's all over. His
speed is so overwhelming that even forcing him wide is almost
sure suicide. And once he gets in on the goaltender you can put
it on the board. No one is more lethal than Bondra on a
breakaway. He comes with so much speed and his shot is so quick,
that netminders just don't have a chance. All this adds up to a
guy that's pretty much 50 goals in the bank. If he plays full
time with Adam Oates, even 70 goals isn't out of the question.

When he's not scoring, Bondra still contributes. He's excellent
defensively and is Washington's top penalty killer. It's also
worth noting that he has a bit of a mean streak. He's not above
throwin' a cheap shot to send a message. Bondra's tricky like
that.

4. Brett Hull, St. Louis Blues: The guy's a
living legend. There are a lot of young snipers in the league,
but Hull is still the fastest gun in the West. At 33, Hull is
starting to get up there, but he's actually a better all around
player now than he was a few years ago. He's much more sound
defensively, even killing penalties and leading the hit parade on
occasion. Now that the Mike Keenan era is over in St. Louis,
Hull could be set for another goal bonanza. Pierre Turgeon isn't
the setup man that Adam Oates was, but he's a whole lot better
than what Hull has been playing with since Oates' departure. The
duo had their moments late last season and should find their
stride much more quickly the second time around. Even if they
don't, Hull is still capable of the individual effort. He scored
a goal in the first round last season against Detroit that
brought a tear to the eye.

5. Tony Amonte, Chicago Blackhawks: Talk about a
star on the rise. In the past Amonte was usually written off as
a one-dimensional, 30-goal role player. That's one of the
reasons why Chicago's future looked so bleak when Jeremy Roenick,
Bernie Nicholls, and Joe Murphy jumped ship before the 1996-97
season. Chris Chelios was still around to provide guidance from
the blue line, but the team was in desperate need of a leader up
front. Amonte came through like a champ.

With all eyes on him, Amonte tore through the league to the tune
of 41 goals and 77 points, even capturing LCS MVP Honors along
the way. Like most of the premier right wingers, Amonte's game
is all about speed. He has tremendous acceleration and can leave
even the most fleet-footed defenders in his wake. Once he gets
into the open he can score with a heavy slap shot or a
deceptively quick wrister.

Amonte always had the top-flight skills, his problem came in
finishing the plays that his skating created. It used to be a
common scene in the past to see him bust behind the defense only
to bury his shot in the goalie's pads or snap it wide. That's
where his game improved the most in 1996-97. Amonte finished his
plays on a consistent basis and made opponents pay for their
mistakes. This could really be seen on breakaways, where he even
developed a nifty backhand-forehand move that was pure gold.
It's all just a sign of his improved confidence as a player.

His game also matured in other areas. Amonte was a force all
over the ice, backchecking like a demon and finishing every check
in sight. His attention to defense paid off in a team high +35.
He's just emerged as one of the game's most complete players.
And he did it all under some serious pressure. He knew if he
didn't get the job done no one else on the Chicago roster would.
A lot of guys would have folded or just kept doing what they had
done in the past. But not Amonte. He elevated his game to new
heights and carried his team into the playoffs. And once they
were there he didn't disappear, scoring four goals and two
assists while giving the far superior Colorado Avalanche all they
could handle in a surprising six-game series.

Amonte became a true superstar last season, not only accepting
the spotlight in Chicago but thriving in it. Now the real test
will be if he can do it two years in a row. We think he will.
Although he'll have to start things off without the flowing locks
of hair that have become his trademark. Amonte got sheared in
order to attend an off-season wedding. I guess there was a rule
that no one in attendance could have longer hair than the bride.
That's odd. No word on where Amonte got his hair cut, but there
were reports of Darren Pang following him around with a net.

6. Ziggy Palffy, New York Islanders: "Who
can turn the red light on with a smile? Who can take a nothing
game, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile? Well, it's you,
Ziggy, and you should know it. With each stride and every little
deke you show it. Skills are all around, no need to fake it.
You could have the league, Ziggy, why don't you take it? Ziggy's
gonna make it after all."

That's the theme song to a new sitcom we're working on called
"The Ziggy Tyler Moore Show". It's about a young man who moves
on his own from Slovakia to Long Island in hopes of making it big
in the NHL. We're hoping to get it on the Fall schedule at the
WB network. Keep your fingers crossed.

Aside from being a potential sitcom star, Ziggy Palffy has become
one of the league's most dangerous goal scorers during his short
time in the NHL. The 25-year-old has only been in the league for
three seasons and has already eclipsed the 40-goal mark twice,
bagging a career high 48 last year with the Fish Stick Boys.

Ziggy's just crafty. He isn't blessed with great size (5'10,
169), so he relies on his quickness and agility to create scoring
chances. Palffy has good speed, but he's not in the same class
as the Fedorovs and Kariyas of the world. Instead he uses short
quick bursts and lateral movements to spring into the open. He
doesn't own an overpowering shot, but he does have a quick
release and he knows how to beat a goaltender. It's not always
how hard you shoot, but where you shoot it. And Ziggy just has a
knack for finding the holes. He's a natural. He's also a wizard
with the puck on his stick. He can hypnotize defenders with his
dazzling stickhandling displays. In fact, on one occasion after
playing against Palffy last season, Bruce Driver actually thought
he was a chicken. It was weeks before he could have eggs for
breakfast. But back to Ziggy, all his skills add up to make him
a threat to score every time he touches the puck. And he's more
than capable of closing the deal all by himself. Ziggy led the
NHL last season with nine unassisted goals.

7. Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators: Some
people might be surprised to see Alfredsson rated so high, but
they shouldn't be. He belongs with the big boys. The 24-year-
old Swede followed up his Calder-Trophy-winning rookie season
with another strong showing, racking up 24 goals and 71 points
for the no longer lowly Ottawa Senators.

But numbers alone don't tell the whole story. Alfredsson is just
a brilliant overall talent. Peter Forsberg is the most complete
player in the NHL, but Alfredsson isn't too far behind his fellow
countryman. What makes the two Swedes so great is their
intelligence on the ice. Whether creating offense or clamping
down defensively, both men have natural instincts for the game
and seldom make a wrong move with or without the puck. They
played on the same line together at the World Cup and conducted a
clinic on how hockey should be played.

And he isn't just all smarts, either. Alfredsson has so many
skills they're falling out of his pockets. He's been an All-Star
in each of his first two seasons and has competed in both the
Fastest Skater and Hardest Shot competitions. Yet his
intelligence as a player just can't be underestimated. Unlike
many scorers, Alfredsson knows when to try the individual play
and when to get the puck deep. If something isn't there he won't
force it. He'll make the smart play and just take what the
defense is giving him. He'll gladly dump the puck in and go to
work along the boards, where he excels like few others.
Basically, Alfredsson plays playoff hockey all year long. Which
could be why he made such an effortless transition to the
postseason last year, leading the Senators with five goals and
seven points in their seven-game thriller with Buffalo.
At the moment the Senators still haven't re-signed Alfredsson to
a new contract. He made an average of $325,000 in each of his
first two seasons. And that was Canadian. So in US money that's
like what? $42.60... $43.00 tops. How can Alfredsson live on
that? He's reportedly asking for a three-year deal worth about
$2.5 million a season. With the way salaries have been going
lately, that's a bargain. Good ol' Pierre Gauthier better quit
foolin' around and get Alfredsson signed up before it's too late.

8. Alexander Mogilny, Vancouver Canucks: The
long-awaited Alexander Mogilny-Pavel Bure reunion was about as
exciting as those old Brady Bunch reunion specials. Bobby a
racecar driver? Yeah, whatever. That kid had "30-year-old paper
boy" written all over him. Instead of leading the Canucks on a
rampage through the Western Conference, Mogilny and Bure combined
for just 54 goals, one fewer than Mogilny's 1995-96 total, and
the Canucks sputtered to a ninth place finish and missed the
playoffs for the first time in seven years. If this was kick
ball somebody would be screaming for a "do over".

Mogilny caught most of the grief for Vancouver's woes. He did
lead the team with 31 goals and 73 points in 76 games, but that
was a hefty drop from the 55 goals and 102 points he put up the
previous year. In the sake of fairness, though, it should be
pointed out that offense was down all over the league. There
were plenty of other stars that had off years. Hell, even Mario
Lemieux only had 122 points. And having Bure and Trevor Linden
both out of the lineup for lengthy stretches certainly didn't
help Mogilny's offensive production. One somewhat disappointing
season doesn't change the fact that he's still one of the game's
most talented offensive players. He'll snap out of it. He's a
driver, he's a winner... things are gonna change, I can feel it.

The acquisition of Mark Messier should help Mogilny immensely, on
and off the ice. Messier's mere presence in town will likely
have a calming influence on the whole team, allowing Mogilny to
just go out and play his game. That is if he's still in
Vancouver. Mogilny recently said that he'd like to be traded.
That's silly...

9. Theo Fleury, Calgary Flames: Li'l Theo is
still trying to forget last season. It was a nightmare. With
Gary Roberts retired, Fleury was the last bastion of the Calgary
glory days. He was left alone to shepherd a group of young,
unproven talent. Despite his best efforts, Fleury couldn't bear
the burden of the "C" on his jersey or the weight of his
teammates on his back. He could muster only 29 goals and 67
points while constantly squabbling with head coach Pierre Page.
Now Page is gone and so his Fleury's "C". He decided to turn it
in following the season.

Despite the woes, Theo makes our list for one simple reason.
He's just too damn cool to not make it. If Fleury was on any
other team last season he would have likely had another banner
year. The situation up in Calgary is just a mess. Right now the
only difference between the Flames and an expansion team is,
well, they're still in Canada.

Fleury is a marvelous skater, has a quick shot, and loves to mix
it up. He can dominate a game at either end of the ice and is
still one of the best penalty killers around. He'd be a welcome
addition to any roster. Come to think of it, that's probably not
a bad idea. Somebody should really rescue Theo. Please?

10. Owen Nolan, San Jose Sharks: Nolan is back
in the ten spot for the second straight year. He put up some
decent numbers with the Sharks last season (31-32-63), but he's
capable of much more. The problem is he's not really the type of
guy who can create his own chances. He's a big power forward
that needs to have a good setup man to reach his full potential.
If he were still in Colorado playing with Peter Forsberg he'd be
a lock for 50 goals every time out. Until the Sharks can find a
center to play with him, 30-35 goals might be his ceiling.

Nolan's best asset is his shot. Both his wrist and slap shots
are absolute cannons. He can score from anywhere with them and
he doesn't really sacrifice accuracy for power. He can pick the
corners. Nolan has a powerful stride and good hands, but he's
not real comfortable lugging the puck. That's why it helps if he
has a center that can get things started. One aspect of Nolan's
game that always gets overlooked is his passing. He's one of the
best playmaking big men in the game.

The knock on Nolan continues to be that he's inconsistent. When
he's on his game there are few better. He scores goals, he leads
with emotion, and he'll play an unmatched physical game.
However, when things go bad, they tend to go real bad. He's an
extremely streaky scorer. It's not uncommon for Nolan to go four
or five games without a goal and then rattle off five in two
nights. That could be acceptable if it weren't for the fact that
when he isn't scoring Nolan also has a tendency to stop doing
everything else. It's this drastic rise and fall in intensity
that drives folks in San Jose crazy. But let's face it, it's
gotta be kind of hard to get up for every game when you're
playing with the Sharks. I mean, Nolan's not exactly out there
with the Western Conference All-Stars. Although who can forget
the last time he was? Dominik Hasek certainly won't. The
Dominator is still trying to find the wrist shot that Nolan
buried under the bar for his hat trick goal. Remember how Nolan
pointed to his spot before he shot it? Aw, that was great, that
was fun.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Pavel Bure, Vancouver Canucks: The Russian
Rocket falls from the charts simply because his return was so
disappointing. But it usually takes guys one full season to
recover from serious knee injuries. So Bure should be good to go
this year in Vancouver, or wherever the hell he's playing. If
he's healthy, he's one of the most dominating offensive forces in
the game.

Claude Lemieux, Colorado Avalanche: Abdominal
surgery pretty much washed out Pepe's 1996-97 regular season, but
he proved once again what kind of player he is by cranking it up
in the playoffs. Good ol' Claude rang up 13 goals in 17
postseason games, reminding everyone that he's still a money
player. And now that Mario has retired, Claude can finally say
he's the best Lemieux in the league. So that's pretty cool.
Maybe he'll get t-shirts made.

Mark Recchi, Montreal Canadiens: Recchi had a
nice year with the Canadiens (34-46-80) and did some nice work in
the playoffs, so he deserves mentioning. The only problem is
that he still isn't a leader or a guy that can carry a team by
himself. He's a second-tier star that can compliment others
well, just don't expect him to be the cornerstone of a
championship team.

MOVIN' ON UP

Sergei Berezin, Toronto Maple Leafs: Keep an eye
on this kid. If there's a talent shortage this year it'll be
because Berezin has it all. This guy is exciting to watch. he
notched 25 goals last season as a 25-year-old rookie. That goal
total is only going to rise this year. With Berezin doin' his
thing, and Mats Sundin and Steve Sullivan also workin' some
magic, the Leafs should actually be a cool team this year.

Jere Lehtinen, Dallas Stars: The 24-year-old
Finnish winger had a swell year in Dallas playing mainly on Mike
Modano's right side. Lehtinen put up 16 goals and 43 points in
63 games. The scoring was nice, but he also finished at a +26
and earned a Selke nomination for his defensive vigilance.
Lehtinen also has enough offensive talent to be a consistent 30-
goal guy. This past season was just the tip of the iceberg...
that doesn't necessarily mean there's more to come, just that it
was unseasonably cold in Dallas.

NOW I GOT WORRY

Pat Verbeek, Dallas Stars: What the hell
happened to Verbeek? He goes buckwild his final season in New
York to snag some of that mad free agent scratch and then he just
tanked it last year in Dallas. Oh sure, they said he added
veteran leadership and was a fierce competitor, but that and 50
cents will buy you a fund-raiser size package of M&Ms. And I
know, because some little kid just came to my door and soaked me
two bucks for four small packs of 'em. The odd thing is that I
don't even eat M&Ms. I just like to stare at all the pretty
colors. Reminds me of the circus. But I digress. The point is
that Verbeek's 17 regular-season goals weren't exactly what the
Stars had in mind when they signed him to a hefty $3-million-a-
year contract last summer. And his one playoff goal in seven
games hardly slowed the Stars' early exit from the postseason.
You know, Dallas could have bought a lot of M&Ms for $3
million...

WHICH WAY DO I GO, GEORGE?

Mikael Renberg, Tampa Bay Lightning: Yes, it's
true. Renberg now has lightning bolts on his pants. Having been
traded to the Land of Cullen, Renberg is going to have to prove
that he can survive on his own without the other members of the
Legion of Doom. Last season he notched just 22 goals in 77
games, but he posted those numbers while still trying to recover
from off-season hernia surgery. He should be back to full
strength for the 1997-98 campaign. Renberg is a smooth skater
with great hands and will be able to produce some goals in Tampa,
especially if he's paired with Mr. Lightning, Brian Bradley. But
the pressure is definitely going to be on Renberg to prove that
he can hack it on his own.


--------------------------------------------------------------------
LCS Top Rated Defensemen
--------------------------------------------------------------------
by Michael Dell

1. Chris Chelios, Chicago Blackhawks: Chelios
has established permanent residence at the top of our charts.
Brian Leetch had a great season last year and claimed his second
Norris Trophy, but he still can't touch Chelios. The Chicago
captain is simply the best there is. He's always in total
command when he's on the ice. And that's saying something
considering he plays close to 40 minutes a game, including going
the distance during special-teams situations. Defensively,
Chelios is positively perfect in his positioning and coverage.
He's a living instructional video on how to play the position.
He can also put up the points, boasting a slap shot that hovers
around the 100mph mark. And when things get ugly, well, chances
are Chelios started it. He's the best. What more can you say?

2. Brian Leetch, New York Rangers: Brian Leetch
is good. Well, that's enough. Let's keep the big show
rollin'...

3. Sandis Ozolinsh, Colorado Avalanche: The most
exciting defenseman in hockey was up to his old tricks last
season, leading all defensemen in goals (23) and finishing second
in points (68). You just never know what's going to happen when
the loopy Latvian is on the ice. One shift he'll get abused by a
Junior-A deke for a goal, and then the next time out he'll weave
his way through everybody and deposit one of his own.

Ozolinsh really isn't as inept on defense as most people would
have you think. He's actually quite solid when he wants to be,
even dishing out some booming checks and getting involved
physically. It's just that when he makes mistakes, he makes them
in a big way. Most of the problems are rooted in his decision
making. Ozolinsh loves to gamble. There's nothing he won't try
with the puck. And he can think up some crazy stuff. It doesn't
always work, but you have to admire his creativity and courage to
try. Luckily, Ozolinsh plays for a great coach in Marc Crawford
that gives him the freedom to play his game. Under anyone else's
watch, Sandis would probably be spending a lot of his time at the
end of a bench. The best thing to do with Ozolinsh is cut him
loose and enjoy the show. You never really know what's going to
happen, but one thing's for sure... it's going to be some quality
entertainment.

4. Vladimir Konstantinov, Detroit Red Wings:
Considering his current condition, it's pretty hard to write
something about Konstantinov. Everyone at LCS: Guide to Hockey
is hoping that he makes a full and speedy recovery. He remains
in all our thoughts. We decided to keep him in the top ten
because of our tremendous respect and admiration for him as a
player. He was, and is, a truly great defenseman.

5. Ray Bourque, Boston Bruins: Try to find the
pattern in the following four items. Bob Dole.   The Great Wall
of China. Dirt. Ray Bourque. The connection?     The things in
this list all get progressively older.

Yes, good ol' Ray Bourque will turn 37 this season, proving once
again that senior citizens can still contribute to society. Aw,
we're just kidding. We like to kid Ray Bourque because, well, we
know there's not a chance in hell he reads LCS: Guide to Hockey.
Ray is clearly starting to slow down. He got off to a terrible
start last season, but actually began picking it up as the year
went along. Even with a late season ankle injury that limited
him to just 62 games, Bourque still put up 19 goals and 50
points. That's not bad at all, especially considering how
pitiful offensive production was last season in the NHL.

Bourque still has all the offensive skills. He's a tremendous
shooter. He could skim the icing off a birthday cake at 60 feet.
I don't even know what that means. But I do know that Bourque is
a paper-plate hittin' mother at All-Star games and he's even more
deadly accurate during live action. And we're not talkin' some
little sissy shot, either. When Bourque brings it, he brings it
with bad intentions.

Oddly enough, it's defensively where Bourque is starting to show
his age. Granted, he doesn't exactly have much help these days
in Boston, but that's no excuse for the number of times he's
given up the puck or been beaten one-on-one the past few years.
He might of dropped to sixth on our list, but he's still Ray
Bourque. That should count for something. Besides, we were
always taught to humor the elderly. Oh relax, it's just a
joke...

6. Robert Svehla, Florida Panthers: Svehla is the
best kept secret in the NHL. Most people outside of South
Florida don't even know he exists. It's their loss.

Svehla can do it all. Everything about the guy is top notch.
He has some of the best skills of any defenseman in the league.
His skating is exceptional, allowing him to cruise all over the
ice without ever getting caught out of position. He moves the
puck with tremendous confidence. His passes are crisp, accurate,
and varied. When it comes to shooting, few can match Svehla's
bomb from the point.

With so much talent for the finer things in life, it would only
be natural for Svehla to have some defensive weaknesses. Well,
guess again, Clyde. Svehla is as good as they come in his
defensive coverage. He's just so smart back there, he makes it
all look effortless. That's probably why more people don't
notice him, he makes it look too easy. He's really like a
Slovakian Chris Chelios. He doesn't have Chelios' mean streak,
but Svehla is plenty gritty. He'll mix it up.

It's really about time more people start to notice the greatness
of Robert Svehla. We're talking about a guy that should be a
serious Norris Trophy candidate this coming season. So to all
you people in Florida, put down the damn rats and pick up a
phone. Start calling the ignorant and spread the good word of
Svehla.

7. Adam Foote, Colorado Avalanche: Aggressive is
the one word that best describes Foote. He's absolutely brutal
to play against. Every second he's on the ice, Foote is hacking,
whacking, or roughin' up somebody. He's only 6'1", 202, which
isn't very big these days in the NHL, but he doesn't back down
from anyone. Foote doesn't care how big somebody is, he's gonna
mess him up. And he's going to do it with a snarl on his face
and a song in his heart. The best thing about Foote's intensity
is that it's a controlled aggression, and not reckless abandon.
He doesn't just fly around taking needless penalties. It's all
kept in the confines of his normal, air-tight defensive game.
Sure, he'll flip out on occasion, but hey, you gotta keep 'em
honest.

Foote dominates on the penalty kill and at even-strength. And
while he's never scored more than 21 points in a season, Foote
has enough skill to play the point on Colorado's second power-
play unit when needed and he moves the puck extremely well. He
won't win any style points for his skating, but he gets around
faster than most.

Right now, Adam Foote is the best defensive defenseman in the
game of hockey. That may sound strong, but it's true. And if
you don't agree, you can tell Foote yourself. Just make sure you
do it from a safe distance.

8. Derian Hatcher, Dallas Stars: He's no longer
the "other" Hatcher. While big brother Kevin continues to
flounder in mediocrity, Derian has emerged as one of the game's
best young defensemen while playing deep in the heart of Texas.
The 25-year-old is a rock along the blue line for the Dallas
Stars. He won't score many points, his career high is 31 (1993-
94, 1995-96), but that's not his game. Hatcher is all about
playing hard-nosed, physical defense. The 6'5", 225-pound
behemoth is a monster in front of the net and will punish
opponents all over the ice. He hits hard and clean. If someone
doesn't like it, Derian's not scared to drop the gloves and go.
He had five fighting majors last season and can throw like a
champ. But Derian doesn't sacrifice any intelligence for muscle.
He's a smart defender first and a banger second.

What really distinguishes Hatcher from other young defensemen is
his maturity. He's been the captain of the Stars for the past
two seasons and displays his leadership on a nightly basis,
playing almost every other shift at even-strength and often
taking the full two minutes during penalty kills. It's just too
bad Hatcher wasn't around back in the day. Davey Crockett could
have used him at the Alamo.

9. Chris Pronger, St. Louis Blues: Okay, so he
still may not be as good as Brendan Shanahan, but at least that
trade isn't looking as one-sided these days. Pronger carries an
unbelievable workload for the Blues. He spends more time on ice
than Walt Disney. If he's not out there than it must be
intermission. With the possible exception of Chris Chelios,
Pronger has to play more than any other skater in the NHL. And
when he's out there he's takin' care of business.

Pronger's size is his biggest asset. At 6'5", 210, it's hard to
miss the 23-year-old former first-round pick of the Mighty Whale.
With his gigantic wingspan, it seems he can go from the left
boards to the right in about two strides. When he first broke
into the league he took a lot of grief, he still wasn't
physically mature and seemed awkward. But now he's grown into
his massive frame and there's hell to pay. Pronger is a force.
His offensive production is on a slow but steady rise. He posted
career highs last season in goals (11) and points (35) while also
finishing at a career best +15. If he keeps improving at his
current pace, it won't be long before people in St. Louis start
asking "Brendan who?"

10. Scott Stevens, New Jersey Devils: Stevens
has dropped like a rock in the rankings over the past few
seasons. He was rated as high as third back in 1995, now he
finds himself all the way down at number ten. That doesn't mean
we don't like the guy, because we still love ourselves some Scott
Stevens. The reason for his rapid descent is that he quit
scoring. Stevens is still strong in his own end, although he did
seem a bit more susceptible this past year. And it deserves
mentioning that it was Stevens that was beaten behind the net by
Adam Graves for the OT series-clinching goal versus the Rangers.
But hey, even Picasso spilled some paint.

Stevens is still an all around cool guy. There's no one we like
to see deal out punishing checks more than the El Diablo captain.
He's a bad man. But to climb back up in the rankings, he's going
to have to produce some points. Otherwise, younger aggressive
defensemen like Adam Foote, Chris Pronger, and Derian Hatcher,
who all in some way seem cut from the Stevens mold, are going to
get the nod.

Stevens' best year in the NHL came in 1993-94 when he recorded an
impressive 18 goals and 68 points. Now see that's good stuff.
Unfortunately, his numbers have fallen every year since. This
past season he bottomed out with an embarrassing five goals and
24 points. Ouch. In reflecting on Stevens' scoring woes, I
decided to express my feelings as only I can. Yes, that's
right... through Haiku. This is what I came up with:

<center>
Stevens used to score;
Hell, he used to score a lot;
Why won't you score, Scott?

</center>

Thank you. Thank you very much. My book of inspirational
Haikus, entitled "Haikus? I Got Your Haikus Right Here",
can be found at better book stores everywhere. I'm currently
working on a collection of off-color limericks that should be
ready in time for the holidays. It'll make a great stocking
stuffer.

11. Eric Desjardins, Philadelphia Flyers:
There's nothing flashy about Desjardins. He doesn't do any one
thing better than the rest, he just does everything exceptionally
well. He's got swell mobility, moves the puck well, owns a hard
shot, is always responsible in his own zone, and is probably the
best poke-checker in all of hockey. Beating Desjardins one-on-
one is quite the chore. He's extremely patient defensively and
rarely makes a mistake in positioning. He won't steamroll
anybody, but he uses the body with great effectiveness. There's
just no real weaknesses in his game. His consistent presence
back on the blue line for Philadelphia makes him one of the most
valuable players in the league. The Flyers would be mud without
Desjardins.

12. Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings:
Lidstrom continues to be a quiet star for the Red Wings. No one
ever really talks about the guy, but he's one of the league's
elite. While not fast, Lidstrom is a smooth skater that gets
around better than most. He's confident with the puck and can
head man it like a champ. But his best weapon on offense is his
slap shot. There isn't anyone more dangerous from the point.
He's like a Swedish U-boat out there, firing torpedoes on net.
Every shot is low and hard, perfect for deflections yet strong
enough to score clean. And he's the best among defensemen at
one-timing his shot, making it all the more difficult for
goaltenders to control. Lidstrom is extremely sound defensively.
He'll make his share of mistakes, but on the whole he's a super
fantastic defenseman. That's right, super fantastic... live with
it. The only reason Lidstrom doesn't rate higher on our list is
that he's a little too passive to compete with the guys ahead of
him. Plus, Detroit's team concept on defense makes it the
easiest job in the league for blueliners. So unless you go
around thumping people like Konstantinov, it's tough to earn
fame.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Al MacInnis, St. Louis Blues: Big Daddy Mac just
keeps on truckin'. His offensive production of 13 goals and 43
points was down a little last season, but he's still a vital
member of the St. Louis Blues. Not only did the 34-year-old
somehow muster enough stamina to play 30 minutes each night, he
also continued his role as mentor for the impressionable Chris
Pronger. Mac's just a wily veteran in every sense of the word.
He's about as agile as a three-legged moose, but he always
positions himself in the right place at the right time. His
intelligence as a defenseman often gets overlooked, though, since
his slap shot is still the main attraction. Even when he doesn't
score with it, he can still scare the hell out of people. Owning
a shot that inspires fear is always a good thing.

Steve Duchesne, St. Louis Blues: Igor Kravchuk
is nice and all, I mean he's a steady defenseman that can help
out in the laboratory, but he's no Steve Duchesne. The Senators
will rue the day they sent Duchesne packing back to St. Louis.
The 32-year-old Quebec native will be making his second tour of
duty with the Blues this season, after scoring 24 goals and 69
points in 83 games with the club between 1993 and 1995.

Duchesne is coming off an exceptional year with Ottawa that saw
him compile 19 goals and 47 points while helping the Senators
into the playoffs for the first time in their history. He was a
mission man down the stretch for the Sens, scoring 13 of his
goals in the second half of the season. He can play in all
situations and excels at the point on the power play, where his
precise passing and heavy shot run the show. Duchesne is also a
good leader in the room. His absence was one of the main reasons
why the promising Nordique squad of 1992-93 collapsed so
miserably the following year. A lot of people forget about him,
but Duchesne is still one of the game's best scorers from the
back line.

MOVIN' ON UP
Oleg Tverdovsky, Phoenix Coyotes: It seems most
young defensemen have breakout years in their third season. Oleg
followed that pattern to perfection, finishing fourth among NHL
defensemen in scoring with 10 goals and 55 points in 82 games.
And there's no reason those numbers shouldn't continue to rise in
the future. Tverdovsky, still just 21, is a marvelous skater
that can cover a whole mess of ice. He's usually paired with LCS
favorite Teppo Numminen to make up Phoenix's top defensive
pairing in even-strength and short-handed situations. When the
desert dogs head to the power play, Oleg routinely logs the
entire two minutes at the point, finishing last season with the
third-most power-play assists (27) in the league. With as much
ice time as he gets, Tverdovsky is a lock for some big-time
production.

Janne Niinimaa, Philadelphia Flyers: Niinimaa
first came to our attention during the World Cup, where he
starred along the blue line for Finland. After seeing him do his
stuff with Team Vowel, we had no doubt that he'd be an impact
player in the NHL. He got off to a slow start with the Flyers,
but once Paul Coffey arrived to show him the ropes, Niinimaa took
off. He's a tremendous overall defenseman, combining excellent
mobility with good puck skills and the poise of a seasoned
veteran. He didn't win the NHL's award, but Niinimaa did claim
LCS: Guide to Hockey Rookie of the Year honors. We don't have
the budget of the NHL, so our trophy isn't quite as flashy...
it's pretty much just an old aluminum can nailed to a broken
piece of plywood. But it cleans up real nice.

Bryan Berard, New York Islanders: Berard didn't
disappoint in his first pro season, collecting eight goals and 48
points while playing in all 82 games for the Islanders. He even
walked away with the Calder Trophy for his trouble. Berard has
the potential to one day develop into a point-per-game
defenseman. Barring a sophomore slump, expect to see him in the
15-goal, 65-point neighborhood this coming season. And that's a
nice neighborhood...

NOW I GOT WORRY

Paul Coffey, Philadelphia Flyers: Coffey leads
off a trio of aging, offensive stars that seem to be running on
empty. The Doctor had only nine goals and 34 points in 57 games
last season with the Red Wings and Flyers. Those numbers dropped
even more in the postseason, where Coffey was good for only one
goal and nine points in 17 contests, while finishing at a -3. At
36, age and the nagging injuries that go along with it are
finally starting to slow down the greatest skater in NHL history.
Coffey just doesn't seem to have the same pep on his shot or hop
in his step.

He remains a four-time Cup champion and a valuable leader in the
room. It's no coincidence that the Flyers made the jump to the
Finals in Coffey's first year. He also has the knack of turning
good young defensemen into great ones. It was under Coffey's
tutelage that Rob Blake, Nicklas Lidstrom, and Janne Niinimaa all
became standouts. Coffey is a living legend, but the days of him
being a dominant point producer appear to be over.

Phil Housley, Washington Capitals: What the hell
is Housley doing on the Washington Capitals? He just does not
belong in the Atlantic Division. He should be out in San Jose or
Anaheim. Go West, young man... or old man, whatever the case may
be. Housley, 33, was a big-time bust in his first year with the
Caps, scoring a shabby 11 goals and 40 points in 77 games. That
equals a .52 points-per-game average, which was the lowest of his
career. Housley's too small and passive to compete in the East.
Although, if he does hang with Washington, his numbers will
undoubtedly rise this season with the Caps since new coach Ron
Wilson is going to turn that pack of underachievers into a
powerhouse.

Larry Murphy, Detroit Red Wings: Murph had an
incredible postseason with the Red Wings in claiming his third
Stanley Cup. His strength remains his intelligence and veteran
composure with the puck. Murphy never gets rushed into a
mistake. Of course, that could just be because he's too damn
slow to be rushed into anything. "Stationary" Larry has always
been slower than a tax refund, but nowadays if he gets any slower
he'd start moving backwards. Luckily, Detroit is the perfect
place for a 36-year-old mobility-impaired blueliner. The Wings'
and their vaunted Left Wing Lock are the best in the league at
protecting their defensemen from oncoming forecheckers. That
alone should allow Murphy to hang on for at least one or two more
seasons.

WHICH WAY DO I GO, GEORGE?

Rob Blake, Los Angeles Kings: Let's see, the
Scarecrow wanted a brain. The Tin Man wanted a heart. And Rob
Blake needed a groin. Blake was well on his way to becoming one
of the top five defensemen in the league before chronic groin
injuries crippled his promising career. In 1993-94, Blake played
in all 84 games and scored 20 goals and 68 points. All was right
with the world. Then things got ugly. Blake was limited to 24
games during the lockout-shortened 1994-95 campaign, and followed
that up by making only six games in 1995-96. He made a strong
comeback early last season, but it wasn't long before he was in
and out of the lineup with the usual groin problems. Even when
he did play, he was a shadow of his former self, going for eight
goals and 31 points in 62 games and finishing at a team worst -
28. If he could get healthy, Blake would be a great one. But
one more injury-plagued season could close the book on him.

Roman Hamrlik, Tampa Bay Lightning: In the words
of Ralph Kramden, "You, Hamrlik, are a mental case." If this kid
was any loopier, Tucan Sam would be trying to stuff him into a
box of cereal. There isn't another player around that can go
from being a dominant force to a pathetic joke as quickly has the
23-year-old Czech. Hamrlik had just 12 goals and 40 points in 79
games last season, marking a painful 25-point drop off from the
season before. His plus-minus also dropped to new depths,
plummeting to a ludicrous -29. This is one guy who seems to be
in serious need of a scenery change. Don't be surprised to see
him end up in Pittsburgh. The Penguins have more Czechs than the
United Nations.

Jeff Brown, Carolina Hurricanes: A three-time
former 20-goal scorer, Brown used to be one of the best. But now
he's trying to return from back surgery that kept him on the
shelf for all but one game in 1996-97. Brown's future is on the
line this season. Speaking of lines, how could Jacksonville not
beat Baltimore by three points? The Ravens blow. Hell, I could
pick off Testaverde. And while Vinnie did throw three
interceptions to help the cause, what the hell was he doin'
throwin' three touchdowns? Just too more damn points and I've
got mad cash. Thanks, Vinnie... thanks a lot. So anyway, yeah,
Jeff Brown blah blah blah.


--------------------------------------------------------------------
LCS Top Rated Goaltenders
--------------------------------------------------------------------
by Michael Dell

1. Patrick Roy, Colorado Avalanche: Sure, a lot
of people are hyping Dominik Hasek as the best goalie in the
world, but we can't hear 'em. We've got Patrick Roy's Stanley
Cup rings in our ears.

It was clearly a three-horse race for the number one spot. Hasek
is the flavor of the month with most of the national media,
claiming the Hart and Vezina trophies after his sterling 1996-97
performance. No doubt, Hasek is an amazing goaltender. But the
minute he wins a playoff series, let us know. The other chief
rival for Roy's crown is New Jersey's Martin Brodeur. The 25-
year-old Brodeur makes no secret that Roy is his hero. There's a
good reason for that admiration. Roy's better than he is.

St. Patrick had a remarkable season with the Avalanche last year,
leading the league in wins (38) and finishing fourth in save
percentage (.923), while tying his career high in shutouts (7)
and setting a new personal best with a 2.32 goals-against
average. Roy also had a strong playoff showing, surpassing Billy
Smith for most career playoff victories (96) and almost single-
handedly carrying the Avalanche past the Red Wings in the Western
Conference finals.

Aside from his picturesque butterfly style, it's the intangibles
that really separate Roy from the pack. He just seems to have an
aura of invincibility about him. His confidence in net, and in
the room, can't help but permeate his teammates. Combine this
with his fierce competitiveness, and Roy just may be the biggest
impact player in the game. It's hard to imagine any other player
in the NHL, Mark Messier included, that could have such an
overwhelmingly positive effect on a club. And while the benefits
to his own team are invaluable, Roy's impact on the opposition is
almost as profound. He can squelch a scoring chance without ever
coming in contact with the puck. His legendary status in net has
opponents intimidated well before the opening faceoff. Shooters
know they're in for a long night when they face Roy and often try
to be too fine with their shots, causing the boards and glass
behind him to take a serious beating.

The guy's got three Stanley Cups, two Conn Smythes, and is
undoubtedly the best big-game goaltender in today's game, if not
the sport's entire history. Hockey is all about winning. If
you're not winning, who the hell cares what you do? Patrick Roy
is a winner.

2. Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils: With each
passing season, Brodeur begins to look more and more like his
idol, Patrick Roy. Brodeur is effortless in net, always in
position to make the big save without ever having to make it look
spectacular. Of course, playing behind the New Jersey defense is
hardly the toughest gig in show business, but hey, somebody's
gotta do it. Brodeur's game really doesn't have any weaknesses,
although Marty might want to work on those wraparounds to his
stickside. Giving up two series-clinching, overtime goals the
same way twice in a career can't be fun. Other than that,
Brodeur is the man.

3. Dominik Hasek, Buffalo Sabres: He has a Hart
Trophy, three Vezinas, and a Lester Pearson, now he just has to
win a playoff series. Hasek continues to stockpile amazing
numbers in the regular season, but until he finds success in the
playoffs it's impossible to rate him on the same level as Roy.
Unless, of course, winning doesn't matter and you're just looking
for somebody to flop around and look cool. Then, by all means,
select Hasek.

The Dominator's career postseason record stands at 6-11. He saw
some spot duty with Chicago early in his career and won a game as
Grant Fuhr's backup in 1992-93 for the Sabres, but it wasn't
until 1993-94 that Hasek got his first chance to be the number
one guy during playoff action. That season the Sabres, playing
without the services of an injured Pat LaFontaine, lost a
grueling seven-game series to the New Jersey Devils and good ol'
Martin Brodeur. The next season saw the Sabres get bounced in
five games by the Philadelphia Flyers, with Hasek looking
extremely mortal in yielding 3.50 goals a game. That brings us
to this past Spring when Hasek split the opening two contests
with the Ottawa Senators before injuring his knee in Game Three
and missing the remainder of the series. It may not be fair to
pin all the playoff woes to Hasek, his teammates certainly have
to share in the blame. But still it would have been nice to see
him steal at least one of those series. After all, that's what
superstar goaltenders are supposed to do.

There's also been all the recent hype about Hasek not getting
along with his fellow Sabres and former Buffalo coach Ted Nolan.
That's never good to hear. Hasek did earn bonus points with us
for throttling the sportswriter guy that questioned the validity
of his knee injury, but tearing some ink-stained wretch's shirt
isn't exactly lifting the Cup.

If a poll was conducted among NHLers, Hasek would probably be
named as the toughest goaltender to beat. That's because he's so
unpredictable. He doesn't have a set style, he just does
whatever is needed to stop the puck. If that means sprawling
along the ice and catching one in the head, then so be it. No
one in the game can match Hasek's speed post to post. And
beating him down low is almost an impossibility, his feet are
just too damn quick. He does have a tendency to drop his gloves
at times and he doesn't always come out to challenge like he
should, so that means he could be had upstairs. But knowing how
to beat Hasek and actually doing it are two different things.
Our advice is to follow Owen Nolan's lead and pipe one glove
side. Outside of that, good luck. And it all goes back to his
being so unpredictable. At least with Roy and Brodeur a shooter
knows what to expect. With Hasek, he'll give a shooter a
different look on every chance. That's just nutty. How
dominating can Hasek be? Well, he won first-star honors in 28
games last season. That deserves a wow...

We pretty much already explained why Roy is listed ahead of
Hasek, what with all the Cups and leadership and stuff. That
leaves why Brodeur is number two, and not the beloved Dominator.
Well first, Brodeur's got a Cup. Tough to argue with that.
Second, Brodeur is seven years younger and far more durable.
Hasek got a late jump on his North American career and checks in
now at a rather advanced 32 years of age. The years might be
catching up with him in the form of a bad back that has plagued
him at times the past few years. Third, Brodeur is better with
the stick. Hasek likes to come out and play the puck, and he
isn't that bad with it, but he's nowhere near as skilled with the
lumber as Brodeur. And finally, Brodeur is just more reliable.
He's a classic butterfly goalie that's always in position.
Meanwhile, Hasek's jumpin' around like a chimp on ether. It's
fun to watch, but it can also be a little unsettling at times.

4. John Vanbiesbrouck, Florida Panthers: The
Beezer is just the consummate pro. He's probably the most
consistent goaltender in the league. He puts forth the same
level of excellence night after night. I know we say the same
thing about him every year, but that just goes to show how
consistent he is. A stand-up goalie, Vanbiesbrouck's angle play
is superb. There's just nothing to shoot at. He doesn't make
that many highlight-reel saves, but that's just because he's
never out of position. He makes it all look easy. If he's got a
weak spot it's high glove side. He's not bad with the catcher,
it's just he's so strong with the blocker that it makes his glove
look weak in comparison. But there's not a whole lot wrong with
the Beezer. If you want to score against Vanbiesbrouck, you have
to earn it. He doesn't give the opposition anything. That's the
best trait a goaltender can have.

5. Curtis Joseph, Edmonton Oilers: CuJo moved up
in our rankings thanks in large part to his miraculous
performance against the Dallas Stars in the first round of the
playoffs. Joseph carried the Oil into the second round on the
strength of some of the most impressive goaltending in recent
memory. Folk songs have already been written about his lunging
glove save on Joe Nieuwendyk in overtime of Game Seven. As
amazing as he was against the Stars, the showing was just a
continuation of the incredible work he put in during the regular
season. Joseph was a workhorse for the Oil, appearing in 71
games and posting very respectable numbers (2.93 GAA, .907 SV%)
while playing behind the flighty young Edmonton squad. He also
rang up six big shutouts.

Joseph is just an athlete in net. He can get scrambly at times,
but his lightning quick reflexes and agility usually make up for
any mistakes in positioning. He isn't scared to flash the
leather, owning perhaps the best glove hand in hockey. The guy's
just fun to watch play. At any moment he's capable of busting
out a once-in-a-lifetime save. He made a split stop on Pavel
Bure a few years back that is still being studied by a team of
German scientists to find out if it really happened or if it was
just a mass hallucination brought on by a faulty air conditioning
vent. Joseph has been known to give up a soft one at times and
can play too deep in his net, but he's one of only a handful of
players that can dominate a game from the goal crease.

6. Mike Richter, New York Rangers: Ranking
Richter is always a tough call. When he's on his game he's
virtually unbeatable. He stays on his skates, cuts the angles,
and uses his amazing reflexes to snuff most every shot. His work
at the World Cup and during the second round against New Jersey
this past Spring are perfect examples of Richter at his best.
There is a flip side, tho'. When Richter struggles, he struggles
hard. During such troubled times, it seems like he begins to
rely too much on his reflexes and not enough on positioning and
technique. His glove tends to drop and he isn't as aggressive in
challenging shooters. It also seems the longer Richter sees a
shot, the worse he reacts. That's not to say he isn't a great
goaltender. Because, let's face it, he's on his game more than
he's off.

It was hard to decide   whether Richter should be number five or
six in the rankings.    Richter and Curtis Joseph are two very
similar goaltenders.    Both have tremendous reflexes. Both can do
a split a champ. And    both can steal games by themselves.
Richter has the advantage in the hardware department, owning a
Stanley Cup and a World Cup. That World Cup victory even came in
a head-to-head meeting with Joseph. That little fact right there
would seem enough to give the man with Aunt Jemima on his helmet
the edge. But not so fast there, Pedro. Joseph gets the nod for
one simple reason: he's cooler. Richter's a nice guy and all,
but he doesn't have a nifty nickname like "CuJo". Joseph also
comes out on top in the intensity department. Richter is just a
little too friendly in net, almost making it seem like he can be
intimidated at times.

7. Guy Hebert, Anaheim Mighty Ducks: Hey, get a
load of this, Guy Hebert made the top ten! Yes, it's hard to
believe, but Guy Hebert is one of the NHL's best goaltenders.
Hebert started out as Curtis Joseph's backup in St. Louis and
shaking the "backup" label is quite the chore, just ask Kenny
Wregget. Hebert finally pried the monkey off his back this
season with an outstanding campaign for the mighty water fowl.
Hebert was a mission man, posting a 2.67 goals-against average, a
.919 save percentage, and four shutouts in 67 appearances. And
he did it all playing behind a blue line that boasted the likes
of J.J. Daigneault and Dmitri Mironov as two of its top
defensemen. It's never a good sign when a club trades with
Pittsburgh in hopes of finding defensive help.

Yet through it all Hebert was a sterling example of goaltending
excellence. He got off to a terribly slow start last season, but
by the end of the year a case could be made that he was the best
goaltender in the league. He was in net so much that backup
Mikhail Shtalenkov started his own settlement at the end of the
Anaheim bench. Shtalenkov's makeshift town was called
"Lonelyville", population one. And while Mikhail was trying to
establish a public school system and a health care plan for his
new homeland, Hebert was busy putting on a ghetto clinic each
night.

A recent convert to the Francois Allaire school of goaltending,
Hebert isn't the classic butterfly netminder in the form of
Patrick Roy or Felix Potvin, but he has incorporated enough of
Allaire's teachings to create an effective hybrid with his old
stand-up style. Hebert has existed in the shadows long enough.
It's time people start to take notice of his achievements. Then
everyone can share in the famous Duck chant: Quack, quack,
quack... nice save, dude... quack, quack, quack.

8. Ed Belfour, Dallas Stars: The Eagle dropped a
bit in the rankings because of an injury-plagued 1996-97 season
that was split between Chicago and San Jose. Reported squabbles
with fellow netminder Jeff Hackett punched Belfour's ticket out
of Chicago, but he hardly got his feet wet in the Shark Tank
before a knee injury sent him to the sidelines. When he returned
to action for the boys in teal, it wasn't long before a bulging
disk in his back ended his season prematurely. Once summer hit,
Belfour jumped ship and signed a three-year deal with the Dallas
Stars. So basically San Jose gave up Ulf Dahlen, Michal Sykora,
and Chris Terreri for the pleasure of watching Belfour play 13
games in a Shark uniform. Yeah, that sounds about right.

The Sharks did there best to try and re-sign him, but Belfour
opted for less money in order to play for a legitimate Stanley
Cup contender in Dallas. That goes to show you that his head's
in the right place. Belfour's a fierce competitor. He's got
money, he's got Vezinas, now he wants a Cup.

Belfour used to catch a lot of grief because he always seemed to
falter in the playoffs, but that's a bunch of jive. Most of that
criticism stemmed from the Minnesota North Stars knocking the
Hawks off in the first round in 1990-91. Belfour tore the league
up that season, leading the NHL in appearances (74), minutes
(4127), wins (43), goals-against (2.47), and save percentage
(.910). Yet once the Cinderella Stars dispatched Chicago in six
games, Belfour was the guy that took most of the heat. The
following year Eddie led the Hawks to the Stanley Cup Finals
before running into the buzz saw of Mario Lemieux and the
Pittsburgh Penguins. But even a Finals appearance wasn't enough
to silence all of Belfour's critics. The next two seasons
brought two more first round exits for Belfour and the Hawks.
Then in 1994-95, Belfour started to turn things around. Eddie
practically put the Hawks on his back and carried them into the
Western Conference finals against the Detroit Red Wings. The
Wings were a far superior club, and eventually prevailed in just
five games, but Belfour was spectacular in trying to keep his
team alive. 1995-96 saw another inspired postseason effort from
Belfour, as he went head-to-head with Patrick Roy and the mighty
Avalanche in the second round before finally yielding in six
games to the eventual Cup champs. These two performances have
all but put doubts about Belfour's ability to show up in the
postseason behind him.

What makes Belfour so great is his aggressiveness in net. He's
absolutely fearless in coming out to challenge shooters. When
guys bust in down the wing there just isn't any net to speak of.
He purposely shows a big five-hole to bait the shooter and then
takes it away with a cruel ease. When Belfour's on his game he
catches most shots in the belly, a sign of his good angle work
and the opposition's failure to pick the five-hole. On scrambles
around the cage, Eddie likes to go down to one knee and take away
the bottom of the net. That leaves him open upstairs. The only
catch is that he's usually in such good position that any shots
over his shoulders also end up over the net.

Belfour's just a tremendous goaltender. If he's healthy this
year in Dallas, the Stars and Avalanche will be battling it out
in the Western Conference Finals. Health is the only question
mark for Belfour, and it's not due to a lack of conditioning.
Belfour is always in superb shape. And we're talkin' iron-man-
triathlete shape, not average-Joe-hockey-player shape. His back
has been an area of concern the past few years, but he should be
good to go. At 32, though,    an injury like that could linger.   If
we were sure he was back to   full strength, Belfour would be
fighting John Vanbiesbrouck   for the number four spot in our
rankings. As is, the eight    hole seems fair.

9. Felix Potvin, Toronto Maple Leafs: Oh, that
wacky Cat. Potvin was brutal at the start of last season. Soft
goals were routine and more than a few fans in Toronto were
willing to send him packing. But as the season wore on, Potvin
started to find his stride. By the end, the 26-year-old was back
to his old self. Quickness is still Potvin's forte. And he
needs to be quick with how far back he plays in net.
Questionable positioning aside, he's still a study in perfection
when it comes to butterfly technique.

Considering the sad state of the Maple Leaf team in front of him,
Potvin's numbers were quite staggering. He had a naturally
inflated 3.15 goals-against average, but his save percentage was
a very respectable .908. It was Potvin's endurance, however,
that took center stage. He led the league in both games (74) and
minutes played (4271). That workload is even more impressive
when it's considered he faced a league-leading 34.2 shots per
game. It's amazing he didn't collapse from exhaustion. And who
can forget Felix dropping the gloves and workin' Ron Hextall?
That pummeling alone would have earned him a spot in the top ten.

10. Nikolai Khabibulin, Phoenix Coyotes: By now,
everyone should know that we love ourselves some Khabby. He is a
bona fide LCS cult hero. Every day at noon we bow in his
direction. We've even started spelling our names with silent
K's. We'd have liked to rate him higher than ten, but one thing
was holding Khabby back: consistency. He just doesn't have any.
He'll post a shutout one night and then get used for six the next
time out.

The good news is that Khabby's only been in the league for three
seasons and is just 24 years old, so there's plenty of time to
work on becoming consistent. If he could become more stable in
net, Khabby definitely has the tools to become a superstar. He's
a little unorthodox in there, but he gets the job down. His
style is reminiscent of Billy Ranford, especially when he starts
breaking out the lunging kick saves. He's got great quickness,
challenges well, and is sturdy as they come. Khabby started the
final 42 games of the regular season and then tacked on seven
straight in the playoffs. That there is something special. But
the best thing about our Russian friend is that he has that rare
ability to step up and take over a game. At one point last
season he notched three straight shutouts. That's hard to do.
All hail Khabby. Khabby is great.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Sean Burke, Carolina Hurricanes: Burke is a
swell goaltender. He has great size and knows how to use it.
When he's on his game there's just nothing to shoot at it.
Burke's big problem, though, is a chronic bad back that seems to
cost him several key games each season. If Burke could just stay
healthy, he could make any team a serious playoff contender.
Which is why his name is always involved in trade rumors.

Grant Fuhr, St. Louis Blues: How amazing has
Grant Fuhr been the past two years? The soon to be 35-year-old
netminder has played more hockey than any other NHL goalie during
the past two regular seasons, appearing in an astounding 152
games and logging 8,626 minutes between the pipes. Fuhr still
has the razor-sharp reflexes and cat-like agility of his younger
days. He even showed a tremendous work ethic this past off-
season, something he was always questioned for, when he recovered
from a serious knee injury suffered in the 1995-96 playoffs.
Fuhr still has the ability to steal a game on his own. Yet
somehow he never quite cracks our top ten. Go figure?

Bill Ranford, Washington Capitals: Ranford is,
without doubt, the most exciting goaltender in the league. Every
save this guy makes is one for the time capsule. He's been
battered by injuries the past two seasons and hasn't been his
usual sparkling self. This is the first year that Billy hasn't
made our top ten. But it should just be a one-year absence.
Look for Ranford and the Caps to have a monster season this year
in Washington.

MOVIN' ON UP

Stephane Fiset, Los Angeles Kings: The good news
is that Fiset finally got his chance at being a number one
goaltender this season after never quite reaching that status
during his time in Quebec and Colorado. The bad news is that his
chance came with the Los Angeles Kings. Even though he had one
of the worst teams on the planet in front of him, Fiset proved
that he has what it takes to be a legitimate number-one guy in
the NHL. His stats weren't that great, but the Kings could make
Jacques Plante look like scrap. Fiset's other big problem was a
nagging back injury that always seemed to derail him right when
he started to string together some impressive outings. If he can
stay healthy, he's definitely on the rise.

NOW I GOT WORRY

Kirk McLean, Vancouver Canucks: It wasn't long
ago that McLean was considered one of the game's best. In 1991-
92, he tied for the league lead in both wins (38) and shutouts
(5). In 1993-94, McLean spearheaded the Vancouver charge to the
Stanley Cup finals by playing all of his team's 24 games, earning
15 wins and four shutouts. Sadly, it's been downhill ever since.

The 31-year-old has been hampered by knee injuries the past two
seasons in compiling a 36-39-12 record. It's hard to believe but
his 1996-97 goals-against average of 3.21 was actually a dramatic
improvement over his 3.54 mark the previous year. It's tough to
tell if his recent struggles are a result of the Canucks having
problems as a team, or if the team's problems are in large part
due to McLean's woes. It's probably 50/50... a little bit of
this, a little bit of that.

McLean's rigid, stand-up style is a throwback to the old days.
Come to think of it, maybe that's what he should do with it...
throw it back. McLean's game is all about positioning. He has
to be aggressive in order to play well, since cutting the angle
is pretty much the only chance he has to stop a low shot, but he
can't get crazy with it. If he roams too much, he lacks the foot
speed and agility to make up the difference and the mistake
usually ends up in his net.

Maybe Mark Messier's arrival will be enough to snap McLean back
to his old self. If not, newcomer Arturs Irbe will be waiting in
the wings. And, as we all know, Irbe like wall... chomp, chomp,
chomp... Irbe like wall.

WHICH WAY DO I GO, GEORGE

Tom Barrasso, Pittsburgh Penguins: After playing
just five games last season with a 5.78 goals-against before
shoulder surgery ended his season, word on the street was that
Tom Barrasso would never again suit up for the Penguins. That
rumor was greeted by a chorus of applause all throughout the
Steel City. It's hard to believe, but the two-time Cup winner
and local hero had become everyone's least favorite Penguin due
to his perceived arrogance and a series of bizarre rumors about
his off-ice behavior. Kenny Wregget was clearly the fan favorite
in town. Barrasso's miserable start and season-ending injury
seemed to be the nail in his coffin. Having rookie Patrick
Lalime come out of nowhere and rewrite the NHL record book
certainly didn't help his chances of a return, either. Toss in a
$2 million a year salary, and Barrasso's days in the Burgh
definitely seemed over.

That's why it was all the more shocking when Pittsburgh GM Craig
Patrick announced this summer that Barrasso will be back in 1997-
98. While appearing on a local sports talk show, Patrick said
that Barrasso is healthy and ready to go. When viewers called in
to question the move of bringing him back, Patrick defended
Barrasso, even going as far to say that he is a better goaltender
than Ed Belfour, who could have been signed as a free agent. The
only thing more puzzling than Barrasso's return is Patrick's
apparent blind devotion to the former star goaltender. We're
talking about a guy in Barrasso who has played only 56 games the
past three years and has done his best to distance himself from
his fans and teammates.

If he's healthy and his head is on straight, Barrasso can still
be a great goaltender. It's just that most Penguin fans would
prefer to see a tandem of Wregget and Lalime next season, with
the money spent on Barrasso going elsewhere, like trying to sign
former number one pick Alexei Morozov. But Patrick and the
Penguin brass seem intent on giving Barrasso another chance. Now
he has to prove he deserves it.

Jocelyn Thibault, Montreal Canadiens: When
Thibault was acquired in the Patrick Roy trade, he was expected
to be the Canadiens' number one goaltender for the next ten
years. Unfortunately, owning the spotlight in his hometown
seemed a bit more than the 22-year-old Montreal native could
handle. By the time the playoffs rolled around, 20-year-old
rookie Jose Theodore had won over the fans and the starting job.
The Habs also went out this off-season and signed Andy Moog to
provide some veteran leadership in net. The question now is will
Moog be the mentor to Thibault or Theodore? If the Habs think
Theodore is ready, Thibault could be on a different roster this
season. Wherever he plays, the youngster has a lot to prove in
1997-98.

SCARY MOTHER

Damian Rhodes, Ottawa Senators: Late last
season, ESPN was running some piece during one of their
broadcasts that involved short clips of a number of players
voicing their opinions on the subject at hand. I can't remember
what they were talking about, it might have been the goal-crease
rule, but one of the brief video clips was taken from an
interview with Damian Rhodes. This was the first time we had
ever heard Rhodes speak, or seen him out of his equipment for
that matter. He was only on screen for about two seconds, but it
was enough to scare the hell out of us. It's hard to explain why
exactly. I can't even remember what he said. It was more how he
said it. His demeanor was, shall we say, peculiar? I guess the
best way to describe it was that he reminded me of Foo
Fighters guitarist Pat Smear. Now Pat Smear is a great guy
and all, but I'm not sure that a hockey player would want to be
confused with Pat Smear... not that there's anything wrong with
that. It's just, you know, different...


--------------------------------------------------------------------
Center of Attention
--------------------------------------------------------------------
By Jim Iovino

For the longest time, center has been the glamour position in the
NHL. Starting with Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux and continuing
with the likes of Pat LaFontaine, Steve Yzerman, Adam Oates and
Mark Messier, the 1980s and most of the 90s have been dominated
by high profile, high-scoring centers.

But a new decade is approaching and the center spot isn't as
glamorous as it once was. Once considered the strongest position
in the NHL, center has suddenly lost its luster. Lemieux's
retiring created a big void that needs replacing. Gretzky has
just one or two years left in an amazing career before he says
good bye, as well. LaFontaine's career could be cut off
prematurely due to injury and Yzerman, Oates and Messier are all
nearing the end.

As the stars of the 80s and 90s skate off into the sunset, the
future of center ice doesn't look as promising as its past.
Outside of Eric Lindros, Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg, the
glamour is starting to fade from center.

Sure, there is still some young talent out there that could make
an impact now and in the future. Sergei Fedorov will put up
incredible numbers with more playing time. Chris Gratton could
explode as a Philadelphia Flyer. Dougie Weight's smooth moves
could push Edmonton to the top. The same could be said of Alexei
Yashin in Ottawa. And Mike Modano is one Star that continues to
rise in Dallas.

Despite this, center just isn't as magical a position it once.
When you take a look at LCS: Guide to Hockey's list of top
centers, you'll probably see that it particularly pales in
comparison to right wing, where all indications point to a sudden
surge of great talent.

Unlike a few years ago when center was where it's at, some of the
game's top talent can now be found on the right side. There
stands some of the league's best, from Jaromir Jagr, who could be
the most explosive and entertaining player in the league today,
to that milk-drinking Duck, Teemu Selanne.

Now that Lemieux is finally out of the picture in Pittsburgh, the
Penguins are Jagr's team. And this season will be key to see just
how far the flashy Czech can carry a NHL franchise. The Pens'
superstar center is gone, but now they have a right wing to rely
on. Can Jagr create the same magic from the right side as Lemieux
did from center? Everyone will find out this season.

In Anaheim, Selanne and teammate Paul Kariya are part of an
interesting situation. They are two of the greatest players in
the league today playing on the same team, yet they aren't
centers. Selanne controls the right side of the ice while Kariya
does the same on the left. The Ducks have found it hard to come
up with the right center to fit in between the dynamic duo. Last
season Steve Rucchin, considered by many to be an unknown before
the year, did an excellent job of setting the two Ducks up
without getting in their way.

Right wing is full of explosive goal-scoring machines throughout
the league. Jagr and Selanne head the list, followed by models of
consistency Peter Bondra and Brett Hull. From there the names
might not strike fear, but they're just as deadly. Tony Amonte
bagged over 40 goals last season for a terrible Chicago Blackhawk
offense. Ziggy Palffy suffered no sophomore slump in carrying the
New York Islander offense for most of the season. And Daniel
Alfredsson proved why he should be paid more than your average
Ottawa Senator with his second straight season of great offense
and defense.

The 1996-97 season proved that the kids could play, but there
were some veteran right wingers who also showed off a thing or
two. Although his production slipped, Alexander Mogilny proved
that he could still find the net for a sub-par Canuck squad. Theo
Fleury was stuck in the same situation in Calgary, but was still
able to collect a decent season.

All of these names make for a great crop of right wings, a crop
that surpasses the group of centers currently in the league.

For those of you who are wondering, left wing starts out with a
group that rivals right wing and center, but then drops off
significantly. The front four includes John LeClair, Kariya,
Keith Tkachuk and Brendan Shanahan, who are four of the best
players in the league. Adam Graves and Valeri Kamensky follows,
but from there the quality goes down quickly.

Adam Deadmarsh is next, but for the seventh best left wing, there
are still some big question marks about his game.

Vincent Damphousse, who could also be considered a center, and
Geoff Sanderson are rated next, followed by Ryan Smyth, who we
considered the tenth best left wing, although he's spent just one
season in the league. It's very unusual for LCS Hockey to rate
players like Smyth that high, but because the left wing position
is so weak, there was really no other choice. Don't get us wrong,
Smyth is a good player, but we like to make sure a guy can
produce for more than one season before we hype him up as one of
the 10 best left wingers in the game today.

Even though left wing isn't as deep, the top four players are
four of the game's very best. Back in the day, the top 10 centers
could have also been considered as the top 10 players in the
game. But as the game and the players change, so does the
league's strengths and weaknesses.

Center is not the center of attention any more.



-----------------------------------------------------------------------
NHL News
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
by Michael Dell

TRANSACTIONS

Here's a recap of some of the most recent transactions:
Anaheim: Re-signed Darren Van Impe, d, to a two-year contract.

Boston: Traded Jozef Stumpel, c, and Sandy Moger, rw, to LA Kings for
Dimitri Khristich, c/lw, and Byron Dafoe, g.

Calgary Flames: Traded Gary Roberts, lw, and Trevor Kidd, g, to Carolina
for
Andrew Cassels, c, and Jean-Sebastian Giguere, g. Signed centers Aaron
Gavey and Erik Andersson.

Carolina: Traded Andrew Cassels, c, and Jean-Sebastian Giguere, g, to
Calgary for
Gary Roberts, lw, and Trevor Kidd, g. Signed Steve Martins, c, and
forward Ethan Philpott.
Announced Brent Fedyk, lw, accepted free agent tryout.
Acquired Enrico Ciccone, d, from Chicago. Traded Alexander Godynyuk, d,
to St. Louis for Steve Leach, lw, and a sixth-round pick.

Chicago:    Agreed to terms with Jimmy Waite, g.

Colorado:   Re-signed Joe Sakic, c.

Dallas:    Signed Chris Tancill, lw.   Announced Neal Broten, c, retired.

Edmonton: Traded Mariusz Czerkawski, rw, to NY Islanders for Dan
Lacouture, lw.

Florida:    Re-signed Johan Garpenlov, lw, to a three-year contract.

Los Angeles: Traded Kevin Stevens, lw, to NY Rangers for Luc Robitaille,
lw. Traded
Dimitri Khristich, c/lw, and Byron Dafoe, g, to Boston for Jozef Stumpel,
c;
Sandy Moger, rw; and a fourth-round draft pick.

Montreal: Re-signed Valeri Bure, rw, and Scott Thornton, c, to one-year
contracts.

New Jersey: Acquired Vlastimil Kroupa, d, from San Jose for a 1998
third-round pick.

NY Islanders: Traded Dan Lacouture, lw, to Edmonton for Mariusz
Czerkawski, rw. Announced Bob Beers, d, retired.

NY Rangers: Signed Brent Thompson, d; Jeff Finley, d; and Pierre
Sevigny, lw. Acquired Mike Peluso, lw, from St. Louis for future
considerations.
Waived David Oliver, rw.

Ottawa: Signed Chris Phillips, d, to a three-year contract. Traded Steve
Duchesne, d, to
St. Louis for Igor Kravchuk, d. Re-signed Lance Pitlick, d. Signed
Derek Armstrong, c.
Philadelphia: Signed Chris Gratton, c. Traded Mikael Renberg, rw, and
Karl Dykhuis, d, to
Tampa Bay for the four first-round draft picks lost by signing Gratton.
Announced Dale Hawerchuk, c, retired.

Phoenix:   Signed Jeff Christian, lw.

Pittsburgh: Signed Martin Straka, c, and Brad Werenka, d. Re-signed Ian
Moran, d. Invited Rob Brown, rw, to training camp. Acquired Jiri Slegr,
d, from Edmonton for a third-round pick.

San Jose Sharks: Traded Vlastimil Kroupa, d, to New Jersey for 1998
third-round pick.
Signed Bill Houlder, d. Released Ray Whitney, c. Announced Tim Hunter,
rw, retired. Two days later, Tim Hunter's nose announced its retirement.

St. Louis: Traded Igor Kravchuk, d, to Ottawa for Steve Duchesne, d.
Signed Shayne Toporowski, rw.

Tampa Bay: Lost Chris Gratton, c, to Flyers. Traded the four first-
round compensation picks back to the
Flyers for Mikael Renberg, rw, and Karl Dykhuis, d. Signed Louie
Debrusk, lw; Paul Brousseau, rw; and Viktor Ignatjev, d.
Signed Yves Racine, d.

Vancouver:   Signed Grant Ledyard, d.

STEINBRENNER BUYING ISLES?

New York Islanders owner John Pickett is still trying to find someone to
take the club off his hands since the deal with John Spano fell through.
Rumor has it that NY Yankees owner George Steinbrenner is among four
possible buyers.
Steinbrenner isn't saying if he'll make a bid or not, but he has already
fired several Islander
employees and has inquired about the possibility of naming Billy Martin
has coach.

NHL PRESEASON SCHEDULE

Here's the schedule for all the boring, meaningless games that clubs
still
charge fans full price to see...


Date             Schedule                                Time (EST)

Sat, Sept 13     Florida vs. Boston at Charlotte, NC     7:00
                 NY Islanders at Carolina                7:30
                 Philadelphia at Pittsburgh              7:30
                 Toronto at Montreal                     7:30
                 Ottawa vs. Buffalo at Hamilton, ONT     7:30
                 Dallas at Chicago                       8:30
Sun, Sept 14   NY Rangers at Montreal                   5:00
               Boston at Florida                        6:00
               Washington vs. New Jersey at Albany, NY 7:00
               Phoenix at Calgary                       8:00
               Dallas at St. Louis                      8:00
               Anaheim at Edmonton                      8:00
               San Jose vs. Los Angeles at San Diego, CA 9:00

Mon, Sept 15   Ottawa vs. Carolina at Bathurst, NB       6:30
               Toronto at NY Rangers                     7:30
               Los Angeles at Colorado                   9:00
               Vancouver at Edmonton                     9:00

Tue, Sept 16   Phoenix at Calgary                         TBA
               Ottawa vs. Carolina at Halifax, NS        6:30
               Detroit at Pittsburgh                     7:30
               Montreal at Toronto                       7:30
               Dallas at Tampa Bay                       7:30

Wed, Sept 17   Pittsburgh at Detroit                    7:30
               NY Rangers at NY Islanders               7:30
               Washington at Tampa Bay                  7:30
               Philadelphia at Montreal                 7:30
               Edmonton at Ottawa                       7:30
               Boston vs. St. Louis at Oklahoma City, OK 8:30
               San Jose at Colorado                     9:00
               Vancouver at Anaheim                    10:05

Thu, Sept 18   Buffalo at Carolina                      7:30
               Washington at Florida at Tallahassee, FL 7:30
               St. Louis at Colorado                    9:00
               Anaheim at Phoenix                       9:00
               Vancouver at San Jose                   10:30
               NY Islanders at NY Rangers                TBA

Fri, Sept 19   St. Louis at Dallas                      7:00
               New Jersey at Philadelphia               7:30
               Toronto at Detroit                       7:30
               Washington vs. Florida at Mobile, AL     7:30
               Buffalo vs. Pittsburgh at Huntsville, AL 7:30
               Montreal vs. Boston at Providence, RI    7:30
               Phoenix at Chicago                       8:30

Sat, Sept 20   Chicago at Dallas                        7:00
               Tampa Bay at Washington                  7:00
               Detroit at Toronto                       7:30
               Philadelphia at New Jersey               7:30
               Calgary at Phoenix                       9:00
               NY Rangers at Vancouver                 10:00
               Colorado vs. Los Angeles at Las Vegas, NV 10:30
               Edmonton at Anaheim                     10:35

Sun, Sept 21   Buffalo vs. Pittsburgh at Cleveland, OH   3:00
               Boston at Montreal                        5:00
               Edmonton at Vancouver                    8:00
               Calgary vs. Phoenix at Tucson, AZ        9:00
               Colorado at San Jose                    10:30

Mon, Sept 22   Montreal at Ottawa                      7:30
               Chicago at St. Louis                    8:30
               NY Rangers at Calgary                    TBA

Tue, Sept 23   Detroit at Carolina                      7:30
               Buffalo at Toronto                       7:30
               Tampa Bay at Florida                     7:30
               Pittsburgh vs. Boston at Worcester, MA   7:30
               Chicago at Phoenix                       9:00
               Ottawa at Edmonton                       9:00
               NY Rangers at San Jose                  10:30
               Los Angeles vs. Vancouver at Tacoma, WA   TBA

Wed, Sept 24   Tampa Bay at Dallas                      7:00
               Boston at Pittsburgh                     7:30
               Carolina at Detroit                      7:30
               Washington at Philadelphia               7:30
               Colorado at St. Louis                    8:30
               Calgary at Vancouver                    10:00
               Phoenix at Anaheim                      10:35
               Los Angeles vs. San Jose at Boise, ID     TBA

Thu, Sept 25   Florida at Tampa Bay                    7:30
               New Jersey at NY Rangers                7:30
               Toronto at Buffalo                      7:30
               Carolina at NY Islanders                7:30
               Colorado vs. Washington at Moline, IL   7:30
               Dallas at Phoenix                       9:00
               Ottawa at Edmonton                      9:00

Fri, Sept 26   Boston at Detroit                        7:30
               Toronto vs. Florida at Hamilton          7:30
               NY Rangers at New Jersey                 7:30
               Philadelphia vs. Washington at Richmond, VA 7:30
               Buffalo at Ottawa                        7:30
               Montreal at Chicago                      8:30
               Los Angeles at Anaheim                  10:35

Sat, Sept 27   Pittsburgh at Philadelphia               4:00
               Colorado vs. Washington at Hershey PA    7:00
               Phoenix at Dallas                        7:00
               Detroit at Boston                        7:00
               NY Islanders at New Jersey               7:30
               Florida at Toronto                       7:30
               Chicago at Montreal                      7:30
               Carolina at Buffalo                      7:30
               Calgary at Edmonton                      8:00
               San Jose at Vancouver                   10:00
               Anaheim at Los Angeles                  10:30
Sun, Sept 28    Tampa Bay at Detroit                     7:00
                Edmonton at Calgary                      8:00
                St. Louis at Chicago                     8:30

Mon, Sept 29    New Jersey at NY Islanders               7:30


OFF-SEASON REVIEW

Since LCS Hockey took the summer months off to work with the Peace Corp.
in Guatamala we
failed to report on most of the off-season activity in the NHL. So, here
is a recap of the
last three months of the NHL...

Tuesday, June 10, 1997

RON WILSON NEW COACH, GEORGE MCPHEE GM OF CAPITALS

The Washington Capitals will play in a new building next season.
Monday, they decided who will put together and run the team that
plays there. The Capitals hired former Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
coach Ron Wilson and former Vancouver Canucks vice president of
hockey operations George McPhee as their new general manager.
Terms of the contracts for both Wilson and McPhee were
undisclosed, but the Washington Post reported Saturday that
Wilson's deal is worth at least $700,000 per year plus
incentives. Wilson, who coached Team USA to victory in the World
Cup, guided Anaheim to its first-ever playoff appearance this
season. The Mighty Ducks compiled a 36-33-13 record this season
and finished in fourth place in the Western Conference. McPhee
had served as vice president of operations with the Canucks the
past five seasons. He worked in tandem with general manager Pat
Quinn and handled all contract issues.

"George and Ron have all the tools necessary to take the
Washington Capitals to the next level," said Capitals chairman
Abe Pollin. "Both of these men have outstanding reputations
throughout the NHL, and I believe that these gentlemen will bring
the Stanley Cup to Washington. The addition of George and Ron to
the Capitals will bring excitement not only to the team, but also
to the MCI Center and the entire city."


SCHOENFELD RESURFACES AS NEW HEAD COACH IN PHOENIX

Less than a week after being let go as head coach of the
Washington Capitals, Jim Schoenfeld is back in the NHL. The
Phoenix Coyotes Monday named Schoenfeld their new head coach,
replacing Don Hay, who was fired on May 6 after just one season
behind the bench. "I have always been impressed with Jim as a
player, coach and a person," said Coyotes general manager Bobby
Smith. "He is an excellent leader, teacher and motivator, and I'm
confident that he will lead our team to many successful seasons
in the future." The Coyotes finished third in the Central
Division and fifth in the Western Conference with a 38-37-7
record last season and were ousted in the opening round of the
playoffs. Schoenfeld was fired by the Capitals last Tuesday after
the team failed to make the playoffs for the first time in 14
years. He guided the Capitals to a 33-40-9 record and a
fifth-place finish in the Atlantic Division. Schoenfeld took over
the Capitals late in the 1993-94 season and compiled a 113-102-34
record in three-plus seasons with Washington.


DARRYL SUTTER NAMED NEW SHARKS COACH

The San Jose Sharks, who finished with the worst record in the
Western Conference last season, named Darryl Sutter their new
head coach Monday. Sutter coached the Chicago Blackhawks for
three seasons, compiling a 110-80-26 record before leaving after
the 1995 season. The Blackhawks advanced to the Western
Conference finals that year, losing to the Detroit Red Wings in
five games. "I believe the Sharks are an organization with a
tremendous future," said Sutter at a news conference Monday. "I
want to thank (owner) George (Gund), (president and CEO) Greg
(Jamison), and (general manager) Dean (Lombardi) for this great
opportunity and to let San Jose know that we will put a team on
the ice which they can be proud of." Sutter also played for the
Blackhawks from 1979-87, and was captain from 1982-87. San Jose,
which finished the season with a 27-47-8 record, fired coach Al
Sims on May 9. The Sharks have yet to record a winning season
since joining the league in the 1991-92 season. San Jose's best
season came in 1993-94, when it went 33-35-16 and made its
first-ever playoff appearance. The Sharks upset the Detroit Red
Wings in the first round of the playoffs before losing to the
Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games in the second round.


U.S. SENATE: RUSSIAN MAFIA EXTORTION IN NHL

The extent of extortion by the Russian mafia among NHL players is
greater than previously believed, according to the U.S. Senate.
Citing a 15-month Senate investigation that produced more than
100 interviews with NHL players, officials, owners, team
officials and agents, ESPN reported Monday that serious
conclusions have been drawn about the Russian mafia's influence
among NHL players. There are 50 former Soviet players in the NHL
and most of them are Russian. "If you add in people who would
know firsthand about extortion that occurred, I would venture to
say, based upon our investigation, that a significant percentage
of Russian hockey players skating in the NHL have been extorted
in some way," Senate investigator Michael Bopp told ESPN. "Based
on the sample of players we spoke to, I would conclude that a
third of the players had some direct involvement."

The NHL's vice president of security, Dennis Cunningham, does not
agree with the Senate's findings. "I would say that's inflated as
far as I was concerned," Cunningham told ESPN of the percentage
of involvement. "I was kind of surprised he (Bopp) would pull
this number out. We have asked for the specifics and attempted to
help him on many occasions. So I'm a little bit surprised he
could make that blanket statement. And I'd be happy to speak to
him about that." ESPN also cited law-enforcement sources in two
different countries that the one-third figure is easily accurate
and indicates an ongoing problem. In addition, the Senate's
investigation also uncovered the Russian mafia's entry into the
National Basketball Association and professional tennis. The NBA
told ESPN that it has no knowledge, rumor or otherwise, of
encroachment by the Russian mafia, while the Association of
Tennis Professionals (ATP), the governing body of men's tennis,
told the network that no player has ever come forward.


BLUES TAB PLEAU AS NEW GENERAL MANAGER

The St. Louis Blues signed New York Rangers vice president of
player personnel Larry Pleau to a four-year contract Monday as
their new general manager. Ron Caron served out most of last
season as interim general manager after coach and general manager
Mike Keenan was fired on Dec. 19. Joel Quenneville was named
coach on Jan. 6 and led the team to a fourth-place finish in the
Central Division. The Blues lost to the eventual Stanley Cup
champion Detroit Red Wings in six games in the first round of the
playoffs. Last season was Pleau's first as vice president of
player personnel for New York. He had been in the Rangers' front
office since 1989, when he was the assistant general manager of
player development. The 49-year-old Pleau was coach of the
Hartford Whalers from 1981-1984 and coach and general manager of
the Binghamton Whalers for the 1984-85 season. He returned to the
Whalers bench for a part of the 1987-88 campaign and all of the
1988-89 season. Pleau becomes the 10th general manager in the
30-year history of the franchise. Pleau played three seasons with
the Montreal Canadiens from 1969-72 before becoming the first
player to sign with the Hartford Whalers of the World Hockey
Association. Pleau was also a member of the 1968 U.S. Olympic
team.


BRUINS TO MAKE JOE THORNTON AVAILABLE TO MEDIA TUESDAY

The Boston Bruins will make center Joe Thornton, their likely
selection in the upcoming NHL entry draft, available to the media
in a press conference on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. EDT at the
FleetCenter. The Bruins are expected to make Thornton the top
overall pick in the draft and have had negotiations with his
representatives. Because they have the first pick, the Bruins
have the rights to negotiate with Thornton or any of the other
available players. The club did not say it was going to announce
the signing of Thornton and added only that he was being made
available to the media. Thornton, who played for Sault Ste. Marie
of the Ontario Hockey League, was rated as the top offensive
player by NHL Central Scouting. The 6-foot-4, 198-pound Thornton
had 41 goals and 81 assists in just 59 games while racking up 123
points. The NHL draft is scheduled for June 22 at Pittsburgh.
Thornton will turn 18 on July 2.


Wednesday, June 11, 1997

STANLEY CUP CHAMPION RED WINGS CELEBRATE WITH PARADE

The Detroit Red Wings exorcised the biggest demon in hockey by
halting their 42-year drought and winning the Stanley Cup.
Tuesday an estimated 750,000 cheering fans lined the streets of
Detroit for the Stanley Cup parade, which started in front of the
Fox Theater on Woodward Avenue and Fisher Freeway shortly after
11:30 a.m. EDT. It traveled south on Woodward and finished at
Hart Plaza at approximately 1 p.m. with a rally. "When we went
down Woodward and saw the fans coming out of buildings, hanging
on telephone poles, it really gets you emotional," said Detroit
right winger Darren McCarty. "It's such a great feeling." Captain
Steve Yzerman, a Red Wing for the last 14 years, received the
loudest ovation from the fans. "This parade shows the world what
we knew all along and that is that Detroit Red Wings fans are the
greatest and the most loyal in the world," said Yzerman. Season
ticket holders reveled in a "Thank You" rally Monday at Joe Louis
Arena. The Red Wings completed a four-game sweep of the
Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup Finals with a 2-1 win
Saturday night at the Joe.


Thursday, June 12, 1997

HURRICANES EXTEND CONTRACTS OF ENTIRE COACHING STAFF

The Carolina Hurricanes will have a new home, a new name and new
uniforms when they start the 1997-98 season, but they'll have the
same coaching staff after granting multi-year contract extensions
Wednesday to Paul Maurice and his assistants. Financial terms
were not disclosed. The 30-year-old Maurice just completed his
first full season behind the bench for the Hurricanes, formerly
the Hartford Whalers. He guided them to a fourth-place finish in
the Northeast Division with a 32-39-11 record, two points out of
the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Maurice took over in
Hartford 12 games into the 1995-96 season and has a 61-72-19 mark
with the franchise. Returning with Maurice will be assistants Tom
Webster, Randy Ladouceur and Steve Weeks.


SABRES NAME REGIER GENERAL MANAGER

The Buffalo Sabres Wednesday named Darcy Regier as their new
general manager. The 40-year-old Regier worked as an assistant
general manager to Don Maloney with the New York Islanders for
four years and was given the title of player personnel director
in 1994-95. When Maloney was fired during the 1995-96 season and
replaced by Mike Milbury, Regier remained as personnel director.
But Regier was fired by Milbury last Dec. 26 over what Milbury
termed "philosophical differences." Regier was responsible for
negotiating player contracts with New York, securing the
Islanders' minor league affiliations, and setting up training
camp facilities. He also implemented a computerized network that
improved scouting reports and communications, and continued to
oversee its operation. "I am thrilled by this opportunity," said
Regier. "The type of season the Sabres had in 96-97 and the
personnel foundation here only helps add to my excitement for my
first GM job. I'm anxious to get started with the draft and
eventually training camp." Regier succeeds John Muckler, who was
fired on May 14 after a long-standing rift with head coach Ted
Nolan.

Saturday, June 14, 1997

THREE RED WINGS INJURED IN CAR CRASH

A night of celebration turned into tradegy when a limousine carrying
Vladimir Konstantinov, Slava Fetisov and trainer Sergei Mnatsakanov,
veered
off of the road and crashed into a tree on Friday night. Konstantinov
and
Mnatsakanov suffered severe head injuries and Fetisov suffered a bruised
lung
and lacerations to his chest. The driver of the limousine received only
minor injuries.
An investigation into the accident if forthcoming.


Tuesday, June 17, 1997

REPORT: FOUR U.S. CITIES SELECTED FOR NHL EXPANSION

Nashville, Tenn., Atlanta, St. Paul, Minn., and Columbus, Ohio,
reportedly have been selected as the National Hockey League's
next four expansion cities. The Sports Network of Canada and
CNN/SI reported Monday night that the Nashville franchise will
begin play in the 1998-99 season, followed by Atlanta in
1999-2000 and St. Paul and Columbus in 2000-2001. National Hockey
League officials could not be reached for comment, but NHL
Commissioner Gary Bettman said during the Stanley Cup Finals that
the new expansion sites would not be disclosed until all details
had been ironed out. Nashville, Atlanta, St. Paul and Columbus
are among six cities under consideration for expansion
franchises, which would boost NHL membership to 30 to 32 teams.
The other locations being considered by the league's Board of
Governors are Oklahoma City and Houston. According to TSN, the
four cities have the support of the NHL's expansion committee,
but must be approved by the full board, which meets June 25 in
New York. CNN/SI also reported that the committee will recommend
extending the NHL's current collective bargaining agreement
through 2002 or 2003.


WINGS' KONSTANTINOV UNCONSCIOUS BUT SLOWLY IMPROVING

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov remained
unconscious and in critical condition Monday at William Beaumont
Hospital in Birmingham, Mich., but has made small steps of
progress. According to a hospital spokesperson, Konstantinov has
been able to make "reflex movements". His eyes were responsive to
shined light, considered a positive sign by doctors.
Konstantinov, along with teammate and defenseman Slava Fetisov
and trainer Sergei Mnatsakanov, were involved in an accident
Friday night after their limousine crashed. The 30-year-old
Konstantinov is on a ventilator, and a cranium pressure monitor
was placed in his skull Friday night. Fetisov, who suffered a
bruised lung and lacerations to his chest, was upgraded to very
good condition Monday and could be discharged as early as
Tuesday. Mnatsakanov, the Red Wings' Russian-born masseur, is
still unconscious and in critical condition. He suffered a
serious head injury in the accident and underwent surgery early
Saturday morning.


HURRICANES FILE LAWSUIT TO PROTECT NAME

The Carolina Hurricanes, formerly the Hartford Whalers, have
filed a lawsuit in North Carolina Federal Court Monday seeking
legal confirmation that they are free to use their new nickname.
The Whalers previously announced that they will relocate to
Raleigh, N.C., for the 1997-98 season and will be called the
Carolina Hurricanes. Prior to the move, Raleigh lawyer Robert
Holmes submitted a trademark application, registering the name
Carolina Hurricanes. The NHL team announced that in addition to
the lawsuit, it has filed a protest with the North Carolina
Secretary of State. The announcement of the lawsuit comes
on the same day that the Hurricanes unveiled their new colors and
logo. The colors will be red, black, silver and white. The design
of the primary logo is a hurricane framed by two red and black
swirls shaped as a "C" for Carolina, and the eye of the hurricane
is a moving puck.


MAPLE LEAFS AGREE TO TERMS WITH CZECH FORWARD PROCHAZKA

The Toronto Maple Leafs, coming off their first last-place finish
in six years and left without a pick in the first two rounds of
Saturday's NHL Draft, agreed to terms Monday with winger Martin
Prochazka. Terms were not disclosed. The 25-year-old was
Toronto's eighth-round selection in the 1991 draft. He led all
scorers at the 1997 World Championships with seven goals and
seven assists in nine games, helping the Czech Republic to the
bronze medal and earning a spot on the All-Tournament team.
Prochazka attended Maple Leafs' training camp in 1992 and made
one appearance in a preseason game before returning to Europe. He
spent eight seasons in the Czech Extraleague and was named Czech
Player of the Year in 1994-95, when he was second in the league
with 25 goals and 33 assists in 41 games for Poldi Kladno. At the
1996 World Championships, he scored with 19 seconds left in
regulation as the Czech Republic defeated Canada to win the gold
medal.


Wednesday, June 18, 1997


WINGS' KONSTANTINOV UNCONSCIOUS BUT SLOWLY IMPROVING

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov remains
unconscious with stable vital signs and in critical condition
Tuesday at William Beaumont Hospital in Birmingham, Mich.
According to the hospital, Konstantinov continues to receive
encouragement from friends and teammates and has been able to
make reflex movements, though he has not yet regained
consciousness. A press briefing has been scheduled for Wednesday
at 1 p.m. EDT at the hospital. Konstantinov, along with teammate
Slava Fetisov and trainer Sergei Mnatsakanov, were involved in an
accident Friday night after their limousine crashed. The
30-year-old Konstantinov is on a ventilator, and a cranium
pressure monitor was placed in his skull Friday night. There was
no reported change in the condition of Mnatsakanov. Fetisov, who
suffered a bruised lung and lacerations to his chest, is slated
to be discharged soon, according to a hospital official.


SENATORS' RHODES UNDERGOES SUCCESSFUL ANKLE SURGERY

Ottawa Senators goaltender Damian Rhodes underwent successful
arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle Monday in London, Ontario.
Doctors cleaned up irritating scar tissue from the left ankle.
Rhodes will rest for three to four days and increase his full
offseason training program in the next couple of weeks. The
28-year-old injured the ankle on Feb. 23 during the second period
of a 4-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. He returned to the
lineup for two games in late March, but then missed the remainder
of the regular season and playoffs. Rhodes finished 14-20-14 with
a 2.72 goals-against average and .890 save percentage in 50 games
this season. He was acquired from Toronto in January 1996 after
five-plus years with the Maple Leafs organization.


Thursday, June 19, 1997

PAGE OUT AS COACH OF FLAMES

Pierre Page is out as coach of the Calgary Flames. Flames
executive vice president Alan Coates said Wednesday that Page was
released after the coach asked for a two-year extension on his
existing contract or to be released. The Flames did not
immediately name a successor. "He is therefore released to pursue
other coaching opportunities with any team in the National Hockey
League," said Coates. "We thank Pierre for his contributions and
wish him the best of luck." Coates added that any team in the
Pacific Division must seek written consent before talking to
Page, who had one year left on his contract. The Flames finished
in fourth place in the Pacific Division with a 32-41-9 record
this past season and did not make the playoffs. In two seasons as
coach, Page was 66-78-20. The Flames made the playoffs in their
first season under Page but were swept in four games by the
Chicago Blackhawks. Calgary has yet to win a playoff series since
winning the Stanley Cup in 1989, losing six opening-round series
and failing to make the playoffs on two other occasions. The
Flames were the third NHL coaching job for Page, who also was in
charge of the Minnesota North Stars and the Quebec Nordiques.


FETISOV LEAVES HOSPITAL, OTHERS REMAIN UNCHANGED

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Slava Fetisov was thankful to leave
William Beaumont Hospital in Birmingham, Mich., Wednesday, but
left behind teammate Vladimir Konstantinov and trainer Sergei
Mnatsakanov, who are still comatose. "I appreciate the support
and concern that everyone's shown," said Fetisov, who was
released Wednesday after sustaining a bruised lung and
lacerations to his chest in the limousine accident Friday. "Of
course, I am happy to go home, but Vladdy and Sergei still need
our thoughts and prayers." The conditions of Konstantinov and
Mnatsakanov remain virtually unchanged, though doctors have seen
signs that continue to make them optimistic. Konstantinov,
Mnatsakanov and Fetisov were involved in an accident Friday night
after their limousine crashed in Birmingham. The 30-year-old
Konstantinov is on a ventilator, and a cranium pressure monitor
was placed in his skull Friday night. Fetisov issued a statement
but did not answer questions.

Dr. Karol Zakalik, a trauma surgeon and one of the attending
physicians, answered questions about the two remaining in the
hospital. "I expect Vladdy to take a long time to wake up, but
things about his condition make me optimistic," Zakalik said.
"They never had the pressure buildup, have good circulation,
maintained the blood flow through the brain and show some
awareness. We want Vladdy to return to being a father and husband
and a regular person. Anything about hockey playing would be pure
speculation." Mnatsakanov apparently is slightly ahead of
Konstantinov. "Sergei appears to be obeying commands from the
staff and his wife, for example, squeezing the hand," Zakalik
said. "Konstantinov is also showing signs of improvement. He
shows some response to Russian-speaking visitors. His
intercranial pressure is normal, with good profusion and
circulation. Sergei is able to squeeze his right hand, open his
eyes on command, but he's not looking at anything, he's just
opening his eyes. He wiggled his toes and he's aware of people
speaking, because his vital signs get excited."


Friday, June 20, 1997

SABRES' HASEK FIRST GOALTENDER IN 35 YEARS TO WIN HART

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Dominik Hasek became the first
goaltender in 35 years to win the National Hockey League's Hart
Trophy as most valuable player Thursday in Toronto. On a night
tempered by sadness by last week's limousine accident that left
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov in a coma,
Hasek lived up to his nickname of "The Dominator." He was the
only double-winner, also capturing the Vezina Trophy as the
league's top goaltender. He was the first goalie to win the Hart
since Jacques Plante of Montreal in 1962. The 32-year-old
netminder from the Czech Republic accounted for 37 of Buffalo's
40 wins in the regular season, led the NHL in save percentage for
the third straight year (.930), finished fourth overall in
goals-against average (2.27) and posted five shutouts. In voting
by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, Hasek was
selected over recently retired Pittsburgh Penguins superstar
Mario Lemieux and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim winger Paul Kariya, who
won the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship.

Konstantinov's condition placed focus on the Norris Trophy, for
which the Red Wings defenseman was a finalist. However, the award
for top defenseman went to Brian Leetch of the New York Rangers.
Leetch led defensemen in scoring with 20 goals and 78 points in
82 games and finished at plus-31. All of the award winners
expressed sorrow and best wishes for Konstantinov and team
trainer Sergei Mnatsakanov, who also was left comatose by last
Friday night's accident. Konstantinov, Mnatsakanov and defenseman
Slava Fetisov all were hurt when their limousine crashed in
Birmingham, Mich. Konstantinov and Mnatsakanov have been
unconscious with head injuries since, while Fetisov suffered
lacerations and a bruised lung and was released earlier this
week.

Five other awards were handed out on Thursday. Ted Nolan, who led
the Sabres to the Northeast Division title, won the Adams Award
as coach of the year, and Mike Pecca made it four awards on the
night for Buffalo when he was honored as the best defensive
forward with the Selke Trophy. Defenseman Bryan Berard of the New
York Islanders won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie.
San Jose Sharks winger Tony Granato received the Masterton Trophy
for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Six
months after undergoing brain surgery, Granato returned to the
NHL. Vancouver Canucks captain Trevor Linden was awarded the King
Clancy Trophy for noteworthy service to his community.

Tuesday, June 24, 1997
CONDITIONS OF KONSTANTINOV, TRAINER REMAIN UNCHANGED

Detroit Red Wings star defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov and team
trainer Sergei Mnatsakanov remained in critical, but stable
condition Monday at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oaks,
Mich. Both are still comatose, but continue to show signs of
improvement. Konstantinov, Mnatsakanov and Red Wings defenseman
Slava Fetisov were involved in an accident on June 13 after their
limousine crashed in Birmingham, Mich. Fetisov sustained a
bruised lung and lacerations to his chest in the accident and was
released from the hospital last Wednesday. The driver,
28-year-old Richard Gnida, was released from the hospital two
days after the accident. Gnida was driving with a revoked license
and would not have been eligible to receive a review for his
license until January 1998. Police have yet to file charges or
make any arrests until further toxicology tests come back, and
there are still questions about the cause of the accident.
Konstantinov has also undergone surgeries to his right elbow to
repair a tendon and remove debris. Konstantinov, nicknamed "The
Vladinator" for his punishing physical style, was a finalist for
the Norris Trophy as the National Hockey League's top defensemen.


Thursday, June 26, 1997

NHL FORMALLY APPROVES FOUR EXPANSION FRANCHISES

The National Hockey League's Board of Governors formally granted
expansion franchises to four new cities -- Nashville, Tennessee;
Atlanta; Columbus, Ohio and Minneapolis-St. Paul. The NHL's
Expansion Committee recommended the four sites last week and the
Board of Governors unanimously approved each of the four new
franchises at a meeting Wednesday in New York. The Nashville
franchise will begin play in the 1998-99 season, followed by
Atlanta in 1999-2000 and St. Paul and Columbus in 2000-01. Each
will pay an $80 million entrance fee and must have their club
president, general manager, head coach and marketing director in
place at least one year prior to the expansion draft.

As part of the expansion plan, the NHL and the NHL Players'
Association have agreed to a four-year extension to the
Collective Bargaining Agreement, which would put the basic terms
of the contract in effect until Sept. 15th, 2004.


Friday, June 27, 1997


NOLAN REJECTS ONE-YEAR OFFER FROM SABRES

The Buffalo Sabres offered NHL coach of the year Ted Nolan a
one-year contract Thursday, but he said in an interview later in
the day that he did not accept it. The Sabres held a news
conference Thursday morning to announce the offer, but said that
Nolan, who is spending the summer in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario,
has not yet gotten back to the team regarding the undisclosed
offer. Nolan, who is hosting a golf tournament for Native
American women, was reached by Buffalo's WBEN Radio and said that
he didn't accept the offer. "I will not accept a one-year deal,"
he told WBEN. "I've had nothing but time (to look at a potential
offer) in the last few weeks or so. (I'm) very disappointed."
Nolan, a Native American who will be shown support by a Native
American rally outside Buffalo's Marine Midland Arena on Friday,
added that his biggest disappointment is that he and his family
have established good relationships with the fans and community.
He also talked about pursuing other jobs if there is interest out
there. Reports out of Toronto have the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim,
among others, being interested. Nolan, whose contract expires
Monday, won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's coach of the year
after surprisingly guiding the Sabres to the Northeast Division
title. Nolan has been the Sabres coach for two seasons and
compiled a 73-72-19 record in the regular season and a 5-7
playoff mark. He is the 14th coach in team history.


BLACKHAWKS' DENIS SAVARD ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

Center Denis Savard, one of the most popular players in the
history of the Chicago Blackhawks, announced his retirement
Thursday. Savard had 473 goals and 865 assists for 1,338 points
in 1,196 career games over his 17-year NHL career and ranks 17th
on the all-time points list. "I gave everything I could to be a
good hockey player," said Savard. "I was lucky. Seventeen years I
played and I've never had any major injuries." As a Blackhawk,
Savard had 377 goals and 719 assists for 1,096 points in 881
games. The 36-year-old holds club records for single-season
points (131 in 1987-88), single-season assists (87 in 1981-82 and
1987-88) and most 100 point seasons (five). But Savard struggled
through the 1996-97 season. He had nine goals and 18 assists in
64 games with a minus-10 rating and had just two assists in six
playoff games. Savard will remain with the Blackhawk organization
as both a developmental coach and in a community relations
capacity. Savard, the third overall pick in the 1980 draft,
played the first 10 years of his career with the Blackhawks and
led the team in scoring seven consecutive seasons from 1981-82 to
1987-88. He also played three seasons with Montreal and was a
member of the Canadiens' 1993 Stanley Cup championship team. The
Tampa Bay Lightning signed Savard as a free agent in July of 1993
and he was reacquired by Chicago in April 1995.


GAINEY WILL REMAIN STARS GENERAL MANAGER

New Toronto Maple Leafs president Ken Dryden made a run at
getting his former teammate to become his general manager, but
Bob Gainey has decided to remain in the same position with the
Dallas Stars. Dryden, who starred with Gainey for the Montreal
Canadiens in the 1970s, wooed the Dallas GM unsuccessfully.
Gainey, 43, could have gone to the Maple Leafs, who would have
given Dallas defenseman Mathieu Schneider in return. "After
careful consideration of all the professional and personal issues
involved with this process, I have decided to remain with the
Dallas Stars," Gainey said. "I would like to thank the Stars,
especially Tom Hicks and Jim Lites, for allowing me to discuss
this opportunity. My commitment to the Stars is stronger than
ever and I look forward to the challenge of the 1997-98 season."
The Stars recorded a franchise-high 104 points this season and
went from worst-to-first in capturing the Central Division title.
Gainey has been with the Stars for seven seasons. He took over as
coach of the Minnesota North Stars in 1990 and guided them to the
Stanley Cup Finals, where they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
He gave up his duties as coach to become the full-time GM during
the 1995-96 campaign, handing the reigns to Ken Hitchcock.



Saturday, June 28, 1997

HURRICANES DEAL FOR STEPHEN LEACH, SIGN FOUR OTHERS

The Carolina Hurricanes made their first deal Friday since moving
from Hartford, sending defenseman Alexander Godynyuk to the St.
Louis Blues for right winger Stephen Leach and a sixth-round
draft choice in 1998. Leach missed 59 games due to an ankle
injury last year. The 32-year-old played in 17 games and had two
goals and one assist. Leach has also played for Washington and
Boston before joining the Blues in March of 1996. "Steve has
proven over his career to be a solid two-way player," said
Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford. "His physical play,
character and experience will be an asset to our team both on the
ice and in the locker room." Godynyuk totaled four goals and 15
assists in four seasons with Hartford. His best season came in
1993-94, when he recorded three goals and nine assists in 43
games. The Blues will be the fifth stop in an NHL career that has
seen him play with Toronto, Calgary and Florida before the team
formerly known as the Hartford Whalers.



Sunday, June 29, 1997


ISLANDERS' SALE REPORTEDLY HITS SNAG OVER PAYMENTS

The sale of the New York Islanders to John Spano from John O.
Pickett, approved by the National Hockey League in February,
reportedly has hit a financial snag. Newspaper reports in the New
York area Saturday claim that payments due to Pickett either were
not fully paid or have not been paid at all. The NHL Board of
Governors approved the complicated $165 million sale to a group
headed by Spano, a Dallas real estate developer who is the
president of a group that leases heavy equipment and aircraft.
But reports claim that Spano has not made the payments, which New
York's Newsday said could be as much as $20 million. The New York
Daily News reported that the snag could cause the NHL to withdraw
its approval of the deal while Newsday reported that NHL
Commissioner Gary Bettman has ordered Spano not to touch team
assets until the situation is resolved. "It's true there are some
outstanding issues between John Pickett and myself," Spano told
Newsday. "I won't comment on what those issues are. Sure, Gary
Bettman has been involved, because we have an obligation we need
to meet. But this issue is not with the league, it is not with
the Islanders. It is John and John."



Monday, June 30, 1997


CONDITIONS OF KONSTANTINOV AND MNATSAKANOV UPGRADED

Detroit Red Wings star defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov and team
trainer Sergei Mnatsakanov are both gradually emerging from a
coma and have been upgraded from critical to serious condition.
At an afternoon news briefing Sunday, doctors at William Beaumont
Hospital reported that they have removed the ventilator from
Konstantinov, and he is breathing completely on his own.
Konstantinov, Mnatsakanov and Red Wings defenseman Slava Fetisov
were involved in an accident on June 13 after their limousine
crashed in Birmingham, Mich. Konstantinov and Mnatsakanov have
been in a coma since the accident and Fetisov sustained a bruised
lung and lacerations to his chest. Konstantinov needed a
ventilator to assist his breathing since the accident before
Saturday. He is now consistently opening his eyes, is able to
follow simple commands, and his vital signs are stable.
Mnatsakanov is in the process of being weaned from a ventilator.
He is also showing steady improvements in responding to commands
from family and doctors, and his vital signs are stable. A
rehabilitation team consisting of doctors, physical and speech
therapists are working with Konstantinov and Mnatsakanov to
provide stimulation and educate the families of the patients.

"No further surgery is needed for neurological injuries for
either patient," said neurosurgeon Karol Zalkalik.

The driver, 28-year-old Richard Gnida, was released from the
hospital two days after the accident. Gnida was driving with a
revoked license and would not have been eligible to receive a
review for his license until January 1998. Police have yet to
file charges or make any arrests.


Tuesday, July 1, 1997

NOLAN SAYS SABRES PULLED CONTRACT OFFER OFF TABLE
The NHL Coach of the Year is looking for a new job. Ted Nolan,
who coached the overachieving Buffalo Sabres to the Northeast
Division title and an appearance in the Eastern Conference
semifinal this season, told a radio station Monday night the team
has pulled its one-year contract offer off the table. Speaking to
WBEN Radio in Buffalo from his home in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada,
Nolan said new Sabres general manager Darcy Regier flew to his
house to tell him the news. "Darcy flew up to me and said they're
going to no longer extend the contract offer to me. It was about
a five-minute conversation," Nolan said. "Darcy's the general
manager of this hockey club and he told me it was his decision
and his decision only, and I have to take his word for it. He
came to the conclusion that I would not be his coach and so be
it. The fans in Buffalo have been sensational to me and I've
enjoyed my time in Buffalo these two years."

Last Thursday, Nolan rejected the one-year contract offered by
Regier, who came over from the New York Islanders to replace John
Muckler. Nolan and Muckler clashed throughout the season. "I'm a
pretty good optimist and I thought maybe today we could work
something out," added Nolan. "I was keeping that hope, but it
didn't work out. I'm disappointed, but that's life. But I'll keep
my head up and continue to fight and hopefully another job (will
be there) down the road." Nolan, who won the Jack Adams Award for
his performance this season, had been the Sabres coach for two
seasons and compiled a 73-72-19 record in the regular season and
a 5-7 playoff mark.


DISPUTED SALE OF ISLES HEADED TO ARBITRATION

The sale of the New York Islanders -- approved over four months
ago -- is headed for arbitration as former owner John O. Pickett
said he has not received payments from current owner John Spano.
Pickett demanded arbitration from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman,
the league announced Monday. No date has been scheduled for the
arbitration hearing. Spano, a Dallas businessman with New York
roots, was to pay $165 million for the Islanders, a deal that was
finalized in January and approved by the NHL's Board of Governors
on Feb. 24. But in his demand, Pickett said that Spano did not
make payments required for the purchase of the team and other
matters. Until further notice, Spano has agreed not to be
involved in the operation of the Islanders and is not authorized
to take any actions on behalf of the team, according to a
statement from the league. Pending arbitration, general counsel
Bill Skehan will continue to be responsible for the day-to-day
operations and general manager Mike Milbury will handle player
matters in accordance with a budget established earlier this
year.


SABRES MAKE QUALIFYING OFFERS TO PECA, SEVEN OTHERS

The Buffalo Sabres, trying to remain united after a season of
overachievement, Monday made qualifying offers to seven free
agents, including Selke Trophy winner Michael Peca. The team also
made qualifying offers to defensemen Bob Boughner, Darryl
Shannon, Alexei Zhitnik; wingers Dixon Ward and Michal Grosek;
and center Derek Plante. Winger Miroslav Satan was also made a
qualifying offer but is an entry-level player, meaning the Sabres
retain his exclusive NHL negotiation rights. Peca received the
award for best defensive forward as he helped Buffalo win the
Northeast Division with a record of 40-30-12. The Sabres lost to
the Philadelphia Flyers in five games in the Eastern Conference
semifinals. But the offseason has been one of disarray for the
Sabres. General manager John Muckler was fired after a
season-long power struggle with coach Ted Nolan, who last
Thursday turned down a one-year contract offer from new GM Darcy
Regier. Should any of the seven players sign a contract worth
more than $400,000 per year with another NHL team, Buffalo would
be entitled to compensation, usually in the form of draft picks.



Wednesday, July 2, 1997


SABRES FINISHED WITH NOLAN, COMPILE LIST OF CANDIDATES

Ted Nolan is out as coach of the Buffalo Sabres, who have begun
compiling a list of candidates to replace him. A Sabres spokesman
confirmed Tuesday what Nolan said Monday -- that the one-year
offer that "disappointed" the NHL Coach of the Year has been
taken off the table, completing his tenure in Buffalo at two
years. Nolan coached the Sabres to the Northeast Division title
and an Eastern Conference semifinal appearance this season. In
two seasons with the Sabres, Nolan was 73-72-19, plus a 5-7 mark
in the playoffs. He rejected the one-year offer last Thursday and
met with Sabres general manager Darcy Regier on Monday at his
home in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada. The spokesman said assistant
Don Lever is among five candidates to replace Nolan. Others whose
names have been floated by both the Sabres and the media are
Brian Sutter, Butch Goring, Bryan Trottier and Lindy Ruff. Sutter
coached the Boston Bruins from 1992-95. Goring is the coach of
the Utah Grizzlies of the International Hockey League. Ruff is an
assistant with the Florida Panthers and Trottier is an assistant
with the Pittsburgh Penguins.


CAMPBELL AGREES TO CONTRACT EXTENSION WITH RANGERS

The New York Rangers announced Tuesday that head coach Colin
Campbell has agreed to terms on a multi-year contract extension.
Terms were not disclosed, but Campbell will reportedly receive a
two-year extension worth about $1.4 million through the 1999-2000
season. He was entering the final year of his current contract.
"Colin has done an outstanding job for us, and of all the people
in the organization that helped us get to where we got in the
playoffs, he probably did the most of anybody," said Rangers
general manager Neil Smith. "His experience and leadership has
been an invaluable asset to the club." Campbell guided the
Rangers to a surprising playoff run to the Eastern Conference
finals this past season. The Rangers finished in fifth-place in
the East in the regular season. After beating Florida in the
first round, the Rangers upset top seed New Jersey in the East
semifinals before being beaten by Philadelphia, 4-1, in the East
finals. Campbell, 44, has a 101-84-27 record in three years as
Rangers coach.


ISLANDERS SIGN THREE FREE AGENTS

The New York Islanders Tuesday agreed to terms with three free
agents: left wings Mike Hough and Jim Storm and goaltender Wade
Flaherty. Hough has played 11 seasons in the NHL, including the
last four with the Florida Panthers. Last year in 69 games, he
recorded eight goals and six assists with 48 penalty minutes. In
622 career games with Quebec and Florida, Hough has 95 goals and
149 assists for 244 points. Storm spent last season with Michigan
of the International Hockey League, compiling 25 goals and 24
assists in 75 contests. He has collected seven goals and 15
assists in 84 NHL games with Hartford and Dallas (1993-96).
Flaherty split the 1996-97 campaign with San Jose and its
American Hockey League affiliate in Kentucky. In seven games with
the Sharks, he went 2-4 with a 5.18 goals-against average.
Flaherty has played in 53 career games with San Jose, going
10-26-2 with a 4.29 GAA.


DILLER NAMED PRESIDENT OF NASHVILLE EXPANSION TEAM

The NHL expansion franchise in Nashville has its first employee.
Jack Diller, former president and chief executive officer of the
NBA's San Antonio Spurs, was named the president of the franchise
by majority owner Craig Leipold on Tuesday. Diller joined the
Spurs in May 1994 and was responsible for basketball and business
operations. He was moved into an advisory capacity last week.
Diller is expected to do the bulk of the hiring of the team's top
executives. The hiring of a general manager and a head coach are
expected in the coming months. "The increase in hockey's
popularity in recent years, particularly among young fans, has
been dramatic, but the best is yet to come," said Diller. "I've
always wanted to build a franchise from scratch and to do that in
a market with the potential of Nashville is truly irresistible."
Diller first became involved in professional hockey as vice
president of the National Hockey League's New York Rangers in the
1970s. He rejoined the Rangers organization in the late 1980s as
president of the Madison Square Garden Sports Group, responsible
for operations of both the Rangers and the NBA's New York Knicks.
Before joining the Spurs in 1994, Diller served as executive vice
president for the New York Mets.
Thursday, July 3, 1997

DALLAS STARS LURE BELFOUR WITH THREE-YEAR DEAL

The Dallas Stars fired the first major blow in free agency this
offseason, signing two-time Vezina Trophy winning goaltender Ed
Belfour to a three-year contract Wednesday worth undisclosed
terms. Belfour is classified as a Group III unrestricted free
agent, having at least four years of experience while being at
least 32 years of age. Belfour, 32, started the past season with
the Chicago Blackhawks and finished with the San Jose Sharks. The
Blackhawks shipped Belfour to San Jose for winger Ulf Dahlen and
goaltender Chris Terreri before the trading deadline to avoid
losing him via free agency without compensation. The signing of
Belfour likely means Dallas' top netminder from the past season,
Andy Moog, is out of a job. Moog, who is also an unrestricted
free agent, went 28-12-5 with a 2.15 goals-against average and
.913 save percentage. Belfour compiled a 14-24-6 record in 46
games with Chicago and San Jose last season. He had a 2.91
goals-against average and a .901 save percentage. Belfour, who
played in All-Star games in 1992, 1993 and 1996, came up with the
Blackhawks and backstopped them to the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals.
The eight-year veteran is second among active goaltenders with 31
shutouts, 11th in wins (204) and in the top 10 in winning
percentage (.570). He is one of only five NHL goaltenders to win
40 games in a season.


RED WINGS SIGN MARTIN LAPOINTE TO FOUR-YEAR CONTRACT

The Detroit Red Wings took their first step toward keeping their
Stanley Cup champion nucleus intact, re-signing restricted
free-agent right winger Martin Lapointe to a four-year contract
worth an undisclosed amount. Lapointe was an instrumental part of
the Red Wings first Stanley Cup in 42 years. The 23-year-old
established career highs of 16 goals and 17 assists in the
regular season, then stepped it up in the playoffs with four
goals and eight assists in 20 games. "Martin showed marked
improvement in his development as a player this season, followed
by a tremendous playoffs," said Red Wings assistant general
manager Ken Holland. "He worked hard in the offseason and made
himself as an integral part of a Stanley Cup champion and we are
pleased to have signed him to a long-term contract. We feel he
can use this year's playoffs as a building block for the future."
Lapointe was the 10th overall pick in the 1991 Entry Draft. In
four seasons with Detroit, he has accumulated 34 goals and 35
assists in 232 games.


BLUES FIRE ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER BERRY

St. Louis Blues assistant general manager Bob Berry was fired
Wednesday, becoming another casualty of the new regime of general
manager Larry Pleau. The Blues announced that the 53-year-old
Berry, who served as head coach of the Blues from 1992 to 1994
and had two stints as an assistant coach (1988-92 & 1994-96),
will no longer remain with the club. He was 73-62-21 as head
coach of the Blues and also served as a head coach in Los
Angeles, Montreal and Pittsburgh and has an overall record of
384-355-121. Pleau was given a four-year contract as general
manager after serving as vice president of player personnel for
the New York Rangers.



Friday, July 4, 1997

FLAMES NAME BRIAN SUTTER HEAD COACH

Brian Sutter, who coached the Boston Bruins for three seasons but
was never able to get past the second round of the playoffs, was
named the head coach of the Calgary Flames Thursday. Sutter
replaces Pierre Page, who resigned June 18 amid speculation he
would fill the coaching vacancy with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
The 40-year-old Sutter has not coached since he was fired by the
Bruins following the 1994-95 season. A native of Viking, Alberta,
Sutter lives in nearby Sylvan Lake. Sutter compiled a 120-73-23
record in three seasons with the Bruins. He was runner-up for the
Adams Award as NHL Coach of the Year in 1992-93, his first season
in Boston, after guiding the Bruins to a 51-26-7 mark, their
first 50-win campaign in a decade. "As an opponent, there were
some places that you didn't really like going into," said Sutter.
"As the years went by, you found out those are the people and the
teams that you want to be associated with the most. Calgary was
always one of those. I always admired how the hockey club was run
here, their attitude toward things, the people that were involved
here."

Sutter began his coaching career in 1988-89 with the St. Louis
Blues, the team for whom he spent his entire 12-year playing
career. He became the winningest coach in Blues' history with a
153-124-43 record in four seasons behind the bench. He won the
Adams Award in 1990-91, helping St. Louis to a 47-22-11 record
and second overall in the league with 105 points. Sutter joins
his brother, Darryl, in the NHL coaching fraternity. Darryl
Sutter was named the San Jose Sharks' coach on June 9. Brian and
Darryl were two of the six hockey-playing Sutter brothers.
Philadelphia, Buffalo and Anaheim are the three remaining teams
without a head coach.


PULFORD STEPS DOWN AS 'HAWKS GM, MURRAY TO REPLACE HIM

Chicago Blackhawks senior vice president Robert J. Pulford has
decided to step down as general manager and hand the reins to
assistant general manager and director of player personnel Bob
Murray. Pulford joined the Blackhawks in 1977 as head coach and
general manager and compiled a 157-156-62 record -- the
third-most wins in team history -- until stepping down as coach
in 1985. He was appointed senior vice president in 1990. "When
Bob Pulford came to me and told me that he wanted to spend more
time with his family, I respected his decision," said Chicago
president William Wirtz. "Bob Pulford has served the Blackhawk
organization faithfully for 20-plus years and I thank him for his
efforts. We look forward to having Bob continue as our senior
vice president as we continue to call on him for hockey advice."
Murray played 15 seasons and over 1,000 games as a defenseman for
Chicago from 1975-90 before becoming a pro scout for the club.
Within a year, he was promoted to director of player personnel.


SENATORS SIGN FIRST-ROUND PICK HOSSA

The Ottawa Senators became the first team to sign a first-round
draft pick, inking left wing Marian Hossa to a three-year
contract. Financial terms were not disclosed. The Senators
gambled with the lowest first-round pick in team history, taking
the 18-year-old native from Slovakia with the 12th overall
selection. Hossa was considered a one-dimensional player by most
observers, but had 25 goals and 19 assists in 46 games with Dukla
Trencin in Slovakia. "We are extremely pleased that Marian has
signed with the Senators and that he has shown his desire to stay
in North America and try to make the team," said general manager
Pierre Gauthier. "He is a talented player that has competed in a
men's league (in Slovakia) this past season and he also played
for his country at both the 1997 World Junior and Senior
Championships." Hossa impressed scouts as a pure goal scorer
after collecting five goals in six games at the World Junior
Championships.



Sunday, July 6, 1997

KINGS SIGN GALLEY TO THREE-YEAR CONTRACT

The Los Angeles Kings took their first plunge into this season's
free-agent market Saturday, signing defenseman Garry Galley to a
three-year contract worth an undisclosed amount. Galley was the
top scorer among Buffalo Sabres defensemen this year with four
goals and 34 assists for 38 points. The 34-year-old Galley will
be making his second go-round with Los Angeles, having played
with the Kings from 1984-87. "We're excited to have Garry
returning to the Kings," said general manager Dave Taylor. "He'll
provide a lot of help on the power play and at the same time,
bring guidance and leadership to the younger guys in our
organization." In two-plus seasons with Buffalo, Galley had 15
goals and 87 assists. He had six assists in 12 playoff games for
the Sabres. Galley has also made stops in Washington, Boston and
Philadelphia. His best season was with the Flyers in 1993-94,
when he had 10 goals and 60 assists in 81 games. For his career,
Galley has 97 goals and 399 assists with 1,014 penalty minutes in
889 games.


Tuesday, July 8, 1997

MNATSAKANOV EMERGES FROM COMA; KONSTANTINOV PROGRESSING

Detroit Red Wings star defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov remains
unconscious, but team trainer Sergei Mnatsakanov has emerged from
a coma. Both are listed in serious condition at William Beaumont
Hospital in Michigan. Konstantinov, Mnatsakanov and Red Wings
defenseman Slava Fetisov were involved in an accident on June 13
after their limousine crashed in Birmingham. Konstantinov and
Mnatsakanov had been in a coma since the accident and Fetisov
sustained a bruised lung and lacerations to his chest. But
hospital officials said Monday that Mnatsakanov, who is breathing
with the help of a ventilator, is now conscious. "His level of
responsiveness has improved to the point that we consider him to
be conscious," said neurosurgeon Doctor Karol Zakalik.
Mnatsakanov is beginning to communicate by attempting to write
numbers in Russian with a pen and paper. Konstantinov was taken
off a ventilator last week and continues to show signs of
progress. Along with breathing completely on his own,
Konstantinov now is consistently opening his eyes and able to
follow simple commands. "These signs of improvement are very
encouraging," said trauma surgeon James Robbins. "But it will be
a long recovery process for both patients."


FLYERS NAME CASHMAN HEAD COACH

The Philadelphia Flyers named Wayne Cashman, a former assistant
coach with three different teams, as their new head coach Monday.
Terms were not disclosed, but it is believed that Cashman
received a three-year deal to replace Terry Murray. The Flyers
fired Murray less than a week after they were swept in the
Stanley Cup Final by the Detroit Red Wings. The 51-year-old
Cashman spent one season as an assistant with the Sharks and was
a finalist to replace Al Sims, who was fired during the 1996-97
season. He was an assistant for the New York Rangers from 1987-92
and for the Tampa Bay Lightning from 1992-96. Twice he was
rumored to succeed coach Terry Crisp, but did not. Cashman played
18 seasons, all with the Boston Bruins, whom he helped win
Stanley Cups in 1970 and 1972. Cashman met with Flyers general
manager Bobby Clarke in Pittsburgh on June 20, the day before the
NHL draft, and was selected ahead of Flyers assistant Keith
Acton. Clarke fired Murray on June 13, despite the team's first
trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in 10 years. The Flyers went
45-24-13 this season.


RANGERS SIGN KEANE, SKRUDLAND TO MULTI-YEAR DEALS
With memories of Philadelphia's Legion of Doom line dancing in
their heads, the New York Rangers dipped into the free agent
market and landed two coveted checking specialists. The Rangers
Monday signed right wing Mike Keane and center Brian Skrudland to
multi-year deals. Financial terms were not disclosed, but it is
believed that Keane signed a four-year contract worth $8 million
and Skrudland signed a three-year deal worth more than $5
million. The two players immediately provide the Rangers with the
foundation of a checking line to combat the top scoring lines in
the NHL. The Rangers were using a checking line of Mike Eastwood
centering Dallas Eakins and Shane Churla in the Eastern
Conference finals against the Philadelphia Flyers and paid for it
dearly. Center Eric Lindros and left wing John LeClair -- the
major components of the Legion of Doom line -- dominated the
series as the Flyers ousted the Rangers in five games. Keane and
Skrudland will now form the Rangers' top checking line with Bill
Berg likely on the right wing. The 30-year-old Keane was a member
of Stanley Cup championship teams in Montreal and Colorado. He
played the last two seasons with Colorado and had 10 goals and 17
assists last year. Skrudland, the only captain in the history of
the Florida Panthers, turns 34 on July 31 and is coming off knee
surgery. He was limited to 51 games last season and missed the
playoffs. Skrudland had five goals and 13 assists in 1996-97.



Wednesday, July 9, 1997


TOCCHET SIGNS THREE-YEAR DEAL WITH PHOENIX

The Phoenix Coyotes, continually looking for a bookend for rugged
left wing Keith Tkachuk, are going to give Rick Tocchet a try.
The Coyotes signed the 33-year-old unrestricted free agent to a
three-year contract at undisclosed financial terms. The 6-foot,
205-pounder plays a similar style to Tkachuk, though his best
seasons are probably behind him. Tocchet is reunited with coach
Jim Schoenfeld, who was fired from Washington following the end
of last season. "I am excited to be a part of a new franchise in
a new hockey town," Tocchet said. "Since the first day, the
Coyotes have shown a commitment to winning, and I hope to help
them achieve their goal." Tocchet, a four-time All-Star, was
traded to the Washington Capitals with center Adam Oates and
goaltender Bill Ranford from the Boston Bruins last season. He
did not re-sign with Washington after general manager David
Poile's contract was not renewed and Schoenfeld was fired.
Tocchet has nine 20-goal seasons in his 13-year career and joins
Dale Hunter, Pat Verbeek and Mike Foligno as the only players in
NHL history with 300 goals and 2,000 penalty minutes.


MAPLE LEAFS SIGN HEALY TO THREE-YEAR PACT
The Toronto Maple Leafs landed an experienced backup goaltender
Tuesday, signing unrestricted free agent Glenn Healy to a
three-year contract. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the
pact reportedly is worth just under $4 million. "I looked at a
number of other teams, specifically Toronto and Montreal," Healy
told The Sports Network of Canada. "With (interim general
manager) Bill Watters' hard work and my agent's ardent
negotiating, as soon as Toronto was involved I definitely wanted
to come here." The 34-year-old spent the last four seasons with
the New York Rangers, backing up All-Star Mike Richter. Healy was
5-12-4 in 23 games in 1996-97, despite a solid 2.61 goals-against
average and a .907 save percentage. Healy enjoyed his best
seasons with the New York Islanders from 1989-93. He backstopped
their unexpected run to the Eastern Conference finals in 1993,
but was allowed to sign as a free agent with the rival Rangers in
the offseason. Healy is the fourth free agent signed by the Maple
Leafs, who have added wingers Derek King, Mike Kennedy and Kris
King.


Thursday, July 10, 1997


POILE NAMED GENERAL MANAGER OF EXPANSION NASHVILLE

David Poile, who was fired in May as general manager of the
Washington Capitals after 15 seasons with the team, Wednesday was
named the first general manager of the new NHL expansion
franchise in Nashville, Tenn. The announcement was made by Jack
Diller, who was named president of the expansion franchise last
week. "We are fortunate to attract David who not only has some of
the highest credentials in professional hockey, but also great
excitement about helping build a new team from the ground up,"
said Diller. Poile, 48, has experience in working with expansion
teams. He worked as an administrator assistant with the expansion
Atlanta Flames in 1972 and was promoted to assistant general
manager in 1977 when the team relocated to Calgary.

The Capitals named Poile as their vice president and general
manager in 1982. During Poile's tenure with Washington, the
Capitals went 594-454-132, but only won seven of 21 playoff
series. Poile's streak of 14 consecutive playoff appearances in
Washington came to an end in 1996-97, and he faced criticism for
trading away youth in goaltender Jim Carey and forwards Jason
Allison and Anson Carter to acquire center Adam Oates, right wing
Rick Tocchet and goaltender Bill Ranford from the Boston Bruins.
Nashville will begin play in October 1998 as the first of four
new expansion franchises approved by the NHL Board of Governors
last month.


Saturday, July 12, 1997

AVALANCHE SIGN FREE AGENT KURRI
Free-agent right wing Jari Kurri, the highest-scoring European
player in NHL history, signed with the Colorado Avalanche Friday.
Terms were not disclosed. The 37-year-old, a native of Finland,
is eighth all-time with 596 career goals and has 1,376 points
over 1,181 games in his 16-year NHL career. The six-time All-Star
was a member of all five of the Edmonton Oilers' Stanley Cup
championship teams and is the third-leading all-time playoff
scorer with 233 points on 106 goals and 127 assists. Kurri is no
longer a top scoring threat, but remains one of the league's top
penalty killers and will be used by Colorado to replace departed
right wing Mike Keane, who signed a free-agent deal with the New
York Rangers earlier in the week. Kurri played all 82 games for
the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim last season and had 13 goals and 22
assists. He had one goal and two assists in 11 playoff games.


ISLANDERS' OWNERSHIP REVERTS BACK TO PICKETT

The John Spano ownership era turned into an embarrassing error
for the New York Islanders and the National Hockey League. After
an all-day arbitration hearing Thursday, the league announced
Friday that Spano will sever all relationship with the Islanders
under terms of an agreement reached between Spano and John
Pickett, the former owner of the team. Pickett will own the NHL
franchise until a new ownership group is found. But with the sale
to Spano falling through, the future of the franchise on Long
Island could be in jeopardy. Pickett has put the team back on the
market, and there is no guarantee that a buyer willing to keep
the team on Long Island could be found. The NHL approved the sale
of the Islanders from Pickett to Spano in February, but Pickett
did not receive payments required for the purchase of the team.
As a result, an arbitration hearing before Commissioner Gary
Bettman was held Thursday in New York in an attempt to resolve
the ownership dispute.

Spano, a Dallas businessman with New York roots, agreed last fall
to purchase the Islanders for $165 million, including $85 million
for cable television rights. Two weeks ago reports surfaced that
Spano had missed a $17 million payment to Pickett. At Pickett's
insistence, the NHL decided to hold an arbitration hearing to
resolve the dispute. Spano secured an $80 million loan from Fleet
Bank of Boston to purchase the team, but he apparently missed the
first of five $17 million payments due to Pickett to complete the
transaction. The league officially suspended Spano from operating
the team upon learning of the missed payment, but allowed
Islanders general manager Mike Milbury to continue signing free
agents.


OILERS RE-SIGN KOVALENKO TO MULTI-YEAR CONTRACT

The Edmonton Oilers retained one of their two 30-goal scorers
Friday, re-signing left wing Andrei Kovalenko to a multi-year
contract. Financial terms were not disclosed. Kovalenko, 27, was
second on the Oilers with 32 goals last season, trailing only
Ryan Smyth, who had 39. Kovalenko also had 27 assists to rank
third on the team in scoring. He added four goals and three
assists in 12 playoff games as Edmonton advanced to the Western
Conference semifinals. "Andrei will play a vital role in leading
the Oilers in the future," general manager Glen Sather said.
"There is no doubt in my mind that he will just get better and
better as he gains experience." Kovalenko was acquired from the
Montreal Canadiens on Sept. 6 for center Scott Thornton. He was a
Group II free agent, requiring compensation from any team that
would have signed him. "I am very happy in Edmonton," Kovalenko
said. "The Oilers have treated me very well and I think our team
is ready to go to the next level. I want to be part of that."




Tuesday, July 15, 1997


PAGE READY TO BECOME COACH OF MIGHTY DUCKS

Pierre Page, who resigned as head coach of the Calgary Flames on
June 18, is ready to become the new coach of the Mighty Ducks of
Anaheim. The 49-year-old Page told CHQR Radio in Calgary that he
can sign on, without compensation, as Anaheim's coach on Oct. 1.
He said that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman gave the ruling on a
conference call on Thursday. It would be the second straight
season that Anaheim's coach will miss all or part of training
camp. Last season, departed coach Ron Wilson, who is now the
coach of the Washington Capitals, coached Team USA to a victory
in the World Cup. The only coaching vacancies remain in Anaheim
and Buffalo after a whirlwind offseason resulted in eight
coaching changes. Brian Sutter was named as Page's replacement in
Calgary on July 3. Page was not retained because he was seeking a
contract extension that general manager Al Coates refused to
give. Page relinquished the final year of his $240,000 contract
when he resigned. Ducks GM Jack Ferreira admitted to previously
asking formal permission to interview Page. Anaheim has
apparently balked at a deal involving compensation. Wilson had
been the only head coach in the history of the Mighty Ducks, who
finished with a franchise-best 36-33-13 record and beat Phoenix,
4-3, in the first round of the NHL playoffs before falling to
Detroit in a four-game sweep in the Western Conference
semifinals.


FLYERS SIGN FREE AGENT RICHARDSON

The Philadelphia Flyers signed free-agent defenseman Luke
Richardson Monday. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.
Richardson, who had spent the last six years with the Edmonton
Oilers, was regarded as the best unrestricted free-agent
blueliner available on the market. The hard-hitting defenseman
had a goal and 11 assists in 82 games last season and added two
assists in 12 playoff games as Edmonton reached the Western
Conference semifinals before losing to the Colorado Avalanche.
"To be able to add a 6-foot-4, 210-pound defenseman who plays
consistently well every night will help solidify our defense,"
said Flyers general manager Bobby Clarke. "Luke will add
experience and talent to our lineup and is a big plus for our
hockey club." The 28-year-old Richardson became an unrestricted
free agent since his 1996-97 salary was less than the league
average. He was acquired by Edmonton from the Toronto Maple Leafs
in 1991 as part of a seven-player trade that sent Grant Fuhr,
Glenn Anderson and Craig Berube to the Maple Leafs. Richardson
fits right in on a hulking defensive corps that now has nine
players at least 6-feet and 195 pounds.



Wednesday, July 16, 1997

CRAWFORD NAMED COACH OF CANADIAN OLYMPIC TEAM

Colorado Avalanche head coach Marc Crawford already has a Stanley
Cup ring. Now he has a chance for an Olympic gold medal. The
36-year-old Crawford, who guided the Avalanche to the Stanley Cup
in 1995-96, was named head coach of the 1998 Canadian Olympic
hockey team Tuesday in Toronto. New Philadelphia Flyers head
coach Wayne Cashman, Andy Murray and Mike Johnson were named to
round out the coaching staff. Cashman was named head coach of the
Flyers last month. Murray is the coach of the Calgary-based
national team and Johnson is his associate coach. Crawford helped
Colorado to the 1997 President's Cup for the best record in the
NHL and was awarded the 1995 Jack Adams Trophy as the NHL coach
of the year. Crawford and his staff were picked by Bob Clarke of
the Flyers and his assistants, Bob Gainey of the Dallas Stars and
Pierre Gauthier of the Ottawa Senators, who are the general
managers of their respective NHL clubs. There is heavy pressure
on Team Canada's entry to bring home the gold medal in the 1998
Winter Olympics at Nagno, Japan, after the United States won last
summer's inaugural World Cup of Hockey, taking the final two
games in Montreal. The chance for redemption comes during a
16-day shutdown in the middle of the 1997-98 NHL season.


SABRES' PECA HAS SHOULDER SURGERY

Buffalo Sabres center Michael Peca, who came out of nowhere to
win the Selke trophy as the league's top defensive forward last
season, had arthroscopic surgery Tuesday on his left shoulder and
will miss a portion of training camp. The surgery, which was
performed by Dr. John Marzo, should keep Peca sidelined eight to
10 weeks. He had a subluxed shoulder, which he injured during the
regular season, repaired. Marzo hoped that the shoulder was going
to get better with rest after the season, but Peca was still
having trouble with the shoulder. An MRI last week revealed the
need for the procedure. "I expect a full recovery," Marzo said.
"This surgery should eliminate the pain Michael experienced last
year." Peca, who led the league with six shorthanded goals, had
career highs with 20 goals, 29 assists, 49 points and 79 games
last season, helping Buffalo win the Northeast Division with a
record of 40-30-12.


Thursday, July 17, 1997

STARS RE-SIGN SYDOR TO ONE-YEAR DEAL

The Dallas Stars re-signed steady defenseman Darryl Sydor to a
one-year, undisclosed contract Wednesday. The 25-year-old Sydor
led Dallas defensemen in scoring last season, tying his career
high with eight goals and establishing personal bests in assists
(40) and points (48). He finished seventh in the voting for the
Norris Trophy, awarded to the league's best defenseman. Sydor was
a first-round pick by Los Angeles in 1990 and played with the
Kings from 1991 until being dealt to Dallas in February 1996. He
has played in 311 consecutive games, the third-longest active
streak in the NHL. Dallas also signed free agent right wing Peter
Douris to a one-year contract Wednesday. The 31-year-old played
with the IHL's Milwaukee Admirals last year, recording 36 goals
and 36 assists. He has 54 goals and 67 assists in 320 career NHL
games with Winnipeg, Boston and Anaheim.


SHARKS RETAIN VETERAN RON SUTTER

Veteran center Ron Sutter will be back for a 16th NHL season
after re-signing with the San Jose Sharks to an undisclosed
contract. The 33-year-old Sutter recorded five goals and seven
assists with 65 penalty minutes in 78 games last year with San
Jose. He had signed with the Sharks last October after playing
with five different teams over the three previous seasons. In 878
career NHL games with Philadelphia, St. Louis, Quebec, the New
York Islanders, Phoenix, Boston and San Jose, Sutter has compiled
194 goals and 307 assists for 501 points. He is one of six
brothers to have played in the NHL, including Sharks head coach
Darryl Sutter. "Ron personifies grit and determination," said
Sharks executive vice president and general manager Dean
Lombardi. "He is an honest professional on and off the ice." San
Jose also signed 1996 first-round draft pick center Marco Sturm
Wednesday. The 21st overall pick has been playing in the German
League the last two seasons and played for the German National
Team at the 1997 World Championships.


KINGS COME TO TERMS WITH TOP PICK JOKINEN

The Los Angeles Kings signed the third overall pick in the 1997
NHL entry draft, 18-year-old Finnish center Olli Jokinen, to a
three-year contract Wednesday. Financial terms were undisclosed.
The 6-foot-2, 198-pound Jokinen entered the draft as the
top-ranked European skater. He had 14 goals and 27 assists in 50
games for IFK Helsinki and is adept at the North American style.
"I like to hit and play physical," he said at last month's draft
in Pittsburgh. Jokinen was the youngest player on his Elite
League team, but centered its top line. He also scored five goals
for Finland at the World Junior Championships and competed at the
1997 World Championships, where he was the youngest player. "We
are quite happy with our agreement with Olli," Kings general
manager Dave Taylor said. "He has the raw talent and potential to
be a complete player in the National Hockey League, and we like
his intensity. He's a big, strong, fearless competitor." Jokinen
will join the Kings for training camp in North Hills, Calif. on
Sept. 9.



Saturday, July 19, 1997

BOWMAN TO RETURN AS RED WINGS COACH FOR TWO MORE YEARS

Scotty Bowman, the winningest coach in NHL history, will return
to coach the Detroit Red Wings for two more years. There was
speculation the 63-year-old Bowman would step down after guiding
the Red Wings to their first Stanley Cup championship in 42
years. But he agreed to a two-year contract Friday. The Red Wings
also promoted Ken Holland to general manager, a post previously
held by Bowman, while announcing that associate coaches Dave
Lewis and Barry Smith also will return for two more years. Bowman
became the first coach in NHL history to win Stanley Cups with
three different teams. He guided the Montreal Canadiens to the
Cup in 1973 before a run of four consecutive championships from
1975-79. He was behind the Pittsburgh Penguins' bench for the
second of their two titles in 1992. Only his boyhood idol, Toe
Blake, coached more Stanley Cup champions (8). The always
enigmatic Bowman, elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991,
became the first coach in NHL history to reach the 1,000-win mark
with a Feb. 8 victory at Pittsburgh. Two years ago, he broke Al
Arbour's league record for games coached. Bowman owns the best
winning percentage (.662) of anyone who has coached at least 600
regular-season games and is the only coach to guide a team to a
60-win season, achieving the feat with Montreal in 1976-77 and
with the Red Wings in 1995-96.



Friday, July 18, 1997

CANADIENS INK FREE AGENT MOOG TO TWO-YEAR DEAL

The Montreal Canadiens signed free-agent goaltender Andy Moog,
the winningest active goalie in the National Hockey League, to a
two-year contract Thursday. Financial terms were not disclosed,
but the Canadiens confirmed that Moog agreed to a salary
comparable to that of current Habs goaltender Jocelyn Thibault,
plus a signing bonus. "We are very pleased to have come to terms
with such a quality goaltender," said Canadiens general manager
Rejean Houle. "Andy has had a great career in the NHL and he will
bring experience and stability which will benefit our young team
of goaltenders." Moog, 37, enjoyed one of the best seasons of his
career in 1996-97 for the Dallas Stars despite being limited to
48 games due to a bulging disk. He was 28-13-5 with three
shutouts and finished second in the NHL to New Jersey's Martin
Brodeur with a 2.15 goals-against average. Moog started all seven
postseason games for Dallas and had a 2.81 goals-against average
but saw his career there end when the Stars signed free-agent
goalie Ed Belfour to a three-year contract on July 2. Moog has
354 career wins in his 17-year NHL career with Edmonton, Boston
and Dallas. "I have always been fascinated by the Canadiens and
their winning tradition and I am very excited by the fact that I
will now play for this great team," said Moog.


DUCKS HIRE FORMER COYOTES COACH HAY AS ASSISTANT

The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim still don't officially have a head
coach, but Thursday they hired former Phoenix Coyotes coach Don
Hay as an assistant. Hay, fired May 6 after one season with the
Coyotes, joins Walt Kyle as Anaheim assistants. The Ducks
reportedly will hire former Calgary Flames coach Pierre Page, but
must wait until Oct. 1, according to a ruling by NHL Commissioner
Gary Bettman. Hay, 43, guided the Coyotes to a 38-37-7 record and
a playoff berth in the franchise's first season in Phoenix. But
he was dumped in favor of Jim Schoenfeld after a second-round
playoff loss to the Ducks. Before taking the Coyotes' job, Hay
was an assistant for one season with Calgary.



Tuesday, July 22, 1997

RUFF NAMED NEW SABRES COACH

Lindy Ruff, who spent most of his playing career in upstate New
York, was named head coach of the Buffalo Sabres on Monday. The
37-year-old Ruff signed a multi-year agreement for undisclosed
financial terms. He played 10 of his 12 NHL seasons in Buffalo
and spent the past four seasons with the Florida Panthers as an
assistant under Doug MacLean. Ruff becomes the 15th head coach in
franchise history and replaces Ted Nolan, who won the Jack Adams
Award last season as NHL Coach of the Year. Nolan won a power
struggle with fired general manager John Muckler, only to be left
out in the cold by new GM Darcy Regier, who did not make a
concerted effort to keep Nolan after making just one offer of a
one-year contract. "I loved playing in Buffalo," said Ruff. "The
fans were always appreciative, and I felt that I mirrored the
city's values of hard work and persistence. As a head coach, I
will continue to hold myself to these principles, and will expect
the same effort from my players." Ruff worked primarily with the
penalty-killing teams and defensemen as an assistant in Florida.
He is credited with helping to develop defensemen Ed Jovanovski
and Rhett Warrener into solid blue-line forces. In 691 NHL games,
Ruff had 105 goals and 195 assists for 300 points and added 1,246
penalty minutes.


BEREZIN RE-SIGNS WITH TORONTO

Right wing Sergei Berezin, a restricted free agent, signed a
multi-year contract Monday to remain with the Toronto Maple
Leafs. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Berezin, who is from Voskresensk in Russia, had 25 goals and 16
assists last season, his first in the NHL. He was named to the
All-Rookie team and finished seventh in Calder Trophy voting. He
led all rookies in goals and was second in points (41), shots
(177) and power-play goals (7). "Last season, Sergei demonstrated
that he has the skills to put the puck in the net at this level,"
said Bill Watters, the assistant general manager of the Maple
Leafs. "Sergei is a player that can provide goal production for
this team for many years to come." Berezin, 25, was one of few
bright spots on a Toronto team that finished 30-44-8 and in last
place in the Central Division. Berezin, a participant in the 1994
Olympics and 1996 World Cup of Hockey, was an eighth-round choice
in 1994.



Wednesday, July 23, 1997


REPORT: EX-ISLES OWNER SPANO WILL FACE FEDERAL CHARGES

John Spano, whose attempt to purchase the New York Islanders
turned into an embarrassment for the team and the National Hockey
League, reportedly is being sought by federal agents on fraud
charges. Newsday (New York) reported that federal agents visited
Spano's mansion in a Dallas suburb on Monday with a sealed arrest
warrant, but were unable to find him. Citing unidentified
sources, Newsday said the charges claim that Spano used
fraudulent claims to obtain an $80 million loan from Fleet Bank
in Boston that he used to purchase the team. Newsday contacted
Spano at a resort in the Cayman Islands. "How in the world did
you get this number?" Spano asked Newsday. "You call me again and
I'm going to take this matter into my own hands." The newspaper
added that prosecutors have begun negotiations to get Spano to
turn himself in on Long Island later this week. Earlier this
month, the NHL announced that Spano will sever all relationships
with the Islanders under terms of an agreement reached between
Spano and John Pickett, the former owner of the team. Pickett
once again owns the NHL franchise until a new ownership group is
found. Spano, a Dallas businessman with New York roots, agreed
last fall to purchase the Islanders for $165 million, including
$85 million for cable television rights. But Spano missed the
first of five $17 million payments to Pickett.


Thursday, July 24, 1997

REPORTS: MESSIER OFFERED $18 MILLION PACKAGE BY CANUCKS

The New York Daily News and the New York Post reported Wednesday
that the Vancouver Canucks have made a three-year, $18 million
offer to free-agent center Mark Messier. The 36-year-old Messier
scored 36 goals last season in the final year of a three-year,
$18 million contract with the New York Rangers. He led the
Rangers to their first Stanley Cup in 54 years in 1994. The Daily
News reported that the Rangers have not amended their initial
offer of a one-year, $4 million deal to the star center. Messier
said Tuesday he has narrowed his choice as an unrestricted free
agent to five "very interested" teams. The Daily News added that
Messier has also been negotiating with the Edmonton Oilers.
Messier is a former captain of the Oilers and earned five Stanley
Cup championships while in Edmonton.


KONSTANTINOV EMERGES FROM COMA; CONDITION UPGRADED

Detroit Red Wings star defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov emerged
from a coma Wednesday and will be transferred out of intensive
care within the week, doctors said. At an afternoon news
conference, doctors at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak,
Mich., announced that the conditions of Konstantinov and Red
Wings masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov have been upgraded to fair. "Mr.
Konstantinov is in a more wakeful state and has signs of
conscious awareness," a hospital spokeswoman said. "He continues
to breathe spontaneously without a ventilator." Mnatsakanov, who
came out of his coma more than a week ago, is conscious and able
to mouth words, write in Russian and make single-syllable sounds.
Konstantinov, Mnatsakanov and Red Wings defenseman Slava Fetisov
were involved in an accident on June 13 after the limousine in
which they were riding crashed in Birmingham, Mich. Konstantinov
and Mnatsakanov had been in comas since the accident, while
Fetisov sustained a bruised lung and lacerations to his chest and
was released from the hospital five days later.



Friday, July 25, 1997

EX-COACH MURRAY TO REMAIN WITH FLYERS AS PRO SCOUT

Terry Murray, fired by the Philadelphia Flyers last month after
leading them to the Stanley Cup Finals, has decided to remain
with the organization as a pro scout, the team announced
Thursday. Murray was axed on June 13, six days after the Flyers
were swept in the Finals by the Detroit Red Wings. On July 7,
Philadelphia named Wayne Cashman as Murray's replacement. Murray,
who turned 47 on Sunday, compiled a 118-64-30 record in three
seasons with the Flyers. He guided them to back-to-back Atlantic
Division titles in 1995 and 1996, as well as their first Stanley
Cup Finals appearance since 1987. Murray, a former NHL
defenseman, also coached the Washington Capitals for parts of
five seasons and has a career coaching mark of 281-198-58.


NHL CHANGES DATE OF 1998 ALL-STAR GAME

The National Hockey League announced Thursday it has shifted the
1998 All-Star Game from Saturday night, Jan. 17, to Sunday
afternoon, Jan. 18. The event will be held at Vancouver's General
Motors Place with the annual SuperSkills Competition set Jan. 17.
"Playing the All-Star Game on Sunday afternoon enables many more
of our young fans to watch the greatest players in the world,"
said Steve Solomon, NHL senior vice president and CEO. "Our sport
is incredibly strong in its attraction to young people throughout
North America."



Saturday, July 26, 1997

PICKETT, FLEET BANK REACH AGREEMENT ON ISLES OWNERSHIP

The bizarre saga involving ownership of the New York Islanders
took another turn Friday when former owner John O. Pickett Jr.
reached an agreement with Fleet Bank that places him back in
control of the franchise. Pickett resumed ownership of the team
July 11 after John Spano walked away from an agreement to buy the
Islanders. Friday's agreement guarantees "the long-term stability
of the organization" and insures "its future on Long Island,"
Pickett said in a statement released by the team. Details of the
agreement were not disclosed. Boston-based Fleet Bank loaned
Spano some $80 million to buy the team and its approval of any
agreement "was key to the continued operation and future of the
franchise," Pickett said. "This agreement is an important step in
moving forward for the benefit of the franchise and Islander
fans," he added. "With a promising young team and the excitement
over the upcoming season, everyone should regard this as a very
positive development." The agreement also avoids an arbitration
hearing scheduled for next week involving Pickett, bank
executives and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. League officials
will continue working with Pickett to find a new owner that will
keep the franchise on Long Island. The Islanders' previous
management team of Walsh/Greenwood and First Long Island will
remain limited partners without management control. General
manager Mike Milbury hailed tonight's agreement.


Tuesday, July 29, 1997
CANUCKS ANNOUNCE SIGNING OF MESSIER

The Vancouver Canucks announced the signing of New York Rangers
free agent center Mark Messier at an afternoon news conference at
GM Place Monday. Various reports say that Messier inked a
three-year deal worth at least $20 million. The deal reportedly
includes an incentive package that could add substantially to the
overall value of the contract. The 36-year-old Messier had 36
goals and 48 assists for 84 points last season in the final year
of a three-year, $18 million contract with the Rangers. In 18 NHL
seasons with the Edmonton Oilers and the Rangers, Messier is 10th
all-time in goals with 575, sixth in assists with 977 and fifth
in points with 1,552. Messier is second to Wayne Gretzky among
all-time postseason performers with 109 goals, 186 assists and
295 points. A ferocious two-way player, Messier won the Conn
Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP for the Oilers in 1984. He also won
the Hart Trophy, given to the league's MVP, in 1990 with Edmonton
and 1992 with the Rangers.


Wednesday, July 30, 1997

BLACKHAWKS SIGN AMONTE TO FIVE-YEAR DEAL

The Chicago Blackhawks signed restricted free-agent right wing
Tony Amonte to a five-year contract Tuesday. Amonte, who turns 27
on Aug. 2, has emerged as one of the top right wings in the NHL.
He led the Blackhawks with 41 goals and 77 points, both
career-highs, and had an astounding plus-35 rating this past
season. As a Group II free agent, the Blackhawks had the right to
match any offer to Amonte and were entitled to compensation if he
signed elsewhere. "I never wanted to leave the Blackhawk
organization or the great city of Chicago," said Amonte at an
afternoon news conference at the United Center. "I have always
enjoyed playing in front of Blackhawk fans and I look forward to
bringing them to the Stanley Cup, because they certainly deserve
it." Apparently, the New York Rangers, who lost center Mark
Messier to free agency Monday, were interested in reacquiring
Amonte. "The Rangers were definitely always a possibility,
especially with the departure of Mark right now," said Amonte,
who was drafted by the Rangers and played three years in New
York. "But like I said, I'm happy here. ... The contract I
signed, which they didn't hold a gun to my head to make me sign,
is a great contract." Amonte scored the winning goal in Team
USA's triumph over Canada in the decisive game of the World Cup
Finals and used it as a springboard for the 1996-97 season. The
6-foot, 190-pound Amonte scored 35 goals for the Rangers as a
rookie and was a runner-up to Pavel Bure for the 1992 Calder
Trophy. During his six-year NHL career, Amonte has 172 goals and
190 assists in 451 games. In 50 playoff games, he has 16 goals
and 19 assists.
ARBITRATOR RULES IN FAVOR OF DEVILS IN DUNHAM CASE

An arbitrator ruled Tuesday that New Jersey Devils backup
goaltender Mike Dunham is still bound to the team as a restricted
free agent. Arbitrator John E. Sands conducted a lengthy hearing
in Chicago last Wednesday to resolve Dunham's status after the
goalie filed a grievance through the NHL Players Association
claiming the Devils violated a good faith clause in the
collective bargaining agreement. The Devils needed to play Dunham
in 25 games last season in order to prevent him from becoming an
unrestricted free agent. New Jersey often played the goalie for a
minute or two and then pulled him to reach the limit. However,
arbitrator John Sands ruled in favor of the club and rejected
Dunham's plea to become an unrestricted free agent. The
25-year-old Dunham appeared in 26 games last year and was 8-7-1
with two shutouts and a 2.55 goals-against average. Dunham and
Martin Brodeur allowed the fewest goals in the league.



Thursday, July 31, 1997

GAMES IN JAPAN, OLYMPICS INTERRUPT 1997-98 SCHEDULE

The 1997-98 National Hockey League schedule, released by the
league on Wednesday, features two new wrinkles -- a pair of
regular season games in Japan and a 17-day "winter break" which
will allow players to compete in the Olympics. The Mighty Ducks
of Anaheim and the Vancouver Canucks will play a two-game series
in Tokyo on Oct. 3 and 4. The games will mark the first
regular-season NHL games played outside North America. No regular
season games will be played between Feb. 8-24, as many of the
league's top players are expected to represent their respective
countries at the Olympics, which will be held in Nagano, Japan.
Because of the break, the regular season will not conclude until
April 19. The Stanley Cup playoffs will begin on April 22 and
could continue through June 24 if all rounds go the maximum
number of games.



Saturday, August 2, 1997

MAPLE LEAFS SIGN OHLUND TO OFFER SHEET

The Toronto Maple Leafs Friday signed Swedish defenseman Mattias
Ohlund, who was the 13th overall selection in the 1994 NHL draft
by Vancouver, to an offer sheet. According to IMG, which
represents Ohlund, the offer is a five-year contract worth $10
million with a signing bonus in excess of $7.5 million. Vancouver
has seven days to match the offer entirely or make a deal with
Toronto to deal his rights. If the Canucks match the offer,
Ohlund cannot be traded for one year, and if they do not, they
will not be compensated by the Maple Leafs. The 20-year-old
Ohlund was voted the best defenseman at the past World Junior
Championship tournament, and earned second all-star team honors
at the World Championships in Finland.


COYOTES ADD ROBERTS TO COACHING STAFF

Phoenix Coyotes head coach Jim Schoenfeld rounded out his staff
Friday by naming Gord Roberts -- already the team's director of
player development -- as an assistant coach. Roberts, who joined
the team in June 1996, played in 1,097 NHL games over 16 seasons
with Hartford, Minnesota, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and
Boston, recording 61 goals and 359 assists. He won Stanley Cup
titles in 1991 and 1992 with the Penguins.


Tuesday, August 5, 1997

NHL TOP PICK THORNTON AGREES TO THREE-YEAR DEAL WITH BRUINS

Center Joe Thornton, the No. 1 pick in the June draft, has agreed
to terms on a three-year contract with the Boston Bruins. It is
expected that Thornton will be in Boston at the end of the week
to officially sign the contract. Terms were not disclosed. "Quite
obviously, we're thrilled that this process has ended with this
agreement," said Bruins assistant general manager Mike O'Connell.
"We've made it clear since before the draft how excited we were
about Joe's future with the Bruins. He's big, strong and has all
the skills you look for in a player with the attitude to match."
Thornton, who turned 18 on July 2, was the first 17-year-old
selected first overall since the Buffalo Sabres tabbed Pierre
Turgeon in 1987. Nicknamed "Big Bird," the 6-foot-4, 198-pound
Thornton has drawn comparisons to Wayne Gretzky. Thornton
completed his second season of junior hockey with Sault Ste.
Marie in 1996-97 and finished second in the Ontario Junior Hockey
League scoring race with 41 goals and 81 assists for 122 points
and 123 penalty minutes in 59 games.


BLUES RE-SIGN TURGEON TO ONE-YEAR DEAL

The St. Louis Blues re-signed restricted free-agent center Pierre
Turgeon Monday to a one-year contract. Terms were not disclosed.
The 27-year-old Turgeon, a four-time All-Star, had 25 goals and
74 points in 69 games with the Blues last season after he was
acquired from the Montreal Canadiens in a five-player deal on
Oct. 29. "I am really glad to have our No. 1 center under
contract," said Blues vice president and general manager Larry
Pleau. "Pierre decided to accept the qualifying offer, which puts
him under contract for the next year." As a Group II free agent,
the Blues had the right to match any offer to Turgeon and were
entitled to compensation if he signed elsewhere. Turgeon, who has
averaged 34 goals in his 10-year NHL career, was selected as a
17-year-old by the Buffalo Sabres with the No. 1 pick in the 1987
draft. Turgeon enjoyed his best season in 1992-93 with the
Islanders when he had 58 goals and 74 assists for 132 points in
83 games. Turgeon has 344 goals and 520 assists for 864 points in
750 career games.


CANADIENS RE-SIGN SAVAGE, TWO OTHER FREE AGENTS

The Montreal Canadiens re-signed restricted free-agent left wing
Brian Savage Monday to a one-year contract. Savage, 26, was third
in scoring for the Canadiens last season with 23 goals and 37
assists for 60 points in 81 games. He had a career-high 25 goals
in 1995-96. As a Group II free agent, the Canadiens had the right
to match any offer to Savage and were entitled to compensation if
he signed elsewhere. The Canadiens Malso re-signed defensemen
Jassen Cullimore and Craig Rivet on Monday. Cullimore signed a
one-year contract and Rivet inked a two-year deal. Cullimore, 24,
played in 49 games in 1996-97 and had two goals and six assists.
He was acquired last November from the Vancouver Canucks in
exchange for Donald Brashear. Rivet, 22, played a career-high 35
games with the Canadiens last season and had four assists. He
also participated in 23 games with Fredericton of the American
Hockey League.



Wednesday, August 6, 1997

DUCKS CAN HIRE PIERRE PAGE AFTER COMPENSATING FLAMES

Pierre Page is clear to become the next coach of the Mighty Ducks
of Anaheim, who reached a compensation agreement Tuesday with the
Calgary Flames, his former team. "We have reached an agreement
with Calgary and will begin negotiations with Pierre Page to be
Anaheim's next coach," Ducks vice president Jack Ferreira said in
a statement Tuesday. Page resigned as Flames coach June 18 and
was courted by Ferreira, who was looking for a replacement for
Ron Wilson. One month later, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman ruled
that Page could become Anaheim's coach without compensation on or
after Oct. 1. The Ducks, who were without Wilson for part of
training camp last year and faced the same scenario this year,
apparently could not wait until October, offering the Flames a
conditional draft pick. They will begin negotiating immediately
with Page.

Despite the first playoff appearance in franchise history, the
Ducks fired Wilson, who guided Team USA to victory in the 1996
World Cup and is now the coach of the Washington Capitals. Brian
Sutter replaced Page as coach of the Flames. Page, 49, was not
retained by the Flames because he was seeking a contract
extension that general manager Al Coates refused to give.
Ferreira asked formal permission to interview Page, but the Ducks
balked at a deal involving compensation until Bettman ruled. In
two seasons as Flames coach, Page was just 66-78-20. He guided
them to the playoffs in 1996 but the team was shut out of the
playoffs last season.


CANUCKS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE AGENT IRBE

The Vancouver Canucks agreed to terms Tuesday with free-agent
goaltender Arturs Irbe, who played last season with the Dallas
Stars. Irbe, 30, posted a 17-12-3 record in 35 contests with the
Stars last year. He had three shutouts, a 2.69 goals-against
average and .893 save percentage. Irbe signed with Dallas as a
free agent last August after five years with the San Jose Sharks.
The 1994 NHL All-Star enjoyed his best season that year, going
30-28-16 with a 2.84 GAA in 74 games. In 218 career NHL games, he
owns a 74-103-29 record with 11 shutouts and a 3.35 GAA. Irbe was
a 10th-round selection by Minnesota (now Dallas) in 1989 before
being claimed by San Jose in the 1991 dispersal draft.



Thursday, August 7, 1997

RANGERS SIGN COLORADO'S JOE SAKIC TO OFFER SHEET

The New York Rangers, who lost Mark Messier to free agency nine
days ago, signed Colorado Avalanche All-Star center Joe Sakic to
an offer sheet Wednesday night. Terms of the offer were not
disclosed, but the deal reportedly is for three years and $21
million. Sakic was the 14th-highest paid player in the NHL last
season, earning $3.1 million. Interviewed on the Madison Square
Garden Network, Sakic said he was "stunned" by the Rangers' bid,
which reportedly includes a $15 million signing bonus. "To tell
you the truth, it kind of happened at the last minute," said
Sakic. "That's something I never really expected. We're excited,
but other than that, we can't say too much." Sakic, 28, is a
Group II restricted free agent, meaning the Avalanche have a week
to match the Rangers' offer. If they do not, Colorado would
receive five first-round draft picks as compensation.

"I'm just going to sit here and wait," Sakic told MSG. "Whether
they're going to match or not, we'll see. My hands are tied right
now. Everything's going to happen in another week. That's when
I'll know where I'm playing next season." Avalanche general
manager Pierre Lacroix issued a statement late Wednesday night
and said the team "respects (Sakic's) choice and his right to
sign an offer sheet from another NHL team." Sakic had 22 goals
and 52 assists in 65 games last season, but his minus-10 rating
was the lowest on the team. He was second on the team in scoring,
despite missing 17 games with a deep laceration in his left calf,
an injury that kept him out of the All-Star Game.

Sakic won the 1996 Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP after
leading the Avalanche to the first Stanley Cup championship in
franchise history. He led the league in playoff scoring with 34
points and set a postseason record with six game-winning goals.
The seven-time All-Star enjoyed a career season in 1995-96,
setting personal highs with 51 goals, 69 assists and 120 points.
He has served as team captain since 1992, when the franchise was
based in Quebec. The 15th overall pick in the 1987 draft, Sakic
has scored 39 goals or more four times and has topped the
100-point mark four times. Messier, an unrestricted free agent,
left New York to sign a three-year, $20 million contract with the
Vancouver Canucks on July 28. "I don't think I'm replacing Mark
Messier," Sakic said. "I'm a totally different player. I can just
be Joe Sakic."


TROTZ NAMED HEAD COACH OF NASHVILLE EXPANSION FRANCHISE

The NHL expansion franchise in Nashville, Tenn., Wednesday named
Barry Trotz as its first-ever head coach. Trotz comes to
Nashville after serving as the head coach and director of hockey
operations for the AHL's Portland Pirates since 1993. The team
captured the 1994 Calder Cup title and reached the finals in 1996
after winning the Eastern Conference. He began his career as a
scout for the Washington Capitals from 1988-90 before serving as
an assistant with the AHL's Baltimore Skipjacks until 1992 and
head coach in 1992-93. Overall, Trotz owns a 191-166-59 record as
a professional head coach. Trotz's assistant in Portland, Paul
Gardner, will also be joining him in Nashville. After a 10-year
NHL playing career (1976-86) with Buffalo, Washington,
Pittsburgh, Toronto and the Colorado Rockies, Gardner became head
coach/assistant general manager for Newmarket of the AHL from
1986-90. He was also an assistant under Trotz in Baltimore. A
group headed by Craig Leipold was awarded an NHL franchise on
June 17 and the team will begin play in 1998. Atlanta; Columbus,
Ohio; and Minneapolis-St. Paul also were granted expansion
franchises by the NHL.



Friday, August   8, 1997

AVALANCHE GM: MATCHING SAKIC OFFER 'WOULD HURT'

Matching the New York Rangers' $21 million offer sheet to
All-Star center Joe Sakic "would hurt" the Colorado Avalanche,
Colorado general manager Pierre Lacroix said Thursday. An angry
Lacroix, whose team has seven days to match the three-year
front-loaded offer, criticized the Rangers' strategy and
suggested the teams could have worked out a trade for Sakic. "The
strategy that the Rangers used ... that was a surprise to us,"
Lacroix said. "There is a different way to do this. They could
have called us and tried to trade for him." As for Colorado's
ability to match the offer, which reportedly includes a $15
million signing bonus, Lacroix said, "You all know we have a very
limited budget, we're not hiding anything. We've said it clearly
that within our budget restrictions we would try to keep
everybody together. It definitely would hurt if we match." The
Rangers' offer came nine days after they lost Mark Messier to the
Vancouver Canucks via free agency. Sakic is a Group II restricted
free agent, meaning the Avalanche will receive five first-round
draft choices if they do not match the New York offer. Sakic was
the 14th-highest paid player in the NHL last season, earning $3.1
million.

Rangers president and general manager Neil Smith defended the
offer, saying it was designed to put Sakic in a New York uniform
for the 1997-98 season. "Of course, our absolute hope is that
they don't match," Smith told WABC-TV Thursday. "But they now
have to do what's best for them and their future. We have a
gameplan but, again, how much we can say other than we're going
to look at all the other options. We're doing that and we'll
decide at that point what is feasible and what is smart to do."
Sakic, a seven-time All-Star, has served as the club's team
captain since 1992, when the franchise was based in Quebec.


CANUCKS MATCH OFFER SHEET FOR OHLUND

The Vancouver Canucks Thursday opted to match the offer sheet for
Swedish defenseman Mattias Ohlund, signed by the Toronto Maple
Leafs last Friday. Ohlund, who was the 13th overall selection in
the 1994 NHL draft by Vancouver, agreed to a five-year contract
worth $10 million with a signing bonus in excess of $7.5 million,
according to IMG, which represents Ohlund. Vancouver had seven
days to match the offer entirely or make a deal with Toronto to
deal his rights. Now that the Canucks have matched the offer,
Ohlund cannot be traded for one year. The 20-year-old Ohlund was
voted the best defenseman at the past World Junior Championship
tournament, and earned second all-star team honors at the World
Championships in Finland. He recorded seven goals and nine
assists in 47 games last season for Lulea of the Swedish Elite
League.



Saturday, August   9, 1997

SABRES RE-SIGN PLANTE, SHANNON

The Buffalo Sabres re-signed two restricted free agents Friday,
leading scorer Derek Plante and defenseman Darryl Shannon. No
terms were disclosed. The 26-year-old Plante led the Sabres with
53 points on a career-high 27 goals and 26 assists, helping them
win the Northeast Division title. The four-year veteran was
plus-14 with five power-play goals and tied for the team lead
with six game-winning tallies. He also led Buffalo in playoff
scoring with 10 points on four goals and six assists. The
29-year-old Shannon, who had four goals last season, set career
highs with 19 assists, 23 points, 112 penalty minutes and a
plus-23 in his first full campaign as a Sabre. Shannon, who has
played parts of nine NHL seasons, added two goals and three
assists in 12 playoff games. Plante and Shannon were two of the
four Sabres that appeared in all 82 games last season, joining
wingers Rob Ray and Michal Grosek.



Sunday, August 10, 1997

MIGHTY DUCKS NAME PIERRE PAGE HEAD COACH

The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim became the last National Hockey
League team to hire a head coach for the upcoming season, signing
Pierre Page to a three-year contract on Saturday. Financial terms
were not disclosed for the deal that made the Ducks the last of
the 10 NHL teams to name new head coaches since the end of the
season. The hiring came four days after the team reached a
compensation agreement with the Flames to negotiate with Page,
who resigned from Calgary in June. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman
had ruled last month that Page could become Anaheim's coach
without compensation on or after Oct. 1. "It took awhile to work
out compensation with Calgary, but we are glad to finally have
Pierre here," general manager Jack Ferreira said. "There was
never any doubt in my mind who I wanted to coach this team." Page
resigned as coach of the Flames on June 18 and had been courted
by Ferreira, who was looking for a replacement for the fired Ron
Wilson. "In my opinion, Pierre was not only one of the best
coaches available, he is one of the best coaches in the league,"
said Ferreira. "I like the way he works with young players. He is
direct and honest with everyone. All of the guys will know where
they stand." Added Ferreira: "If Pierre was available to be our
coach when we started this franchise, he would have been the head
coach four years ago."

The Ducks, who were without Wilson for part of training camp last
year and faced the same scenario this year, offered Calgary a
conditional draft pick to expedite the hiring process. Wilson is
now the coach of the Washington Capitals. Page, 49, was not
retained by the Flames because he was seeking a contract
extension. In two seasons as Flames coach, Page was just
66-78-20. "There is a lot of talent here, they have a good young
nucleus of players," Page said. "Teemu (Selanne) and Paul
(Kariya) are two of the NHL's best. The team is on the upswing
and the players are really believing in themselves." The Ducks
will be the fourth NHL coaching job for Page, who also was in
charge of the Minnesota North Stars and the Quebec Nordiques.



Tuesday, August 12, 1997

DUCKS RE-SIGN HEBERT, MIRONOV

The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim re-signed restricted free-agent
goaltender Guy Hebert to a two-year contract and gave defenseman
Dmitri Mironov a one-year deal Monday. Financial terms were not
disclosed. The 30-year-old Hebert is coming off the best season
of his career, having established new career standards with 29
wins, a 2.67 goals-against average, .919 save percentage, 67
appearances, 66 starts and 3,863 minutes. He helped Anaheim to
its first-ever playoff appearance, and was 4-4 with a 2.02 GAA
and .929 save percentage in nine postseason games. In his career,
which spans parts of six seasons with the Ducks and St. Louis
Blues, Hebert is 102-108-27 with a 2.91 GAA. Mironov, 31, led
Ducks defensemen in scoring last season with 12 goals and 34
assists for 46 points in 62 games, and was plus-20 after getting
traded from the Pittsburgh Penguins. He shined in the playoffs
with a goal and 10 assists in 11 games. The Ducks also announced
the signing of free-agent right wing Jeff Nielson. After a career
at the University of Minnesota, Nielson played three seasons for
the Binghamton American Hockey League affiliate of the New York
Rangers, scoring 73 goals with 59 assists in 216 games.


OILERS SIGN '96 FIRST-ROUNDER DEVEREAUX

The Edmonton Oilers signed center Boyd Devereaux, the sixth
overall pick in the 1996 draft, to a multi-year contract Monday.
The 19-year-old was the first of Edmonton's two first-rounders
last year. Defenseman Mathieu Descoteaux was the other at No. 19
overall. Devereaux had 28 goals and 41 assists in just 54 games
with Kitchener of the Ontario Hockey League, adding four goals
and 11 assists in 15 playoff games. He also helped Canada to
another gold medal at the World Junior Championships, scoring the
winning goal in both the semifinal and title game. When he was
drafted last year, Devereaux was 6-foot, 175 pounds. The Oilers
said he is now 6-2 and 200 pounds. Devereaux joined Edmonton's
top minor-league affiliate last spring after Kitchener was
eliminated in the playoffs, but was struck on the temple by a
puck in his first game, ending his season.


Wednesday, August 13, 1997


CANUCKS AGREE TO TERMS WITH MARKUS NASLUND

The Vancouver Canucks continued their offseason signing frenzy
Tuesday by agreeing to terms with free agent left wing Markus
Naslund. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Naslund, 24,
compiled 21 goals and 20 assists with 30 penalty minutes in 78
games for Vancouver last season. He was obtained by the Canucks
in March 1996 from Pittsburgh after playing his first two-plus
seasons with the Penguins. The Swede has totaled 49 goals and 62
assists in 239 career NHL games. He has competed for his home
country in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, 1992 and 1993 World
Junior Tournament and 1993 World Championship Tournament.
Vancouver had previously pulled off the biggest free agent
signing, center Mark Messier of the New York Rangers, inked
goaltender Arturs Irbe, re-signed defenseman Dave Babych and
matched an offer sheet to keep young Swedish star Matias Ohlund.


FLYERS DISPUTING TRADE THAT WOULD SEND GRATTON TO CHICAGO

The Philadelphia Flyers are disputing a trade that would send
center Chris Gratton from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Chicago
Blackhawks. The matter will be reviewed by the National Hockey
League after the Flyers claimed they signed Gratton, a Group II
restricted free agent, before the Lightning and Blackhawks
completed their deal earlier Tuesday. "The matter is currently
under NHL review," said Blackhawks spokesman Jim DeMaria. "No
further comment will be made, pending the NHL's ruling."
Lightning spokesman Gerry Helper also was tight-lipped, saying
the team is not commenting on the matter. "There are matters
under review by the league and I don't think either Chicago or
Tampa Bay will comment further until the league makes a
decision," he said. Neither team would disclose the other
principals in the trade. "If the league rules in favor of the
Flyers, obviously the players will never be known," DeMaria said.
"If the league rules for the Blackhawks, the trade will be
announced as soon as the NHL makes its ruling."

According to published reports in Chicago and Tampa Bay, the
Lightning expressed interest in forwards Eric Daze, Ethan Moreau
and Dmitri Nabokov along with defenseman Eric Weinrich. Tampa Bay
reportedly was pursuing a trade for the promising Gratton out of
fear they would be unable to match an offer sheet. Gratton and
his agent, Pat Morris, were seeking a three-year, $8.4 million
deal, while the Lightning were offering $7.2 million over three
years, the Tampa Tribune reported. "This is the most frustrating
thing I've been through in hockey, including my retirement,"
Tampa Bay general manager Phil Esposito told the newspaper. The
22-year-old Gratton led the Lightning in scoring in 1996-97,
establishing career highs with 30 goals, 32 assists and 62
points. He also had 201 penalty minutes and was one of only two
Tampa Bay players to appear in all 82 games.


PENGUINS ACQUIRE SLEGR FROM OILERS FOR DRAFT PICK

The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired defenseman Jiri Slegr from the
Edmonton Oilers Tuesday for a 1998 third-round draft pick. The
26-year-old Slegr has not played in the NHL since collecting four
goals and 13 assists in 57 games for the Oilers in 1995-96. He
spent the 1996-97 season in Sweden, where he had four goals and
14 assists in 30 games for Sodertalje. Edmonton general manager
Glen Sather said Slegr, the son of former Vancouver Canucks
defenseman Jiri Bubla, no longer fit into the Oilers' plans.
Thursday, August 14, 1997

AVALANCHE MATCH SAKIC OFFER SHEET

The Colorado Avalanche Wednesday officially matched the
three-year, $21 million offer sheet tendered to All-Star center
Joe Sakic by the New York Rangers. "Our fan support is
tremendous, the best in the NHL, and we are confident that this
decision will enable them to enjoy a very competitive and
exciting team during the 1997-98 season," said Avalanche
president and general manager Pierre Lacroix. Charles Lyons, the
CEO of Colorado's Ascent Entertainment ownership group, announced
the Avalanche had matched the Rangers' offer sheet to Sakic at a
1 p.m. EDT news conference. Lyons and Denver mayor Wellington
Webb also formally signed a memorandum at the news conference for
the downtown Pepsi Center, which will house the Avalanche and the
NBA's Denver Nuggets, beginning in 1999-2000. The Avalanche had
until 8 p.m. to match the Rangers' offer, which included a
whopping $15 million signing bonus. Fox Sports and Liberty Media
provided a financial push for the Avalanche. Fox Sports will
reportedly pay $100 million for an exclusive seven-year
commitment to broadcast Avalanche and Nuggets games, and Liberty
Media will purchase an equity portion of the new Pepsi Center.
"It's a great day, no question about that," Sakic said.
"Obviously, it's not going to beat winning the Stanley Cup, but
hopefully the next time I'm standing in front of all you guys
like this will be when we bring the Stanley Cup back."

The Rangers' offer sheet to Sakic last Wednesday came nine days
after they lost Mark Messier to the Vancouver Canucks via free
agency. Sakic was a Group II restricted free agent, meaning the
Avalanche would have received five first-round draft choices if
they elected not to match the offer. "We didn't expect it was a
slam dunk that they couldn't match this," Rangers general manager
Neil Smith said. "But we thought that we certainly were making
our best attempt to land him." The 28-year-old Sakic was the
14th-highest paid player in the NHL last season, earning $3.1
million. He will earn $17 million in 1997-98. Sakic had 22 goals
and 52 assists in 65 games last season. He was second on the team
in scoring, despite missing 17 games with a deep laceration in
his left calf, an injury that kept him out of the All-Star Game.
Sakic won the 1996 Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP after
leading the Avalanche to the first Stanley Cup championship in
franchise history. He led the league in playoff scoring with 34
points and set a postseason record with six game-winning goals.
The seven-time All-Star enjoyed a career season in 1995-96,
setting personal highs with 51 goals, 69 assists and 120 points.
He has served as team captain since 1992, when the franchise was
based in Quebec.


ARBITRATOR TO DECIDE FATE OF LIGHTNING CENTER GRATTON
The battle between the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks
for Tampa Bay Lightning center Chris Gratton took another turn
Wednesday when the NHL decided to bring the case to arbitration.
NHL spokesman Greg Mills said that the matter will go before John
Sands at an undisclosed location on Thursday. Sands also heard
the arbitration case of Mike Dunham, who charged the New Jersey
Devils violated the spirit of his contract by putting him in
small portions of games to reach a total of 25, which denied him
free agency. Sands voted in favor of the Devils. The Flyers have
claimed they signed Gratton, a Group II restricted free agent, to
an offer sheet before the Lightning and Blackhawks completed a
deal that would send him to Chicago on Tuesday. "If the league
rules in favor of the Flyers, obviously the players will never be
known," Blackhawks spokesman Jim DeMaria said Tuesday night. "If
the league rules for the Blackhawks, the trade will be announced
as soon as the NHL makes its ruling." Neither team would disclose
the other principals in the trade. The 22-year-old Gratton led
the Lightning in scoring in 1996-97, establishing career highs
with 30 goals, 32 assists and 62 points. He also had 201 penalty
minutes and was one of only two Tampa Bay players to appear in
all 82 games.



Friday, August 15, 1997

ARBITRATOR HEARS CASE OF LIGHTNING'S GRATTON

The battle between the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks
for Tampa Bay Lightning center Chris Gratton went before an
arbitrator Thursday. After both sides detailed their side of the
story, no judgment was announced. League spokesman Greg Inglis
said Thursday afternoon that the proceedings, handled by
arbitrator John Sands at an undisclosed location, had concluded
but no verdict had been announced. Inglis added that there was no
timetable for the league to reveal its ruling. The Flyers have
claimed they signed Gratton, a Group II restricted free agent, to
an offer sheet before the Lightning and Blackhawks completed a
deal that would send him to Chicago on Tuesday. Neither team
would disclose the other principals in the trade. Gratton, 22,
and his agent, Pat Morris, were seeking a three-year, $8.4
million deal, while the Lightning were offering $7.2 million over
three years, the Tampa Tribune reported. Gratton led the
Lightning in scoring in 1996-97, establishing career highs with
30 goals, 32 assists and 62 points. He also had 201 penalty
minutes and was one of only two Tampa Bay players to appear in
all 82 games.


ISLES' SALO GETS ONE-YEAR, $750,000 DEAL FROM ARBITRATOR

New York Islanders goaltender Tommy Salo, who had reportedly been
asking for at least a million dollars for next season, was given
a one-year contract worth $750,000 plus incentives by an
arbitrator Thursday. Salo, 26, stepped into the role of starting
netminder in the 1996-97 campaign despite having just 16 games of
NHL experience in two seasons. He came away with a 2.82
goals-against average, five shutouts and a 20-27-8 record in 58
games last season. He was just 2-12-1 with a 3.61 GAA in his
first two years with the Islanders. "I'm glad this process is
behind us and Tommy's under contract," Islanders general manager
Mike Milbury said. "We're all looking forward to the coming
season and are confident that Tommy will continue to build upon
the success he had last season." Salo's biggest accomplishment to
this point came in 1994 when he led the Swedish National Team to
its first-ever Olympic gold medal. He helped lead the Islanders'
International Hockey League affiliate to consecutive Turner Cups,
claiming tournament MVP honors in 1995-96. The team was based in
Denver for the 1994-95 season and moved to Utah for the next.


BLACKHAWKS' STEVE SMITH TO ANNOUNCE RETIREMENT

Defenseman Steve Smith, a three-time Stanley Cup winner with the
Edmonton Oilers, will announce his retirement from the Chicago
Blackhawks on Friday, the team said Thursday. Smith will hold a
news conference announcing his retirement at noon EDT on Friday.
Smith was a mainstay on the Oilers' defense from 1985 until his
trade to Chicago for Dave Manson on Oct. 2, 1991. He played the
rest of his career for the Blackhawks, though he was limited to
58 games over the last two seasons. "I appreciate what Smitty
added to our club over the last few seasons," Blackhawks coach
Craig Hartsburg said. "His leadership will be missed in the
locker room and his presence will be missed on the ice." In his
career, Smith played 702 regular-season games and 134 playoff
contests. In the regular season, he had 71 goals, 283 assists and
354 points with exactly 2,000 penalty minutes. He scored 11
playoff goals and added 41 assists for 52 points while tacking on
288 minutes. Smith was a rugged performer and paid the price.
With the exception of the lockout-shortened 1994-95 campaign, he
never played every game in a season.



Saturday, August 16, 1997

ARBITRATOR RULES FLYERS' OFFER VALID TO LIGHTNING'S GRATTON

An arbitrator has ruled that the Philadelphia Flyers have made a
valid offer sheet to Tampa Bay Lightning center Chris Gratton,
nullifying a trade between the Chicago Blackhawks and Lightning.
As a result of the ruling from arbitrator John Sands, the
Lightning will have seven days to match the five-year, $16.5
million offer sheet tendered to Gratton by the Flyers. The Flyers
had claimed they signed Gratton, a Group II restricted free
agent, to an offer sheet before the Lightning and Blackhawks
completed a deal that would have sent him to Chicago on Tuesday.
Neither team would disclose the other principals in the trade.
The 22-year-old Gratton led the Lightning in scoring in 1996-97,
establishing career highs with 30 goals, 32 assists and 62
points. He also had 201 penalty minutes and was one of only two
Tampa Bay players to appear in all 82 games. Tampa Bay was
pursuing a trade for the promising Gratton out of fear the
Lightning would be unable to match an offer sheet. If Tampa Bay
does not match the offer, they will receive five first-round
picks as compensation.

DEVILS, GILMOUR TO SETTLE CONTRACT IN ARBITRATION

New Jersey Devils center Doug Gilmour has opted to have his
1997-98 salary determined by an arbitrator. Gilmour was seeking a
three-year extension worth about $11 million but was unable to
reach an agreement with the team, resulting in the decision to
have an arbitrator set the salary. Gilmour and his agent, Larry
Kelly, presented their case at a hearing Thursday night in
Toronto. A ruling from arbitrator Richard Bloch is not expected
until Monday. The 34-year-old Gilmour is eligible for
unrestricted free agency after the season. He was acquired by New
Jersey from the Toronto Maple Leafs in a five-player deal last
Feb. 25 and immediately became the Devils' top center. Gilmour
had 15 goals and 45 assists for 60 points with Toronto and seven
goals and 15 assists for 22 points with New Jersey last year.
However, Gilmour had no goals and four assists in 10 postseason
games as the Devils were eliminated in the conference semifinals
by the New York Rangers. Gilmour joined the Maple Leafs in a
10-player trade with Calgary in January 1992. In the 1992-93
season, he set single-season club records for points (127) and
assists (95) and won the Selke Trophy as the NHL's top defensive
forward.



Sunday, August 17, 1997

STANLEY CUP ARRIVES IN MOSCOW TO START RUSSIAN TOUR

The Stanley Cup began a four-day tour of Russia Saturday in
Moscow, where it was greeted by Slava Fetisov, Igor Larionov and
Vyacheslav Kozlov of the champion Detroit Red Wings. A crowd
braved chilly temperatures and steady rain at Moscow's
Sheremetyevo Airport to view the Stanley Cup, which is visiting
the home of winning players outside North America for just the
second time in its 104-year history. "Looking at the Cup and
thinking of all that history, which is written on it, and now
we're a part of it as well," said Larionov, a member of the
"Russian Five" unit that helped the Red Wings end their 42-year
championship drought. From the airport, Fetisov brought the Cup
to the Central Red Army Hockey School, where he spent 10 seasons
as one of Russia's most honored players. The Cup was escorted via
motorcade to the Ministry of Sport, where it received an official
welcome from the Russian National Olympic Committee. A parade on
Sunday will take the Cup to Red Square before an appearance at
the annual Spartak Hockey Tournament.

The highlight of the Russian tour will come when the Cup is
presented at halftime of a soccer match at Moscow's Luzhniki
Stadium. President Boris Yeltsin is expected to be among the
100,000 in attendance at the game, which pits the Russian
national team against an international all-star squad. Sergei
Fedorov did not make the trip. The fifth member of the Russian
Five, defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov, continues to recover from
injuries suffered in a June 13 limousine accident in suburban
Detroit.


Tuesday, August 19, 1997

SHARKS ACQUIRE VERNON FROM RED WINGS FOR TWO DRAFT PICKS

The San Jose Sharks Monday acquired goaltender Mike Vernon in a
long-rumored trade with the Detroit Red Wings for a 1998
third-round and 1999 second-round draft pick. Vernon, who was
entering the final year of his current contract with the Red
Wings, signed a three-year deal through 2000 with the Sharks.
Although financial terms were not disclosed, the deal is believed
to be worth $8.25 million. The 1998 third-round pick could
escalate to a second rounder if the Sharks make the playoffs and
Vernon meets certain performance incentives. The 34-year-old
Vernon backstopped the Red Wings to their first Stanley Cup
championship since 1955. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff
MVP after going 16-4 with a shutout and a 1.76 goals-against
average. Vernon was coach Scotty Bowman's unlikely choice to
start in the postseason after splitting time during the regular
season with Chris Osgood. Vernon appeared in just 33 games and
went 13-11-8 with a 2.43 GAA. His playoff performance earned
Vernon an automatic contract extension, but most in the Red Wings
organization viewed him as the odd man out in the goaltending
battle with the 24-year-old Osgood and 25-year-old Kevin Hodson.

Vernon admitted that it was somewhat bittersweet to be traded by
the Red Wings on the heels of a Stanley Cup. "I can't lie, there
is some bitterness there," said Vernon. "All I heard was deliver
the goods and I would get rewarded. That didn't happen in Detroit
so I told them to send me to a place where I would get rewarded."
In three seasons with Detroit, Vernon posted a 53-24-14
regular-season record with a 2.40 GAA. "The decision to trade
Mike Vernon was a very difficult one," said Red Wings general
manager Ken Holland. "Mike made some tremendous contributions to
this team and had an outstanding playoff run, but with the NHL
rules, we were forced to make a decision regarding our
goaltending situation prior to the waiver draft and one of the
three had to be traded."


BLACKHAWKS CHALLENGE DECISION FOR LIGHTNING'S GRATTON
The Chicago Blackhawks Monday issued their challenge to the offer
sheet tendered by the Philadelphia Flyers to Tampa Bay Lightning
center Chris Gratton. Arbitrator John Sands ruled last Friday
that the Flyers had made a valid offer sheet to Gratton,
nullifying a trade between the Blackhawks and Lightning. But the
Blackhawks challenged the decision and presented their case
before NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman Monday in a hearing that
lasted 90 minutes at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Chicago contends
that its trade with the Lightning occurred before Philadelphia's
offer sheet arrived, but a league official could not be
contacted. Bettman will announce a ruling on the matter at 1 p.m.
EDT on Tuesday. If Bettman does not overrule the arbitrator, the
Lightning will have seven days to match the five-year, $16.5
million offer sheet tendered to Gratton by the Flyers. The Flyers
claimed they signed Gratton, a Group II restricted free agent, to
an offer sheet before the Lightning and Blackhawks completed a
deal that would send him to Chicago on Tuesday. The 22-year-old
Gratton led the Lightning in scoring in 1996-97, establishing
career highs with 30 goals, 32 assists and 62 points.


LOWE SIGNS MULTI-YEAR AGREEMENT WITH OILERS

The Edmonton Oilers took a major step Monday towards ensuring one
of the franchises' most legendary players will remain in the fold
into the next century by re-signing veteran defenseman Kevin Lowe
to a multi-year contract. No financial terms were disclosed but
the 38-year-old Lowe, who helped tutor the team's young
defensemen last season, likely will end his career an Oiler. He
played in 64 games last season, scoring a goal and 13 assists.
Lowe was Edmonton's first NHL draft pick in 1979 and scored the
first-ever NHL goal for the Edmonton Oilers franchise. He has won
five Stanley Cups with Edmonton and one with the New York
Rangers. The Oilers' leader in games played (1,030), Lowe is
sixth on the team's all-time list in assists (309) and seventh in
points (383). He signed with the Oilers prior to last season and
helped influence the development of defensemen Dan McGillis, Greg
de Vries and Boris Mironov. An ankle injury limited Lowe to just
one playoff game as the Oilers dropped a second-round matchup
with the Colorado Avalanche.


STEVE SMITH NAMED ASSISTANT COACH OF THE FLAMES

Defenseman Steve Smith, a three-time Stanley Cup winner with the
Edmonton Oilers and just one week removed from announcing his
retirement, Monday was named an assistant coach of the Calgary
Flames. Smith will join new head coach Brian Sutter and assistant
Rich Preston on the staff. "Steve brings to us a hard-working
philosophy and a fierce competitiveness which he demonstrated
throughout his 13 years in the NHL," said Flames General Manager
Al Coates. "He's a proven champion, playing on three Stanley Cup
winning teams and the 1991 Canada Cup championship team." Smith
was a mainstay on the Oilers' defense from 1985 until his trade
to Chicago for Dave Manson on Oct. 2, 1991. He played for the
Blackhawks until this past season, although he was limited to 58
games by back problems over the last two seasons. In his 13-year
career, Smith played 702 regular-season games and 134 playoff
contests. In the regular season, he had 71 goals, 283 assists and
354 points with exactly 2,000 penalty minutes. He scored 11
playoff goals and added 41 assists for 52 points while tacking on
288 minutes.


Wednesday, August 20, 1997

BETTMAN NIXES HAWKS TRADE; GRATTON OFFER VALID FROM PHILLY

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman ruled Tuesday that the proposed
trade of center Chris Gratton from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the
Chicago Blackhawks was not completed prior to the Lightning
receiving an offer sheet from the Philadelphia Flyers. Along with
terminating the proposed deal, Bettman ruled that the Lightning
have until 7:45 p.m. EDT Wednesday to match terms of
Philadelphia's five-year, $16.5 million offer sheet to Gratton.
"No trade shall be effective until all terms are disclosed with
the league office, and that was not the case here," said Bettman.
"We have had these trade procedures in effect since 1993 so there
should be no confusion." The Flyers' offer sheet was tendered on
Aug. 12. Normally, a team has seven days to match the offer, but
Bettman extended it one day due to the controversy surrounding
the move. Under terms of the collective bargaining agreement,
once an offer sheet for a restricted free agent has been received
by the prior club, that club may not trade his rights to another
club.

Arbitrator John Sands ruled last Friday that the Flyers had made
a valid offer sheet to Gratton, nullifying a trade between the
Blackhawks and Lightning. But the Blackhawks challenged the
decision and presented their case before Bettman Monday in a
hearing that lasted 90 minutes at Chicago's O'Hare Airport.
Chicago contended that its trade with the Lightning occurred
before Philadelphia's offer sheet arrived, but a league official
could not be contacted. However, Bettman ruled that is not what
determined whether the trade was valid. "Leaving a message on a
pager is not the issue," said Bettman. "We still have to conduct
a conference call to review terms and conditions of a trade. Only
then is a transaction complete. I don't think there were any
mistakes made by either team. Sometimes these multi-million
dollar transactions take time and I think in this case time ran
out for both teams." The 22-year-old Gratton led the Lightning in
scoring in 1996-97, establishing career highs with 30 goals, 32
assists and 62 points.


ARBITRATOR AWARDS DEVILS' GILMOUR $3.55 FOR NEXT SEASON

New Jersey Devils center Doug Gilmour was awarded a $3.55 million
salary for the upcoming season by an arbitrator on Monday. The
figure is more than the $2.4 million proposed by the Devils and
less than the $4.5 million sought by Gilmour. The two sides went
to arbitration after the two sides were unable to reach agreement
on a long-term deal. Gilmour was seeking a three-year-extension
worth about $11 million. Gilmour and his agent, Larry Kelly,
presented their case at a hearing Thursday night in Toronto.
Arbitrator Richard Bloch decided that Gilmour did not deserve the
same money as other NHL standouts such as Joe Sakic, Pavel Bure,
Jaromir Jagr, Brett Hull or Peter Forsberg. The 34-year-old
Gilmour is eligible for unrestricted free agency after the
season. He was acquired by New Jersey from the Toronto Maple
Leafs in a five-player deal last Feb. 25 and immediately became
the Devils' top center. Gilmour had 15 goals and 45 assists for
60 points with Toronto and seven goals and 15 assists for 22
points with New Jersey last year.


ISLES NAME MCCRIMMON ASSISTANT COACH

The New York Islanders named veteran NHL defenseman Brad
McCrimmon as an assistant coach Tuesday. The 38-year-old
McCrimmon retired following the 1996-97 season to cap an 18-year
NHL career. He played for Boston, Philadelphia, Calgary, Detroit,
Hartford and Phoenix and had 81 goals and 322 assists in 1,222
games while accumulating 1,416 minutes in penalties. McCrimmon
was a member of the Calgary team which won the Stanley Cup in
1989 and the Philadelphia teams that went to the finals in 1985
and 1987. "Brad is a tremendous addition to the staff," said
Islanders coach Rick Bowness. "He was a classic stay at home
defenseman and his guidance will be invaluable to the development
of our young defensemen." McCrimmon was the NHL's plus/minus
award winner in 1987-88, finishing the season at plus 48. In his
career, McCrimmon was a plus 431.


MAPLE LEAFS TO ANNOUNCE GM, HOCKEY STRUCTURE WEDNESDAY

The Toronto Maple Leafs will outline their new front-office
organization Wednesday amid speculation that Ken Dryden may name
himself acting general manager. A news conference is scheduled
for noon EDT at Maple Leaf Gardens and team spokesman Pat Park
said, "Everything will be clear at the news conference."
Addressing recent reports that Anders Hedberg, the team's
European scout, could fill the long-vacant general manager's
post, Park said, "Right now, it's just speculation. His name's
been bandied about quite a bit in the papers." The Toronto Star
and Toronto Sun reported Tuesday that Dryden, who was named team
president on May 30, could fill the general manager's post
himself. Under that scenario, Hedberg would be appointed
assistant general manager with an eye toward succeeding Dryden
next season. Three high-profile candidates have spurned Dryden,
who has conducted a deliberate search since GM Cliff Fletcher was
fired on May 24. Former Buffalo Sabres general manager John
Mackerel, Dallas Stars GM Bob Gainey and former Washington
Capitals GM David Polio turned down the job after interviewing
with Dryden. Toronto is coming off a last-place finish in the
Central Division and missed the playoffs with a 30-44-8 record.



Thursday, August 21, 1997

LIGHTNING FAIL TO MATCH OFFER, TRADE GRATTON TO FLYERS

The Tampa Bay Lightning, facing a deadline to match the
Philadelphia Flyers' five-year, $16.5 million offer to Chris
Gratton, Wednesday worked out a deal that sent the center to
Philadelphia. The Lightning announced they would not match the
offer to Gratton, a move that gave Tampa Bay the Flyers'
first-round picks in the next four entry drafts. Tampa Bay then
traded the picks back to Philadelphia for right wing Mikael
Renberg and defenseman Karl Dykhuis. "We are excited about
acquiring Chris Gratton," Flyers general manager Bob Clarke said.
"We think that he is one of the premier power forwards in the
league. We regret losing Mikael Renberg and Karl Dykhuis because
they played a major part in the resurgence of the Flyers and us
getting to the Stanley Cup Finals last year." NHL Commissioner
Gary Bettman ruled Tuesday that the proposed trade of Gratton
from Tampa Bay to the Chicago Blackhawks was not completed before
the Lightning received an offer sheet from Philadelphia. The
Lightning had until 7:45 p.m. EDT Wednesday night to match terms
of Philadelphia's offer.

Gratton, 22, led the Lightning in scoring last season,
establishing career highs with 30 goals, 32 assists and 62
points. He and Phoenix's Keith Tkachuk were the only players in
the league to collect at least 30 goals while accumulating 200
penalty minutes. Gratton, who had 201 penalty minutes, also was
one of just two Tampa Bay players to appear in all 82 games.
In four years with the Lightning, he totaled 67 goals, 102
assists and 518 penalty minutes over 294 games. The 25-year-old
Renberg, coming off abdominal surgery at the end of the 1995-96
campaign, had 22 goals and 37 assists in 77 games last season,
his fourth with the Flyers. He contributed five goals and six
assists in 18 postseason contests. Renberg, an original member of
the Flyers "Legion of Doom" line, has amassed 109 goals and 132
assists in 258 games over his career. Dykhuis, also 25, had four
goals, 15 assists and 35 penalty minutes in 62 games for
Philadelphia last season. He has 12 goals, 44 assists and 177
penalty minutes in 195 career games.


DRYDEN NAMES HIMSELF GENERAL MANAGER OF MAPLE LEAFS

Toronto Maple Leafs president Ken Dryden concluded his search for
a general manager Wednesday by naming himself to the post. Dryden
was named president of the team on May 30 and began his search to
replace Cliff Fletcher, who was fired on May 24. Three
high-profile candidates spurned Dryden in his quest to replace
Fletcher. Former Buffalo Sabres general manager John Muckler,
Dallas Stars GM Bob Gainey and former Washington Capitals GM
David Poile turned down the job after interviewing with Dryden.
Dryden ended up giving himself the job and announced the rest of
his management team Wednesday. Interim general manager Bill
Watters was promoted to presidential assistant to Dryden and
named general manager of the St. John's Maple Leafs of the
American Hockey League. Anders Hedberg, the team's European
scout, was given the title of assistant general manager of
scouting and player development. Mike Smith, former general
manager of the Winnipeg Jets, was named associate general
manager. Toronto is coming off a last-place finish in the Central
Division and missed the playoffs with a 30-44-8 record.


NHL, OFFICIALS REACH AGREEMENT ON NEW FOUR-YEAR CONTRACT

The National Hockey League and the NHL Officials Association
Wednesday reached agreement on a new collective bargaining
agreement that runs through the 2000-01 season. Terms were not
immediately disclosed, but the pact calls for NHL on-ice
officials to work the upcoming Nagano Winter Olympics, where NHL
players also will participate. "We thought it extremely important
that a tournament that has the best players in the game also has
the world's best on-ice officials," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman
said. Bettman described the negotiations as "intense." "The
central terms agreed upon ensure that over the next four years,
the NHL officials will continue to be recognized as among the top
officials in professional sports," said referee Terry Gregson,
president of the NHLOA.



Friday, August 22, 1997

CAPITALS FINALIZE CONTRACT WITH OATES

Adam Oates, the star playmaker of the Washington Capitals,
finally has signed with the team after a negotiating period that
featured testiness on both sides. The deal, a reported
three-year, $9 million pact, came after Oates sat down last week
with owner Abe Pollin. He appeared intent on dragging out
negotiations when the Capitals made a late and lucrative offer to
free-agent center Mark Messier, who eventually signed a
three-year, $20 million pact with the Vancouver Canucks. "Adam is
one of the premier playmaking centers in the league and he will
be a major part of making us one of the top teams in the NHL as
we head into MCI Center this season," said Capitals general
manager George McPhee. Oates, 34, joined the Capitals on March 1
in a trade that saw Boston also ship goaltender Bill Ranford and
winger Rick Tocchet to Washington. In exchange, the Bruins got
goaltender Jim Carey and young wingers Anson Carter and Jason
Allison. Oates scored 82 points (22 goals and 60 assists) in 80
games overall but had just four goals and eight assists in 17
games with Washington, which missed the playoffs by two points.


MAPLE LEAFS RE-SIGN DOMI

Toronto Maple Leafs right winger Tie Domi, who proved he could
score as well as fight last season, agreed Thursday to terms on a
multi-year contract. Financial terms were not disclosed. The
27-year-old Domi, one of the premier fighters in hockey, had his
best offensive season, recording career highs of 11 goals and 17
assists for 28 points in 80 games. Domi also racked up 275
penalty minutes, good for fifth in the league. In two full
seasons with the Maple Leafs, Domi has 18 goals and 23 assists in
152 games. Overall, the eight-year veteran has 38 goals, 53
assists and 1,895 penalty minutes in 406 career games. Domi also
has played with the New York Rangers and Winnipeg Jets. He was
originally selected in the second round of the 1988 draft by
Toronto.


KONSTANTINOV, MNATSAKANOV UPGRADED TO GOOD CONDITION

Detroit Red Wings star defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov and team
masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov were upgraded to good condition
Thursday and remain hospitalized in the rehabilitation unit at
William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. Konstantinov,
Mnatsakanov and Red Wings defenseman Slava Fetisov were involved
in an accident on June 13 after the limousine in which they were
riding crashed in Birmingham, Mich. Mnatsakanov, who came out of
his coma on July 7, is "speaking in sentences to family, friends
and medical staff, both in Russian and in English," said Beaumont
neurosurgeon Dr. Karol Zakalik. Konstantinov, who emerged from
his coma on July 23, is receiving intensive, daily
rehabilitation, designed to retrain portions of his brain. He
spends at least four hours a day in restoring balance,
coordination and motor control so that he can relearn such daily
activities as standing, walking and eating. "Mr. Konstantinov's
level of wakefulness and responsiveness has gradually improved to
the point that we now consider him fully conscious," added
Zakalik. Konstantinov recognizes and responds to family and
teammates, but still is not able to speak or write.


Monday, August 25, 1997

SABRES SIGN 1996 TOP PICK RASMUSSEN

The Buffalo Sabres signed center Erik Rasmussen, their 1996
first-round draft pick, on Sunday, one week after he announced he
would not return to the University of Minnesota for his junior
season. The Sabres will announce the signing Monday at 2 p.m. EDT
at a news conference at their annual alumni golf tournament in
East Amherst, N.Y. The 20-year-old Rasmussen was the seventh
overall selection last year after he collected 16 goals and 32
assists in 40 games as a freshman at Minnesota. Last season, the
6-foot-2, 191-pounder slipped to eighth on the team in scoring
with 15 goals and 12 assists in 34 games. He led the Western
Collegiate Hockey Association with 123 penalty minutes last
season.


Tuesday, August 26, 1997

FLYERS' HAWERCHUK ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

Philadelphia Flyers veteran center Dale Hawerchuk, who is 10th
all-time in assists and points, announced his retirement Monday
from the NHL due to an arthritic left hip. The 34-year-old, who
helped the Flyers reach the Stanley Cup Finals last season, had
12 goals and 22 assists in 51 games. He also had two goals and
five assists in 17 playoff games and reached his first Stanley
Cup Finals in his 16th season in the league. Hawerchuk is 21st
all-time in goals with 518 and added 891 assists for 1,409
points. He was the first overall pick in the 1981 draft by the
Winnipeg Jets and went on to become the first rookie to record 40
goals and 100 points in winning the Calder Trophy following the
1981-82 season. Hawerchuk had one 50-goal season (1984-85) and
six 100-point campaigns, including five straight from 1983-84
through 1987-88. He also was an All-Star in 1985. His best season
came in 1984-85, when he compiled 53 goals and 77 assists for 130
points and finished third in Hart Trophy voting. He was shipped
to Buffalo before the 1990-91 season as part of a four-player
deal and played with the Sabres for four seasons before signing
as a free agent with the St. Louis Blues prior to the 1995-96
season. Hawerchuk was dealt to the Flyers for center Craig
MacTavish before the trading deadline that season.


HURRICANES ACQUIRE ROBERTS, KIDD FROM FLAMES

The Carolina Hurricanes made their first big move since
relocating the franchise from Hartford, Conn., acquiring veteran
left winger Gary Roberts and goaltender Trevor Kidd from the
Calgary Flames for center Andrew Cassels and goaltender
Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Roberts, 31, did not play last season due
to a neck injury after missing the final 40 games of the 1995-96
season because of the injury. Roberts had 22 goals and 20 assists
in 40 games that season. Roberts' best season came in 1991-92,
when he had 53 goals and 37 assists for 90 points in 76 games. He
also has racked up 200 or more penalty minutes in five seasons.
The 25-year-old Kidd should battle Sean Burke for the top goalie
job. He compiled a 21-23-6 with a 2.84 goals-against average and
four shutouts in a career-high 55 games last season. Kidd had
been Calgary's top goaltender the past three seasons, succeeding
Mike Vernon. He has a 74-66-26 record in 128 games.
"Anytime you trade one of your veteran players and a top
prospect, there is some risk involved," Hurricanes general
manager Jim Rutherford said. "However, when you have the
opportunity to obtain a Gary Roberts, who is a proven goal-scorer
and one of the true power forwards in the league, and Trevor
Kidd, a young goaltender who already has four full NHL seasons of
experience, you simply cannot pass on it. This trade immediately
improves our club."

Cassels was the top playmaker on the team and finished second in
overall scoring with 22 goals and 44 assists in 81 games. He
gives Calgary some much-needed help down the middle, since Dave
Gagner signed with the Florida Panthers as a free agent. Cassels,
28, had his best season in 1992-93, finishing with 21 goals and
64 assists for 85 points. The 17th overall pick by the Montreal
Canadiens in 1987, Cassels has three 20-goal seasons to his
credit. Giguere, 20, was the 13th overall pick in the 1995 draft
and saw limited action last season. He went 1-4-0 with a 3.65
goals-against average and an .881 save percentage. Giguere should
contend with Dwayne Roloson for the top spot in Calgary.


ISLANDERS ACQUIRE CZERKAWSKI FOR LACOUTURE

The New York Islanders added some scoring punch Monday by
acquiring right wing Mariusz Czerkawsi from the Edmonton Oilers
for left wing Dan LaCouture. The 25-year-old Czerkawski, a native
of Poland, had 26 goals and 21 assists for 47 points in 76 games
last season for the Oilers, good for fifth on the team in
scoring, third in goals. He was drafted by the Boston Bruins in
1991 and played parts of three seasons with them before being
traded to Edmonton in January 1996. In 197 NHL games, Czerkawski
has 57 goals and 59 assists. LaCouture was drafted by the
Islanders in 1996 and played for Boston University last season,
collecting 13 goals and 10 assists in 28 games.


Wednesday, August 27, 1997

SENATORS SEND DUCHESNE TO BLUES FOR KRAVCHUK

In a swap of defensemen, the Ottawa Senators sent Steve Duchesne
back to the St. Louis Blues Monday in exchange for Igor Kravchuk.
Duchesne, who was traded to Ottawa before the 1995-96 season for
a second-round draft choice, was fourth on the team in scoring
with 19 goals and 28 assists for 47 points. In a seven-game
division quarterfinal series loss to Buffalo -- Ottawa's
first-ever playoff appearance -- Duchesne had a goal and four
assists. Duchesne, 32, enjoyed his best season in 1992-93 for the
Quebec Nordiques after being involved in the Eric Lindros trade,
registering a career-best 82 points in as many games. Duchesne
played five years for the Los Angeles Kings, one season in both
Philadelphia and Quebec, and two seasons in St. Louis before
going to Ottawa. In 765 career NHL games, he has 188 goals and
394 assists for 582 points. He has been very productive in 67
postseason games, scoring 14 goals with 41 assists for 55 points.
Kravchuk played in 82 games last season for the Blues, collecting
four goals and 24 assists for 28 points. The 30-year-old Russian
came to St. Louis from Edmonton on Jan. 4, 1996, in exchange for
Jeff Norton and Donald Dufresne. In 338 career games for the
Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton and St. Louis, Kravchuk has 41 goals
and 114 assists for 155 points. In 30 playoff games, he has
contributed three goals and 11 assists.


REPORT: STEINBRENNER INTERESTED IN BUYING ISLANDERS

New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner reportedly is
interested in buying the New York Islanders. The Star Ledger (New
Jersey) reported that the controversial owner has made
preliminary inquiries into purchasing the troubled National
Hockey League club. The Islanders are on the market after NHL
Commissioner Gary Bettman nullified the sale to John Spano last
month and returned the team to John Pickett. Spano failed to make
payments on the team and faces federal fraud charges. The Star
Ledger reported that Steinbrenner initiated contact with the
Islanders more than two weeks ago, but that his representatives
have not followed up on the inquiry. The newspaper said that the
$200 million price tag, along with the rights to the team's
lucrative cable television deal, may be too steep. Steinbrenner
held a minority interest in the Tampa Bay Lightning from
September 1991 to May 1992. He made a bid for the NHL's Colorado
Rockies in 1981, but the team was eventually sold to Yankees
limited partner John McMullen.


Friday, August 29, 1997

RANGERS TRADE ROBITAILLE TO KINGS FOR STEVENS

In what would have been a blockbuster deal four years ago, the
New York Rangers sent Luc Robitaille back to the Los Angeles
Kings Thursday for Kevin Stevens in an exchange of veteran left
wings. The 31-year-old Robitaille was expected to be dealt by the
Rangers before this year's trading deadline, but he broke his
foot getting off the team bus and eventually helped the club get
to the Eastern Conference finals. Robitaille, a 6-foot-1,
195-pounder, was acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins prior to
the 1995-96 season. In 1996-97, he was sixth on the team with 48
points, registering 24 goals and 24 assists in 69 games. He
started his career with the Kings in 1986-87 and had 45 goals en
route to the Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year. Upon Wayne
Gretzky's arrival the following season, Robitaille became one of
the NHL's elite at his position, with three 50-goal seasons and
four 100-point campaigns. He helped Los Angeles to the Stanley
Cup Finals in 1992-93, a loss to the Montreal Canadiens. That was
his best season, when he set career highs with 63 goals, 62
assists and an NHL left-wing record 125 points. In 832 games over
11 NHL season, Robitaille has 462 goals and 500 assists for 962
points, missing a total of 28 games. His eight 40-goal seasons
are the third-best total in league history. In 111 playoff games,
he has contributed 46 goals and 57 assists for 103 points.

Stevens, 32, like Robitaille, played with a legend while putting
up impressive numbers himself. Stevens became Mario Lemieux's
full-time left wing in Pittsburgh in 1989-90 and had 29 goals and
70 points in 76 games. He enjoyed his best season in 1991-92 with
54 goals and set career highs with 69 assists and 123 points, the
single-season record for a left wing that Robitaille broke the
following season. The 123 points are also a record for an
American-born player. In '92-93, Stevens had a career-best 55
goals and tacked on 56 assists for his only other 100-point
campaign. Stevens was fourth on the Kings with 34 points on 14
goals and 20 assists with a minus-27 last season, his first full
campaign with Los Angeles. In 588 career games with the Penguins,
Boston Bruins and Los Angeles, Stevens has 278 goals and 319
assists for 597 points. One of the first of the new breed of
power forwards in the NHL at 6-3 and 217 pounds, Stevens has
always shown a mean streak, earning him 1,135 penalty minutes. In
86 playoff games, Stevens has 43 goals and 57 assists for 100
points. He won Stanley Cups with the Penguins in 1990-91 and
1991-92 and played for the United States Olympic team in 1988.



Saturday, August 30, 1997

KINGS SEND KHRISTICH TO BRUINS IN FIVE-PLAYER DEAL

The Los Angeles Kings and Boston Bruins swapped top scorers as
part of a five-player deal Friday, with Los Angeles sending left
wing Dimitri Khristich to the Bruins for center Jozef Stumpel.
The Kings sent Khristich and goaltender Byron Dafoe to Boston for
Stumpel, right wing Sandy Moger and a 1998 fourth-round draft
pick. Khristich led the Kings last season with 19 goals and 37
assists for 56 points in 75 games. He topped the team in assists
and was second to Ray Ferraro in goals. Khristich instantly
becomes the top left wing in Boston, where he may gain a spot on
the top scoring line with center Anson Carter and right wing
Steve Heinze. "The trade fills two needs that we wanted to
address for our team prior to the season," said Bruins assistant
general manager Mike O'Connell. "Dimitri Khristich is a proven
NHL scorer and a clever and creative player who is versatile in
that he can play center and left wing." Dafoe, originally a free
agent this offseason, signed a two-year contract with the Kings.
He split time with Stephane Fiset in 1996-97 and went 13-17-5
with a 3.13 goals-against average and .905 save percentage. He
likely will back up Jim Carey in Boston. Stumpel led the Bruins
in scoring last season with 22 goals and 54 assists in 78 games.
Like Khristich, he paced his team in assists and was second in
goals. The 25-year-old Stumpel has 54 goals and 122 assists in
274 NHL games. He was the 40th overall pick in the 1991 draft.
Moger, who finished last season on the injured list, had 10 goals
and three assists in 34 games. He signed as a free agent with the
Bruins in 1994 and has 27 goals and 23 assists in 132 games.

SENATORS SIGN 1996 TOP OVERALL PICK PHILLIPS

It took more than a year, but the Ottawa Senators Friday finally
signed defenseman Chris Phillips, the No. 1 pick in the 1996 NHL
Draft. Senators spokesman Phil Legault confirmed the team has
reached agreement with Phillips. The 19-year-old defenseman split
time with Prince Albert and Lethbridge of the Western Hockey
League last season, totaling seven goals and 41 assists in 58
games. He helped Lethbridge win the Memorial Cup, collecting four
goals and 21 assists in 19 playoff games. He had two goals and
three assists in the five-game Memorial Cup series. "Chris did a
great job last season leading Lethbridge to the Memorial Cup
final, and was a key defenseman for Canada at the world juniors,"
said Senators general manager Pierre Gauthier. "In two seasons of
major junior hockey, Chris has grown in maturity and poise, and
has shown the hockey sense and defensive skills that will serve
him well for a long career in the NHL." Phillips was one of the
final cuts from Senators' training camp last season and balked at
signing a contract after he was returned to his junior team.


---------------------------------------------------------------------
I Heard Things
---------------------------------------------------------------------
By Jim Iovino

FEDOROV A DEFENSEMAN NO MORE?

The Detroit Red Wings and Group II restricted free agent Sergei
Fedorov recently began talking about a new contract. In a recent
interview, Fedorov said money is not going to be the sticking
point in the negotiations. His amount of playing time and where
he plays will be key.

Fedorov emphatically said he does not want to play defense at all
this season. Last year the 27-year-old Russian star was used on
defense by head coach Scotty Bowman. Bowman also used Fedorov in
more of a defensive role throughout the season, which Fedorov
didn't find too pleasing, either.

The market value for Fedorov is off-kilter due to the role Bowman
used him last season. Fedorov, usually one of the highest-scoring
players in the league, tallied 63 points and 30 goals in 74 games
last season. Those numbers don't make for a huge contract, but
everyone knows the kind of talent Fedorov can display when he
gets a chance. Fedorov did lead the club in postseason scoring
with 20 points.

Other high-profile Group II free agents include Paul Kariya, Mike
Modano and Alexander Mogilny.
HULL WON'T BE AN AV

Colorado Avalanche GM Pierre Lacroix denied the rumor that the
Avs were trying to trade for St. Louis Blues star Brett Hull.

Hull, who is in the last year of a contract that will pay him
$4.7 million, is reportedly on the trading block (once again).
The Blues would like to get rid of Hull's big paycheck,
especially since he will be an unrestricted free agent after the
season.

Colorado was one of a few teams reportedly interested (along with
Washington and the Rangers), but the Avalanche won't be calling
for Hull's services anytime soon. The Avs already had to do some
major financing just to sign Joe Sakic, so taking on Hull's
contract just wouldn't make sense.

Colorado might have to trade off some salaries themselves before
the start of the season. If such drastic measures are needed,
defenseman Uwe Krupp could be one of the first to go.

BURE ON THE BLOCK

While the Blues are looking for a taker for Brett Hull, the
Vancouver Canucks are trying to deal disgruntled speedster Pavel
Bure. Bure asked for a trade last week because he just wasn't
happy with coach Tom Renney's defensive system.

The Canucks might find it hard to trade Bure due to his enormous
contract. Bure, who has scored just 49 goals combined in the past
three seasons, is set to make $5.5 million this season and next.
The Russian Rocket is also coming off several injured years, as
well. He has had severe knee problems and had to sit out a lot
of games last season due to complications associated with
whiplash.

If Bure had his way, he'd love to play on Broadway with the New
York Rangers. Apparently the price is too steep for the Rangers,
however, who don't want to give up Niklas Sundstrom in any deal.
Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles are reportedly the teams with
the most interest in Bure. The New Jersey Devils and New York
Islanders are also supposedly interested. Each team is looking
for a big-name player to fill some seats. But is giving up $5.5
million dollars worth it?

By the way, Alexander Mogilny is on the trade block, also.

MODANO TALKS SLOW

Mike Modano, who is a Group II free agent, said talks are going
slow with the Dallas Stars and he might not be in the Stars' camp
when it opens next week.
The Stars reportedly offered Modano a six-year deal worth $22
million. For those of you not wise in the ways of division, that
works out an average of $3.5 million a year. Modano is believed
to be looking for a contract worth about $4.5 million a year.

Modano's agent said he has also been in contact with the Rangers,
Florida Panthers and the Detroit Red Wings.

AS DANGEROUS AS A HURRICANE

Due to last week's trade that sent Andrew Cassels to Calgary,
Gary Roberts will attempt his incredible comeback with the
Carolina Hurricanes, formerly the Hartford Whalers.

Roberts is attempting to come back from a serious neck injury
that forced him to retire before last season. After several
surgeries and a tremendous amount of rehabilitation, Roberts
believes he is ready to make a comeback, and an impact, as well.

Doctors gave Roberts an OK to make the comeback. They said he
wouldn't risk paralysis or other serious consequences by playing
again.

Roberts did admit that he's going to have to change his style of
game a little if he wants to stick around this season. He said
he's going to have to be "a little smarter," meaning he will try
not to go into corners or stand in front of the net with reckless
abandon.

How confident is Roberts in his comeback attempt? The former
50-goal scorer said he thinks he has five good years of hockey
left in him. Let's hope Roberts is right. The guy's one of the
game's best.


---------------------------------------------------------------------
Bonus Babies Alive and Well in the NHL
---------------------------------------------------------------------
By Jim Iovino

Bonus: something in addition to what is expected or
strictly due: as a) money or an equivalent given in addition to
an employee's usual compensation. b) a premium (as of stock)
given by a corporation to a purchaser of its securities, to a
promoter, or to an employee. c) a government payment to war
veterans. d) a sum in excess of salary given an athlete for
signing with a team

Only the sports world could get its own definition for words in
the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. But then again, the sports world
could sometimes be considered farther away from the reality than
a good sci-fi flick.

Signing bonuses are all the rage in sports these days. Want a
free agent really bad? Give him a ton of money up front so his
old team can't match it. While this might sound close to reality,
the numbers are truly mind-boggling.

Take a new job in the real world, some might call it "the working
world", and you might get a $5,000 signing bonus. Supposedly this
should be used to cover the cost of moving. Take a new job in the
National Hockey League, and the signing bonus is a lot higher.
Joe Sakic, who was signed to an offer sheet by the New York
Rangers, would have received a $15 million signing bonus. Forget
about the bill from U-Haul for moving from Denver to Broadway,
Sakic could have bought the entire fleet of moving vans for that
amount of money.

Sakic, who was a Group II free agent, was eventually retained by
the Colorado Avalanche. Thanks to some creative financing, the
Avs were able to match the three-year, $21 million offer the
Rangers threw Sakic's way, including the $15 million up front.


The contract offer to Sakic is just one example of the tricky
tactics teams are using in an attempt to get the restricted free
agents they want instead of having the old teams match those
offers. Is it legal? Sure is. Is it looked upon kindly by the
rest of the league? By most teams, no.

The exploitation of small market teams in the league is very
concerning. While the small market teams struggle to develop
talented players, their major market rivals just hover up above
like vultures. They wait for the small market teams' prized
possessions to become available through free agency then they
pounce upon them and snatch them up before the small market
franchises know what hit them.

The Rangers, who lost Mark Messier earlier in the off-season to
free agency, went after Sakic because they thought the Avalanche
was strapped for cash. As it turned out, they were. Colorado was
already paying big bucks to Peter Forsberg and Patrick Roy, and
without a new arena, the team was losing money.

So the Rangers tried their luck with Sakic. They offered the
superstar center a ludicrous contract that would pay him $17
million in the first year, then $2 million the next two seasons.
That meant the Avs would have to come up with a lot of money
really fast. The Rangers didn't think Colorado could do it. The
Avs proved the Rangers wrong.

By closing a deal on a new arena and a new cable contract, the
Avalanche was able to match the offer.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, another of the league's small market
franchises, weren't as lucky in their quest to match an offer to
the pride of their organization, Chris Gratton.
Gratton, who like Sakic was a Group II free agent, was signed to
an offer sheet by the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers, fresh off
of a full season in a brand new arena, had plenty of cash to
throw in Gratton's direction. Philadelphia offered the 22-year
old a $16.5 million offer for five years. The deal included a $9
million signing bonus.

The Lightning had no funds to match the offer. But what is a team
like the Lightning going to do this season when they lose their
best player and receive just four draft picks in return? How can
a small market team survive when something like this happens?

Tampa Bay found that there's not much it can do. But to his
credit, general manager Phil Esposito got a little creative. He
talked the Flyers into reacquiring the four picks in exchange for
two players - Mikael Renberg and Karl Dykhuis.

The trade staved off total annihilation of the Lightning for now,
but how long can the exodus of players from small market teams to
large market teams continue?

There are many things wrong with the mentality of the large
signing bonuses given to free agents. The obvious inflation of
salaries is killing small market teams. Everyone knows this is
the case, but if the large markets continue to exploit this,
there's no way a majority of the teams in the league can stay
competitive. Sooner or later, the smaller markets like Edmonton
will become nothing more than farm teams for the larger
franchises.

Even if every team was on an even level, the increase in money
shelled out to players just isn't paying off. If you're giving
tremendous amounts of money to an unproven player like Mattias
Ohlund, who the Toronto Maple Leafs offered $10 million for five
years (including an outrageous $7.5 million signing bonus), what
are established players going to command? Steve Duchesne will be
a free agent after this season. It would be reasonable for
someone like him to look at an offer like the one Ohlund received
and say he deserves more. Of course he does. He has paid his dues
in the league for years and should command a lot more respect
(and money) than a rookie like Ohlund.

It is just like the NHL to start doing something like this. The
owners complain that they don't have enough money to constantly
feed the expanding salaries, but yet there they are every year
making more and more outrageous offers.

When will the insanity stop? No one knows. But as long as there's
some fool out there willing to shell out millions of dollars for
an NHL franchise, then spend even more money on talent that might
or might not help their team win a Stanley Cup, you can be sure
free agency will flourish.

As a matter of fact, if the big-spending ways of teams continue,
the sports world might soon get its own definition for another
word.


Sucker.

------------------------------------------------------------------
THE NHL: JUST ANOTHER SUMMER AT THE OFFICE?
------------------------------------------------------------------
By Carol Schram - Vancouver Correspondent

Every year it seems like the chimes of doom sound just a little
louder for the National Hockey League. Small market teams change
cities, business and financial squabbles clog front-office
operations, and oh - those salary demands!

This year, we've got the new Carolina Hurricanes to contend with,
plus Ken Dryden's organizational nightmare in Toronto, franchises
looking for fresh starts with new General Managers in Los
Angeles, Washington, St. Louis, and Buffalo, and new coaches
behind nearly half the NHL benches. Plus, this summer has been
one of the biggest ever with respect to player movement - or has
it?

Free agency has always been a bit of a strange bird in pro
sports. In the NBA, a player can move after just three years.
His potential is usually pretty clear by that point, so teams are
usually prepared to buck up for a big-money, long-term deal to
secure a franchise player for six or seven years. This summer, a
seven-foot tree trunk named Bryant "Big Country" Reeves became
the highest-paid athlete in Canadian history when he signed a
six-year contract extension with the Vancouver Grizzlies for
$68.4 million. Sure, he's considered a cornerstone of the
franchise, but let's not forget that, through two seasons, this
franchise is the losingest in NBA history, and Country's not even
considered a sure-thing prospect.

Does this mean the sports minds at parent company Orca Bay Sports
and Entertainment have all gone screwy? On the contrary, while
people are tempted to oooh and aahh about the dollar value of
this contract, the organization is generally congratulated for
doing the deal quickly and cleanly, and for recognizing what it
takes to compete in the playground that is the NBA.

For the most part, those same minds were also applauded when they
worked quickly and quietly for a week in July, opening the vault
again to bring 36-year-old unrestricted free agent Mark Messier
to their hockey arm, the Canucks. The team has long been
searching for a superstar center, and it was considered a major
coup to lure Messier away from the bright lights of the Big
Apple, especially home to a Canadian team. Everyone knew
Canadian franchises weren't supposed to have the wherewithal to
compete for those big-name free agents... right??
For a snap of a finger, if you live in Vancouver, everything
seemed right with the hockey world. Then, our arch enemies in
the centre of Canada squashed our celebration by announcing that
they had signed our defected free agent defenseman, Mattias
Ohlund, to a five-year, $10 million, front-loaded deal. For a
team that traded Doug Gilmour just last spring to cut salaries,
the move was definitely unexpected. The Leafs' only
justification was that, if the Canucks didn't match the offer,
they wouldn't have to surrender any compensation for Ohlund.
Toronto was hoping that maybe the coffers were a little emptier
than usual, right after the Messier signing.

With nothing to gain by surrendering the rights to Ohlund, $10
million didn't seem like so much to lose, after all. The battle
of the free-spending Canadians ended with a thud when the Canucks
did what they had continually said they would, and matched the
offer. Suddenly, a Canadian team in a mid-sized market was faced
with what very well might be the NHL's highest payroll in
1997-98. Who do the Canucks think they are... the St. Louis
Blues?

The Blues were the team most likely to try to buy a Stanley Cup
through the first part of the 1990s, when free agents for the
first time became difficult, but not impossible, to obtain.
Under the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement, the
Blues created a furor in 1990 by signing promising young
defenseman Scott Stevens away from the Washington Capitals. The
price for such a player, at the time, was five first-round draft
choices, which the Blues gladly surrendered, confident that they
were that much closer to a real run at the Stanley Cup dream.
It worked, too. In 1990-91, the Blues vaulted from 83 to 105
points on the strength of great seasons from Stevens, Adam Oates,
and Brett Hull, who scored a career-high 86 goals.

The following summer, the Blues figured they'd pull the same
routine again, this time on a promising young left winger, New
Jersey's Brendan Shanahan. Since their draft picks had already
been used up in the Stevens deal, the case went to arbitration to
determine equitable compensation for the Devils. Surprise - New
Jersey is awarded Scott Stevens! The Blues begin their slide
back to mediocrity, while in 1995 Stevens helps lead New Jersey
to their first-ever Stanley Cup. That same summer, the Blues
decide to ship Shanahan and his salary off to Hartford for young
defenseman Chris Pronger. Shanahan eventually moves on to
Detroit and picks up a Stanley Cup ring of his own, while St.
Louis continues to search for answers.

So was Blues GM Ron "The Professor" Caron the man who started the
free-agent insanity? Certainly, he was never afraid to buck the
system or pull the trigger on a big deal. Or was the true
culprit Bruce "The Criminal" McNall - currently serving time in a
California minimum security institution after pleading guilty to
bank fraud? Did the NHL lose its innocence on August 9, 1988 -
the day Peter Pocklington turned his back on all that was pure
and innocent and Canadian, and traded Wayne Gretzky to the Los
Angeles Kings?

That was nine years ago, but many of us remember Gretzky's press
conference like it was yesterday. Hot on the heels of his
fairy-tale wedding to actress Janet Jones, Gretzky had truly
"gone Hollywood", but appeared none too pleased about it. Over
the years, though, Wayne grew into his role as "ambassador of
hockey", and the league's profile did change. The NHL was no
longer a family - now it was a business just like another other
major professional sports league.

The business of entertainment has changed drastically in North
America in the past ten to twenty years. When you look at the
changes in the fabric of the NHL, look also at the new Tennessee
Oilers in the NFL, at the ongoing labor tension in
commissioner-free Major League Baseball, at the price of
broadcast rights for upcoming Olympic Games, at James Cameron's
$200 million feature-film epic "Titanic" which is due this
Christmas, at $1 million per episode for the stars of "Seinfeld",
or at $400 tickets to see the Three Tenors in concert. Over and
over, the public says "these performers aren't worth that much!"
Over and over, the market proves them wrong. If a sports team
guesses wrong in its spending choices, it changes ownership,
management, or home town. If a concert promoter guesses wrong,
someone else is ready to take the gamble the next time the
Rolling Stones decide they want to tour. Traditional industry
appears to have maxed out in North America - manufacturing, and
even consumption, are increasing at a much higher rate in other
parts of the world. High-tech is booming, but the entertainment
industry is great for financial speculation because it is
high-risk, with potentially high return, and because it carries a
certain level of glamour and prestige that you can't find working
in, say, steel or tobacco.

When you look at the big picture, the NHL is business as usual.
North American industrial magnates began to lose their power
during the Great Depression, with the advent of workers' rights,
while in the six-team NHL as late as the 1950s, one family held
control of fully three franchises in one form or another. They
determined who played where, and for how much money. Any player
who didn't like his working conditions would be shipped out, or
black-balled from playing at all.

In the late 1950s, Ted Lindsay began to buck the trend with the
superstar Detroit Red Wings. He tried to crack the owners'
control by developing a Players' Association, and he had his
career ruined for his efforts. The NHL Players' Association
finally was formed in 1967 when the league expanded to 12 teams,
but owners' crony and player agent Alan Eagleson headed up the
organization. By the end of the 1980s, the players had finally
gathered enough information and strength to reclaim the right to
control their career destinies. In 1990, the NHLPA voted to
replace Eagleson with current Association head Bob Goodenow.
Meanwhile, NHL President John Ziegler resigned in the summer of
1992 after the players staged a 10-day strike following an entire
regular-season playing without a contract. Major issues that
spring included licensing and endorsements, free agency, salary
arbitration, and pension contributions. By waiting until just
before the playoffs to take job action, the players were able to
make significant strides - so much so that NHL owners made their
own attempt at forcing the issues by locking players out at the
beginning of the 1994-95 season, basically in an attempt to
introduce a salary cap. The players stood their ground until
after Christmas and managed to settle by conceding only a cap for
rookies, which still allows for negotiation of major bonuses.
Whereas NBA rookies are signed virtually automatically based on
their draft position, NHL rookies still carry a ton of leverage,
as evidenced by recent holdouts like Chris Phillips, Bryan
Berard, and Mattias Ohlund.

The owners whine about the free agency terms that they negotiated
and that their GMs use to try to ice a competitive squad; they
grouse about the lack of a salary cap. Yet the CBA deal that was
signed after the 1994 lockout has been quietly extended into the
next millennium - a sign that there must be enough money to go
around. Ironically, for all their complaining, the owners rarely
mention one of the biggest reasons why NHL salaries have spiraled
up in the past few years - salary disclosure.

Within his first two years in office, Bob Goodenow had every NHL
player's salary published for public record. That was a far cry
from the domineering ownership tactics of the early NHL days,
when the players themselves sometimes were not allowed to see
their own contract.

In 1996-97, the league's average salary was something just under
a million dollars. When Wayne Gretzky was traded to Los Angeles
in 1988, at the peak of his career, he was making about a million
dollars per season. The average NHL salary in 1992-93 was
$458,251 US, while the Vancouver Canucks' entire payroll came in
under $10 million. Now, that's not even enough to cover the
team's top two players.

Granted, there aren't a lot of industries where salaries rise by
250% over a five-year period. But remember - the curve is
skewed. A minor-league salary on a two-way contract is still in
the $30,000 to $50,000 range, just like it was five years ago.
Only by making it to the elite level of the sport's top league
can a player capitalize on society's current desire to reward him
so handsomely - not just for what he does, but for what he
represents.

The explosion is not confined to the NHL. In 1992, Michael
Jordan grossed $35.5 million, and over 90% of that money came
from endorsements. Last week, Michael Jordan signed a one-year
deal with the Chicago Bulls, for a sweet $36 million, just to
play ball. His "Space Jam" video percentage is extra.
Entertainers provide a means of escape from our everyday lives.
Athletes show us, time and again, what humans can do when they
fine-tune their bodies into virtually perfect working order.
Team sports create a sort of community identity at a time when
families and neighborhoods are fragmenting, and social
institutions like churches and schools are no longer the cultural
centerpieces they once were.

That's why Joe Sakic is making $17 million this season. It may
seem strange, but it's the only way things can be. Off-season
competition for players has become nearly as heated as the on-ice
competition for the Stanley Cup. With the existing Collective
Bargaining Agreement in place for several more years, there's no
reason to think this summer will turn out to be any more
memorable than the ones to follow.


---------------------------------------------------------------------
LCS Official TV Show: Mr. Show
---------------------------------------------------------------------
by Michael Dell

Here at LCS: Guide to Hockey, we're always looking to make new
friends. After all, you never know where your next batch of bail
money is coming from. With that in mind, over the past several
months we've announced Carl the Retarded Space Goat as our
official mascot, Whitman "Grady" Mayo as our official celebrity
spokesperson, and Rupp's as our official hockey equipment
supplier. It now gives us great pride to introduce you, our
valued readers, to the newest member of the LCS Hockey family...
Mr. Show!

Yes, Mr. Show, that riotous, laugh-a-minute sketch
comedy program on HBO, is now the official TV show of LCS: Guide
to Hockey. If you've never seen Mr. Show, then you, my
friend, haven't lived. It's simply the funniest show on
television. And that includes old reruns of ALF. High
praise, indeed.

Mr. Show is kicking off its third season of zaniness on
HBO and it all starts at midnight Friday, September 12. New
shows will follow every Friday at midnight, so clear your
calendar now.

We can't implore you enough to watch Mr. Show. It is
some funny, funny stuff. It's truly something special. So,
please, do yourself a favor and watch Mr. Show. Do it
for yourself. Do it for us. But most importantly, do it for
Timmy, the poor orphan boy who will never have the chance to see
such high-quality, cable-based comedy.

<table align=right>
<tr>
<td>
<img src="/sports/Sportif/issues/77/images/77timmy.gif" alt="Timmy">
<font size="-1">Timmy</font>
</td>
</tr>
</table>

If you'd like to learn more about Mr. Show, please swing
by their web site at <a href="http://www.mrshow.com">www.mrshow.com</a>
or visit your local library.

Thank you very much.


    _____________________________________________________
                   CREDITS

    Michael Dell........................Editor-in-Chief
    Zippy the Wonder Chimp.................Computer Boy
    Jim Iovino.............................Ace Reporter
    Matthew Secosky............................Whatever
    Dan Hurwitz.............Force for Cultural Hegemony
    John Kreiser.....................Featured Columnist
    David A. Feete......................Featured Writer
    Viktor Malakoff...............Anaheim Correspondent
    Matt Brown.....................Boston Correspondent
    Valerie Hammerl...............Buffalo Correspondent
    Tony Wong.....................Calgary Correspondent
    Dan Glovier...................Chicago Correspondent
    Matt Gitchell................Colorado Correspondent
    Jim Panenka....................Dallas Correspondent
    Dino Cacciola.................Detroit Correspondent
    Simon D. Lewis...............Edmonton Correspondent
    Eric A. Seiden................Florida Correspondent
    Steve Gallichio..............Hartford Correspondent
    Matt Moore................Los Angeles Correspondent
    Jacques Robert...............Montreal Correspondent
    David Ibrahim..............New Jersey Correspondent
    David Strauss...............Islanders Correspondent
    Alex Frias....................Rangers Correspondent
    The Nosebleeders..............Ottawa Correspondents
    Eric Meyer...............Philadelphia Correspondent
    Jeff Brown....................Phoenix Correspondent
    Joe Ashkar..................St. Louis Correspondent
    Mark Spiegel.................San Jose Correspondent
    Troy Ely....................Tampa Bay Correspondent
    Jonah Sigel...................Toronto Correspondent
    Carol Schram................Vancouver Correspondent
    Jason Sheehan..............Washington Correspondent
    Tricia McMillan...................AHL Correspondent
   ----------------------------------------------------
   LCS Guide to Hockey, Issue 77, September 1, 1997.
   Email address: sportif@oak.westol.com Good ol' postal
   address: 632 Hempfield Street, Greensburg, PA 15601.
   Web Site: http://www.lcshockey.com/ open 24 hours a day.
   AOL Keyword: "LCS" or "LCS Hockey", exclusive coverage.
   ------------------------------------------------------



-----------------------------------------------------------------------
NEXT ISSUE: September 15 -- Season Preview
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hockey Pool Stats
------------------------------------------------------------------------
by LCS: Guide to Hockey


We went silly with the math this year and expanded on the usual
hockey pool stat package. For each forward or defensemen, we
list his position, age, height, weight, scoring stats for the
past two seasons, career stats, career per game averages, and
career per game averages over 82 games. That's a lot. For
goaltenders, we list all that personal info (age, height,
weight), their stats in each of the past two seasons, and their
career stats.

Skaters are ranked according to points over 82 games, with ties
being broken first by goals over 82 games, second by career
points per game average, and third by career goals per game
average. If they're still tied, whoever is coming off the better
season got listed higher. Goaltenders are ranked by wins
recorded last season. Ties are broken by goal-against average.

We ranked the top 238 forwards, the top 116 defensemen, and the
top 60 goaltenders. Those numbers may seem strange, but add them
all up and what do you get? 414. It doesn't seem so strange
now, does it?

There are a whole bunch of numbers, but when used properly, these
stats can be invaluable when selecting your hockey pool teams.
If nothing else, the listings will at least give you plenty of
names to choose from when searching for someone, anyone, in the
late rounds.



                                - OFFENSE -

Player, Team               GP      G     A    Pts   +/-      Pim   PP   SH
GW
1. (1) - Wayne Gretzky, NYR
C   36/6-0/170
1996-97 stats............ 82      25    72     97   12        28    6   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 80      23    79    102   -13       34    6   1
3
Career stats.............1335   862   1843   2705
Career per game averages.   -   .65   1.38   2.03
Averages over 82 games... 82     53    113    166

2. (3) - Eric Lindros, Phi.
C   24/6-4/229
1996-97 stats............ 52     32    47     79    31   136    9   0
7
1995-96 stats............ 73     47    68    115    26   163   15   0
4
Career stats............. 297   193   243     436
Career per game averages.   -   .65   .82    1.47
Averages over 82 games... 82     53    67     121

3. (5) - Teemu Selanne, Ana.
RW 27/6-0/181
1996-97 stats............ 78     51    58    109    28    34   11   1
8
1995-96 stats............ 79     40     68    108    5    22    9   1
5
Career stats............. 337   214   237     451
Career per game averages.   -   .64   .70    1.34
Averages over 82 games... 82     53    57     110

4. (4) - Steve Yzerman, Det.
C   32/5-11/185
1996-97 stats............ 81     22    63     85    22    78    8   0
3
1995-96 stats............ 80     36    59     95    29    64   16   2
8
Career stats.............1023   539   801    1340
Career per game averages.   -   .53   .78    1.31
Averages over 82 games... 82     43    64     107

5. (6) - Peter Forsberg, Col.
C   24/6-0/190
1996-97 stats............ 65     28    58     86    31    73    5   4
4
1995-96 stats............ 82     30    86    116    26    47    7   3
3
Career stats............. 194    73   179     252
Career per game averages.   -   .38   .92    1.30
Averages over 82 games... 82     31    75     106

6. (11) - Jaromir Jagr, Pit.
RW 25/6-3/210
1996-97 stats............ 63     47    48     95    22    40   11   2
6
1995-96 stats............ 82     62    87    149    31    96   20   1
12
Career stats............. 504   266   367     633
Career per game averages.   -   .53   .73    1.26
Averages over 82 games... 82     43    60     103
7. (7) - Brett Hull, StL.
RW 33/5-10/200
1996-97 stats............ 77       42   40     82    -9     10   12   2
6
1995-96 stats............ 70       43   40     83     4     30   16   5
6
Career stats............. 735     527   388    915
Career per game averages.   -     .72   .53   1.25
Averages over 82 games... 82       59    44    103

8. (8) - Joe Sakic, Col.
C   28/5-11/185
1996-97 stats............ 65       22   52     74    -10    34   10   2
5
1995-96 stats............ 82       51   69    120    14     44   17   6
7
Career stats............. 655     307   513    820
Career per game averages.   -     .47   .78   1.25
Averages over 82 games... 82       39    64    103

9. (23) - Paul Kariya, Ana.
LW 23/5-11/175
1996-97 stats............ 69       44   55      99   36      6   15   3
10
1995-96 stats............ 82       50   58    108     9     20   20   3
9
Career stats............. 198     112   134    246
Career per game averages.   -     .57   .68   1.24
Averages over 82 games... 82       47    56    103

10. (13) - Mark Messier, Van.
C   37/6-1/205
1996-97 stats............ 71       36   48     84    12     88    7   5
9
1995-96 stats............ 74       47   52     99    29    122   14   1
5
Career stats.............1272     575   977   1552
Career per game averages.   -     .45   .77   1.22
Averages over 82 games... 82       37    63    100

11. (9) - Adam Oates, Was.
C   35/5-11/190
1996-97 stats............ 80       22   60     82    -5     14    3   2
5
1995-96 stats............ 70       25    67    92    16     18    7   1
2
Career stats............. 826     258   738    996
Career per game averages.   -     .31   .89   1.20
Averages over 82 games... 82       25    73     98

12. (17) - Pat LaFontaine, Buf.
C   32/5-10/177
1996-97 stats............ 13       2     6      8    -8      4    1   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 76     40   51     91    -8    36   15   3
7
Career stats............. 798   445   506    951
Career per game averages.   -   .56   .63   1.19
Averages over 82 games... 82     46    52     98

13. (14) - Dale Hawerchuk, Phi. [RETIRED]
C   34/5-11/190
1996-97 stats............ 51     12    22    34     9    32    6   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 82     17    44    61    15    26    6   0
2
Career stats.............1188   518   891   1409
Career per game averages.   -   .44   .75   1.19
Averages over 82 games... 82     36    62     98

14. (12) - Sergei Fedorov, Det.
C   27/6-1/191
1996-97 stats............ 74     30   33      63   29    30    9   2
4
1995-96 stats............ 78     39   68    107    49    48   11   3
11
Career stats............. 506   242   350    592
Career per game averages.   -   .48   .69   1.17
Averages over 82 games... 82     39    57     96

15. (16) - Luc Robitaille, L.A.
LW 31/6-1/190
1996-97 stats............ 69     24   24     48    16    48    5   0
4
1995-96 stats............ 77     23   46     69    13    80   11   0
4
Career stats............. 832   462   500    962
Career per game averages.   -   .56   .60   1.16
Averages over 82 games... 82     46    49     95

16. (15) - Alexander Mogilny, Van.
RW 28/5-11/190
1996-97 stats............ 76     31   42     73     9    18    7   1
4
1995-96 stats............ 79     55   52    107    14    16   10   5
6
Career stats............. 536   297   327    624
Career per game averages.   -   .55   .61   1.16
Averages over 82 games... 82     45    50     95

17. (10) - Jari Kurri, Col.
RW 37/6-1/195
1996-97 stats............ 82     13   22     35    -13   12    3   0
3
1995-96 stats............ 71     18   27     45    -16   39    5   1
0
Career stats.............1181   596   780   1376
Career per game averages.   -   .50   .66   1.16
Averages over 82 games...   82     41   54     95

18. (22) - Ron Francis, Pit.
C   34/6-2/200
1996-97 stats............ 81       27   63     90     7     20   10   1
2
1995-96 stats............ 77       27   92    119    25     56   12   1
4
Career stats.............1166    403    944   1347
Career per game averages.   -    .35    .81   1.16
Averages over 82 games... 82      29     66     95

19. (19) - Pierre Turgeon, StL.
C   28/6-1/203
1996-97 stats............ 78     26     59     85     8     14    5   0
7
1995-96 stats............ 80     38     58     96    19     44   17   1
6
Career stats............. 750   344     520    864
Career per game averages.   -   .46     .69   1.15
Averages over 82 games... 82     38      57     95

20. (20) - Mark Recchi, Mon.
RW 29/5-10/185
1996-97 stats............ 82       34   46     80    -1     58    7   2
3
1995-96 stats............ 82       28   50     78    20     69   11   2
6
Career stats............. 628    285    430    715
Career per game averages.   -    .45    .68   1.14
Averages over 82 games... 82      37     56     93

21. (18) - Pavel Bure, Van.
RW 26/5-10/189
1996-97 stats............ 63       23   32     55    -14    40    4   1
2
1995-96 stats............ 15       6      7     13   -2      8    1   1
0
Career stats............. 346    203    185    388
Career per game averages.   -    .59    .53   1.12
Averages over 82 games... 82      48     44     92

22. (24) - Jeremy Roenick, Pho.
C   27/6-0/170
1996-97 stats............ 72     29     40     69    -7    115   10   3
7
1995-96 stats............ 66     32     35     67     9    109   12   4
2
Career stats............. 596   296     369    665
Career per game averages.   -   .50     .62   1.12
Averages over 82 games... 82     41      51     92

23. (25) - Bernie Nicholls, S.J.
C   36/6-0/185
1996-97 stats............ 65     12   33     45    -21    63    2   1
0
1995-96 stats............ 59     19   41     60    11     60    6   0
2
Career stats.............1057   469   710   1179
Career per game averages.   -   .44   .67   1.12
Averages over 82 games... 82     36    55     91

24. (26) - Alexei Zhamnov, Chi.
C   27/6-1/187
1996-97 stats............ 74     20   42     62    18     56    6   1
2
1995-96 stats............ 58     22   37     59    -4     65    5   0
2
Career stats............. 309   123   206    329
Career per game averages.   -   .40   .67   1.06
Averages over 82 games... 82     33    55     88

25. (33) - Mats Sundin, Tor.
C/RW 26/6-4/204
1996-97 stats............ 82     41   53     94     6     59    7   4
8
1995-96 stats............ 76     33   50     83     8     46    7   6
7
Career stats............. 529   232   326    558
Career per game averages.   -   .44   .62   1.06
Averages over 82 games... 82     36    51     87

26. (30) - Doug Gilmour, N.J.
C   34/5-11/172
1996-97 stats............ 81     22   60     82     2     68    4   1
1
1995-96 stats............ 81     32   40      72   -5     77   10   2
3
Career stats.............1062   368   755   1123
Career per game stats....   -   .35   .71   1.06
Averages over 82 games... 82     29    58     87

27. (28) - Theo Fleury, Cal.
RW 29/5-6/160
1996-97 stats............ 81     29    38     67   -12   104    9   2
3
1995-96 stats............ 80     46   50     96    17    112   17   5
4
Career stats............. 649   307   376    683
Career per game averages.   -   .47   .58   1.05
Averages over 82 games... 82     39    48     87

28. (27) - Craig Janney, Pho.
C   30/6-1/190
1996-97 stats............ 77     15   38     53    -1     26    5   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 84     20   62     82    -33    26    7   0
2
Career stats............. 636   173   498    671
Career per game averages.   -   .27   .78   1.05
Averages over 82 games... 82     22    64     86

29. (32) - Mike Modano, Dal.
C   27/6-3/190
1996-97 stats............ 80     35   48     83    43    42     9   5
9
1995-96 stats............ 78     36   45     81    -12    63    8   4
4
Career stats............. 581   256   339    595
Career per game averages.   -   .44   .58   1.02
Averages over 82 games... 82     36    48     84

30. (29) - Kevin Stevens, NYR
LW 32/6-3/217
1996-97 stats............ 69     14   20     34    -27    96    4   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 61     13   23     36    -10    71    6   0
1
Career stats............. 588   278   319    597
Career per game averages.   -   .47   .54   1.02
Averages over 82 games... 82     39    44     83

31. (34) - Joe Nieuwendyk, Dal.
C   31/6-1/195
1996-97 stats............ 66     30   21     51    -5     32    8   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 52     14   18     32    -17    41    8   0
3
Career stats............. 695   358   341    699
Career per game averages.   -   .52   .49   1.01
Averages over 82 games... 82     43    40     83

32. (37) - Dino Ciccarelli, T.B.
RW 37/5-10/175
1996-97 stats............ 77     35    25     60   -11   116   12   0
6
1995-96 stats............ 64     22   21     43    14    99    13   0
5
Career stats.............1156   586   574   1160
Career per game averages.   -   .51   .50   1.00
Averages over 82 games... 82     42    41     83

33. (31) - Joe Juneau, Was.
C   29/6-0/196
1996-97 stats............ 58     15   27     42    -11    8     9   1
3
1995-96 stats............ 80     14   50     64    -3     30    7   2
2
Career stats............. 354    90   265    355
Career per game averages.   -   .25   .75   1.00
Averages over 82 games... 82     21    62     83
34. (39) - Dave Andreychuk, N.J.
LW 34/6-3/220
1996-97 stats............ 82     27    34     61    38     48    4   1
2
1995-96 stats............ 76     28    29     57    -9     64   14   2
3
Career stats.............1083   503    561   1064
Career per game averages.   -   .46    .52    .98
Averages over 82 games... 82     38     43     81

35. (60) - Zigmund Palffy, NYI
LW 25/5-10/185
1996-97 stats............ 80      48   42     90    21     43    6   4
6
1995-96 stats............ 81      43   44     87    -17    56   17   1
6
Career stats............. 199    101    93   194
Career per game averages.   -    .51   .47   .98
Averages over 82 games... 82      42    38    80

36. (40) - Tomas Sandstrom, Ana.
RW 33/6-2/200
1996-97 stats............ 74     18    24     42     6     69    1   2
2
1995-96 stats............ 58     35    35     70     4     69   17   1
2
Career stats............. 848   378    437   817
Career per game averages.   -   .45    .52   .96
Averages over 82 games... 82     37     43    80

37. (46) - Keith Tkachuk, Pho.
LW 25/6-2/210
1996-97 stats............ 81      52   34      86   -1    228    9   2
7
1995-96 stats............ 76      50   48     98    11    156   20   2
6
Career stats............. 389    196   179   375
Career per game averages.   -    .50   .46   .96
Averages over 82 games... 82      41    38    79

38. (44) - Brendan Shanahan, Det.
LW 28/6-3/215
1996-97 stats............ 81     47    41     88    32    131   20   3
7
1995-96 stats............ 74     44    34     78     2    125   17   2
6
Career stats............. 713   335    351    686
Career per game averages.   -   .47    .49    .96
Averages over 82 games... 82     39     40     79

39. (45) - Vincent Damphousse, Mon.
LW/C 29/6-1/192
1996-97 stats............ 82     27    54     81    -6     82    7   2
3
1995-96 stats............ 80     38   56     94     5    158   11   4
3
Career stats............. 852   310   511   821
Career per game averages.   -   .36   .60   .96
Averages over 82 games... 82     30    49    79

40. (66) - Doug Weight, Edm.
C   26/5-11/191
1996-97 stats............ 80     21   61     82     1     80    4   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 82     25   79    104    -19    95    9   0
2
Career stats............. 395   102   276   378
Career per game averages.   -   .26   .70   .96
Averages over 82 games... 82     21    57    78

41. (41) - Mike Gartner, Pho.
RW 38/6-0/187
1996-97 stats............ 82     32   31     63    -11    38   13   1
7
1995-96 stats............ 82     35   19     54     5     52   15   0
4
Career stats.............1372   696   612   1308
Career per game averages.   -   .51   .44    .95
Averages over 82 games... 82     42    36     78

42. (47) - Valeri Kamensky, Col.
LW 31/6-2/198
1996-97 stats............ 68     28   38      66    5     38    8   0
4
1995-96 stats............ 81     38   47     85    14     85   18   1
5
Career stats............. 320   126   178   304
Career per game averages.   -   .39   .56   .95
Averages over 82 games... 82     32    46    78

43. (38) - Mikael Renberg, S.J.
RW 25/6-1/218
1996-97 stats............ 77     22   37     59    36     65    1   0
4
1995-96 stats............ 51     23   20     43     8     45    9   0
4
Career stats............. 258   109   135    241
Career per game averages.   -   .42   .52    .93
Averages over 82 games... 82     34    43     76

44. (48) - Rick Tocchet, Pho.
RW 33/6-0/205
1996-97 stats............ 53     21   19     40    -3     98    4   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 71     29    31     60   10    181   10   0
3
Career stats............. 841   359   417   776
Career per game averages.   -   .43   .50   .92
Averages over 82 games...   82    35   41     76

45. (52) - Alexei Yashin, Ott.
C   24/6-3/215
1996-97 stats............ 82      35   40     75   -7     44   10          0
5
1995-96 stats............ 46      15   24     39   -15    28       8       0
1
Career stats............. 258    101   136   237
Career per game averages.   -    .39   .53   .92
Averages over 82 games... 82      32    43    75

46. (49) - Rod Brind'Amour, Phi.
C   27/6-1/198
1996-97 stats............ 82     27    32     59    2     41    8      2
3
1995-96 stats............ 82     26    61     87   20    110    4      4
5
Career stats............. 614   213    342   555
Career per game averages.   -   .35    .56   .90
Averages over 82 games... 82     29     46    75

47. (51) - Brian Bellows, Ana.
LW 33/5-11/209
1996-97 stats............ 69      16   15     31   -15    22       8       0
1
1995-96 stats............ 79      23   26     49   -14    39   13          0
4
Career stats.............1101    462   515   977
Career per game averages.   -    .42   .47   .89
Averages over 82 games... 82      34    39    73

48. (55) - John Cullen, T.B.
C   33/5-10/187
1996-97 stats............ 70      18   37     55   -14    95   5       0
2
1995-96 stats............ 76      16   34     50    1     65   8       0
3
Career stats............. 617    187   363   550
Career per game averages.   -    .30   .59   .89
Averages over 82 games... 82      25    48    73

49. (61) - Peter Bondra, Was.
RW 29/6-0/200
1996-97 stats............ 77      46   31     77    7     72   10      4
3
1995-96 stats............ 67      52    28    80   18     40   11      4
7
Career stats............. 468    233   179   412
Career per game averages.   -    .50   .38   .88
Averages over 82 games... 82      41    31    72

50. (56) - Jason Arnott, Edm.
C   23/6-3/200
1996-97 stats............ 67     19   38     57   -21   92   10   1
2
1995-96 stats............ 64     28   31     59   -6    87    8   0
5
Career stats............. 251    95   126   221
Career per game averages.   -   .38   .50   .88
Averages over 82 games... 82     31    41    72

51. (54) - Kirk Muller, Flo.
C/LW 31/6-0/205
1996-97 stats............ 76     21   19     40   -25   89   10   1
4
1995-96 stats............ 51     13   19     32   -13   57    7   0
1
Career stats............. 962   326   521   847
Career per game averages.   -   .34   .54   .88
Averages over 82 games... 82     28    44    72

52. (57) - Mike Ridley, Van.
C   34/6-0/195
1996-97 stats............ 75     20   32     52    0    42    3   0
5
1995-96 stats............ 37     6    15     21   -3    29    2   0
1
Career stats............. 866   292   466   758
Career per game averages.   -   .34   .54   .88
Averages over 82 games... 82     28    44    72

53. (61) - Ray Sheppard, Flo.
RW 31/6-1/195
1996-97 stats............ 68     29   31     60    4    4    13   0
7
1995-96 stats............ 70     37   23     60   -19   16   14   0
7
Career stats............. 625   304   238   542
Career per game averages.   -   .49   .38   .87
Averages over 82 games... 82     40    31    71

54. (62) - Gary Roberts, Car.
LW 31/6-1/190
1996-97 stats............ DID NOT PLAY
1995-96 stats............ 35    22     20    42   15    78    9   0
5
Career stats............. 585  257   248    505
Career per game averages.   -  .44   .42    .86
Averages over 82 games... 82    36    34     70

55. (93) - John LeClair, Phi.
LW 28/6-2/220
1996-97 stats............ 82     50   47     97   44    58   10   0
5
1995-96 stats............ 82     51   46     97   21    64   19   0
10
Career stats............. 425   175   186   361
Career per game averages.     -    .41   .44   .85
Averages over 82 games...    82     34    36    70

56. (58) - Robert Reichel,   NYI
C   26/5-10/185
1996-97 stats............    82     21   41     62     5    26     6   1
3
1995-96 stats............    PLAYED IN GERMANY
Career stats.............    437   158   215    373
Career per game averages.     -   .36   .49    .85
Averages over 82 games...    82    30    40     70

57. (70) - Owen Nolan, S.J.
RW 25/6-1/201
1996-97 stats............ 72        31   32     63    -19   155   10   0
3
1995-96 stats............ 81        33   36     69    -33   146   16   1
2
Career stats............. 412      177   171   348
Career per game averages.   -      .43   .42   .85
Averages over 82 games... 82        35    34    69

58. (68) - Steve Thomas, N.J.
LW 34/5-11/184
1996-97 stats............ 57        15   19     34     9     46    1   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 81        26   35     61    -2     98    6   0
6
Career stats............. 805      310   362   672
Career per game averages.   -      .39   .45   .84
Averages over 82 games... 82        32    37    69

59. (63) - Ed Olczyk, Pit.
C   31/6-1/205
1996-97 stats............ 79        25   30     55    -14    51    5   1
6
1995-96 stats............ 51        27   22     49     0    65    16   0
1
Career stats............. 881      319   424   743
Career per game averages.   -      .36   .48   .84
Averages over 82 games... 82        30    39    69

60. (105) - Daniel Alfredsson, Ott.
RW 25/5-11/194
1996-97 stats............ 76     24      47     71     5    30    11   1
1
1995-96 stats............ 82     26      35     61    -18    28    8   2
3
Career stats............. 158    50       82   132
Career per game averages.   -   .32      .52   .84
Averages over 82 games... 82     26       43    69

61. (69) - Neal Broten, Dal.
C   37/5-9/174
1996-97 stats............ 42      8    12     20   -4     12    1   1
2
1995-96 stats............ 55      7    16     23   -3     14    1   1
1
Career stats.............1099    289   634   923
Career per game averages.   -    .26   .58   .84
Averages over 82 games... 82      21    48    69

62. (67) - Stephane Richer, Mon.
RW 31/6-2/215
1996-97 stats............ 63     22    24     46    0     32    2   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 73     20    12     32   -8     30    3   4
3
Career stats............. 826   366    326   692
Career per game averages.   -   .44    .39   .84
Averages over 82 games... 82     36     32    68

63. (72) - Trevor Linden, Van.
C   27/6-4/210
1996-97 stats............ 49      9    31     40    5     27    2   2
2
1995-96 stats............ 82      33   47     80    6     42   12   1
2
Career stats............. 660    240   308   548
Career per game averages.   -    .36   .47   .83
Averages over 82 games... 82      30    38    68

64. (73) - Cliff Ronning, Pho.
C   32/5-8/165
1996-97 stats............ 69      19   32     51   -9     26    8   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 79      22   45     67   16     42    5   0
1
Career stats............. 615    185   318   504
Career per game averages.   -    .30   .52   .82
Averages over 82 games... 82      25    43    68

65. (71) - Pat Verbeek, Dal.
RW 33/5-9/190
1996-97 stats............ 81      17   36     53    3    128    5   0
4
1995-96 stats............ 69      41    41    82   29    129   17   0
6
Career stats.............1065    430   444   874
Career per game averages.   -    .40   .42   .82
Averages over 82 games... 82      33    34    67

66. (75) - Dave Gagner, Flo.
C   32/5-10/185
1996-97 stats............ 82      27   33     60    2     48    9   0
4
1995-96 stats............ 73      21   28     49   -19   103    7   0
3
Career stats............. 799    292   351   643
Career per game averages.   -    .37   .44   .81
Averages over 82 games... 82      30    36    66

67. (77) - Geoff Sanderson, Car.
LW 25/6-0/185
1996-97 stats............ 82     36    31     67   -9    29   12   1
4
1995-96 stats............ 81     34    31     65    0   40     6   0
7
Career stats............. 439   189    163   352
Career per game averages.   -   .43    .37   .80
Averages over 82 games... 82     35     30    65

68. (95) - Tony Amonte, Chi.
RW 27/6-0/190
1996-97 stats............ 81      41   36     77   35   64     9   2
4
1995-96 stats............ 81      31   32     63   10   62     5   4
5
Career stats............. 451    172   190   362
Career per game averages.   -    .38   .42   .80
Averages over 82 games... 82      31    34    65

69. (79) - Dimitri Khristich, Bos.
LW 28/6-2/195
1996-97 stats............ 75     19    37     56    8   38     3   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 76     27    37     64    0   44    12   0
3
Career stats............. 466   167    203   370
Career per game averages.   -   .36    .43   .79
Averages over 82 games... 82     30     35    65

70. (84) - Igor Larionov, Det.
C   36/5-9/170
1996-97 stats............ 64      12   42     54   31   26     2   1
4
1995-96 stats............ 73      22   51     73   31    34   10   1
5
Career stats............. 440    107   243   350
Career per game averages.   -    .24   .55   .79
Averages over 82 games... 82      20    45    65

71. (78) - Kevin Dineen, Car.
RW 34/5-11/190
1996-97 stats............ 78      19    29    48   -6   141    8   0
5
1995-96 stats............ 46      2     9     11   -1   117    0   0
0
Career stats............. 871    323   356   679
Career per game averages.   -    .37   .41   .78
Averages over 82 games... 82      30    34    64
72. (82) - Derek King, Tor.
LW 30/6-1/212
1996-97 stats............ 82      26   33     59   -6     22   6   0
3
1995-96 stats............ 61      12   20     32   -10    23   5   1
0
Career stats............. 650    214   291   505
Career per game averages.   -    .33   .45   .78
Average over 82 games.... 82      27    37    64

73. (89) - Brian Bradley, T.B.
C   32/5-10/180
1996-97 stats............ 35      7    17     24    2     16   1   2
1
1995-96 stats............ 75      23   56     79   -11    77   9   0
5
Career stats............. 637    180   316   496
Career per game averages.   -    .28   .50   .78
Averages over 82 games... 82      23    41    64

74. (85) - Dale Hunter, Was.
C   37/5-10/200
1996-97 stats............ 82      14   32     46   -2    125   3   0
5
1995-96 stats............ 82      13   24     37    5    112   4   0
3
Career stats.............1263    313   670   983
Career per game averages.   -    .25   .53   .78
Averages over 82 games... 82      21    43    64

75. (83) - Russ Courtnall, NYR
RW 32/5-11/195
1996-97 stats............ 61      11   24     35    1     26   2   1
2
1995-96 stats............ 81      26   39     65   25     40   6   4
4
Career stats............. 914    279   428   707
Career per game averages.   -    .31   .47   .77
Averages over 82 games... 82      25    39    64

76. (91) - Wendel Clark, Tor.
LW 31/5-10/194
1996-97 stats............ 65      30    19    49   -2     75   6   0
6
1995-96 stats............ 71      32   26     58   -5     76   8   0
3
Career stats............. 636    282   209   491
Career per game averages.   -    .44   .33   .77
Averages over 82 games... 82      36    27    63

77. (94) - Geoff Courtnall, StL.
LW 35/6-1/195
1996-97 stats............ 82     17    40     57    3     86   4   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 69     24   16     40   -9    101       7    1
1
Career stats............. 939   329   392   721
Career per game averages.   -   .35   .42   .77
Averages over 82 games... 82     29    34    63

78. (*) - Brent Sutter, Chi.
C   35/5-11/180
1996-97 stats............ 39     7     7     14   10    18     0       0
1
1995-96 stats............ 80     13   27     40   14    56     0       0
3
Career stats.............1059   361   460   821
Career per game averages.   -   .34   .43   .77
Averages over 82 games... 82     28    35    63

79. (76) - Nelson Emerson, Car.
C   30/5-11/175
1996-97 stats............ 66      9   29     38   -21   34    2        1
2
1995-96 stats............ 81     29   29     58   -7    78    12       2
5
Career stats............. 443   130   212   342
Career per game averages.   -   .29   .48   .77
Averages over 82 games... 82     24    39    63

80. (86) - Michal Pivonka, Was.
C   31/6-2/195
1996-97 stats............ 54      7   16     23   -15    22    2       0
1
1995-96 stats............ 73     16   65     81   18    36         6   2
5
Career stats............. 756   173   406   579
Career per game averages.   -   .23   .54   .77
Averages over 82 games... 82     19    44    63

81. (88) - Ray Ferraro, L.A.
C   33/5-10/185
1996-97 stats............ 81     25   21     46   -22   112   11       0
2
1995-96 stats............ 76     29   31     60    0    92     9       0
4
Career stats............. 915   327   368   695
Career per game averages.   -   .36   .40   .76
Averages over 82 games... 82     30    33    63

82. (109) - Petr Nedved, Pit.
C   26/6-3/195
1996-97 stats............ 74     33   38     71   -2     66   12       3
4
1995-96 stats............ 80     45   54     99   37    68     8       1
5
Career stats............. 441   158   179   337
Career per game averages.   -   .36   .40   .76
Averages over 82 games...   82     30   33     63

83. (74) - Vyacheslav Kozlov, Det.
LW 25/5-10/180
1996-97 stats............ 75     23     22     45   21   46    3   0
6
1995-96 stats............ 82     36     37     73   33   70    9   0
7
Career stats............. 304   110     121   231
Career per game averages.   -   .36     .40   .76
Averages over 82 games... 82     30      33    63

84. (80) - Esa Tikkanen, NYR
LW he's old/6-1/200
1996-97 stats............ 76       13   17     30   -9    72   4   2
2
1995-96 stats............ 58       14   30     44    1   36    8   1
2
Career stats............. 797    241    365   606
Career per game averages.   -    .30    .46   .76
Averages over 82 games... 82      25     38    63

85. (92) - John MacLean, N.J.
RW 32/6-0/200
1996-97 stats............ 80       29   25     54   11   49    5   0
6
1995-96 stats............ 76       20   28     48    3   91    3   3
3
Career stats............. 908    344    346   690
Career per game averages.   -    .38    .38   .76
Averages over 82 games... 82      31     31    62

86. (81) - Tony Granato, S.J.
LW 33/5-10/185
1996-97 stats............ 76       25   15     40   -7   159   5   1
4
1995-96 stats............ 49       17   18     35   -5    46   5   0
1
Career stats............. 571    216    217   433
Career per game averages.   -    .38    .38   .76
Averages over 82 games... 82      31     31    62

87. (159) - Saku Koivu, Mon.
LW 23/5-9/180
1996-97 stats............ 50       17   39     56    7   38    5   0
3
1995-96 stats............ 82       20   25     45   -7    40   8   3
2
Career stats............. 132     37     64   101
Career per game averages.   -    .28    .48   .76
Averages over 82 games... 82      23     39    62

88. (103) - Andrew Cassels, S.J.
C   28/6-0/192
1996-97 stats............ 81      22   44     66   -16    46    8   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 81      20    43    63    8     39   6    0
1
Career stats............. 498    105   272   377
Career per game averages.   -    .21   .55   .76
Averages over 82 games... 82      17    45    62

89. (100) - Greg Adams, Dal.
LW 34/6-3/195
1996-97 stats............ 50      21   15     36   27     2    5    0
4
1995-96 stats............ 66      22   21     43   -21    33   11   1
1
Career stats............. 803    292   307   599
Career per game averages.   -    .36   .38   .75
Averages over 82 games... 82      30    31    61

90. (90) - Murray Craven, S.J.
LW 33/6-2/185
1996-97 stats............ 75      8    27     35    0    12    2    0
1
1995-96 stats............ 66      18   29     47   20    36    5    1
7
Career stats............. 945    250   464   714
Career per game averages.   -    .26   .49   .75
Averages over 82 games... 82      21    40    61

91. (98) - Petr Klima, Edm.
LW 33/6-0/190
1996-97 stats............ 33      2    12     14   -12    12    0   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 67      22   30     52   -25    68    8   0
3
Career stats............. 773    312   260   572
Career per game averages.   -    .40   .34   .74
Averages over 82 games... 82      33    28    61

92. (102) - Todd Elik, Bos.
C   31/6-1/200
1996-97 stats............ 31      4    12     16   -12    16    1   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 59      13   33     46    2    40    6    0
2
Career stats............. 448    110   219   329
Career per game averages.   -    .25   .49   .74
Averages over 82 games... 82      21    40    61

93. (96) - Benoit Hogue, Dal.
LW 31/5-10/195
1996-97 stats............ 73      19   24     43    8    54    5    0
5
1995-96 stats............ 78      19   45     64   10    104   5    0
5
Career stats............. 617   191   263   454
Career per game averages.   -   .31   .43   .74
Averages over 82 games... 82     25    35    60

94. (97) - Donald Audette, Buf.
RW 28/5-8/175
1996-97 stats............ 73     28    22    50   -6    48    8   0
5
1995-96 stats............ 23     12   13     25    0    18   8    0
1
Career stats............. 334   140   105   245
Career per game averages.   -   .42   .31   .73
Averages over 82 games... 82     34    26    60

95. (115) - Bryan Smolinski, NYI
C   25/6-1/200
1996-97 stats............ 64     28   28     56    8    25   9    0
1
1995-96 stats............ 81     24   40     64    6    69   8    2
1
Career stats............. 281   102   104   206
Career per game averages.   -   .36   .37   .73
Averages over 82 games... 82     30    30    60

96. (99) - Darren Turcotte, StL.
C   29/6-0/178
1996-97 stats............ 65     16   21     37   -8    16    3   1
4
1995-96 stats............ 68     22   21     43    5    30   2    1
4
Career stats............. 524   179   204   383
Career per game averages.   -   .34   .39   .73
Averages over 82 games... 82     28    32    60

97. (107) - Claude Lemieux, Col.
RW 32/6-1/215
1996-97 stats............ 45     11   17     28   -4    43    5   0
4
1995-96 stats............ 79     39   32     71   14   117   9    2
10
Career stats............. 758   272   275   547
Career per game averages.   -   .36   .36   .72
Averages over 82 games... 82     30    30    60

98. (113) - Andrei Kovalenko, Edm.
RW 27/5-10/200
1996-97 stats............ 74     32   27     59   -5    81   14   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 77     28   28     56   20    49   6    0
6
Career stats............. 335   117   123   240
Career per game averages.   -   .35   .37   .72
Averages over 82 games... 82     29    30    59
99. (106) - Peter Zezel, N.J.
C   32/5-11/200
1996-97 stats............ 53       4    12    16   10    16   0   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 57      8    13     21   -2    12   2   0
1
Career stats............. 802    208   366   574
Career per game averages.   -    .26   .46   .72
Averages over 82 games... 82      21    38    59

100. (*) - Joe Murphy, StL.
RW   30/6-1/190
1996-97 stats............ 75      20   25     45   -1    69   4   1
2
1995-96 stats............ 70      22   29     51   -3    86   8   0
3
Career stats............. 597    186   239   425
Career per game averages.   -    .31   .40   .71
Averages over 82 games... 82      25    33    58

101. (117) - Martin Rucinsky, Mon.
LW 26/6-0/190
1996-97 stats............ 70     28    27     55    1    62   6   3
3
1995-96 stats............ 78     29    46     75   18    68   9   2
4
Career stats............. 311    88    133   221
Career per game averages.   -   .28    .43   .71
Averages over 82 games... 82     23     35    58

102. (108) - Ulf Dahlen, Chi.
LW 30/6-4/195
1996-97 stats............ 73      14   19     33   -2    18   4   0
4
1995-96 stats............ 59      16   12     28   -21   27   5   0
2
Career stats............. 686    231   249   480
Career per game averages.   -    .34   .36   .70
Averages over 82 games... 82      28    30    58

103. (111) - Scott Young, Col.
RW 30/6-0/190
1996-97 stats............ 72      18   19     37   -5    14   7   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 81      21   39     60    2    50   7   0
5
Career stats............. 599    173   239   412
Career per game averages.   -    .29   .40   .69
Averages over 82 games... 82      24    33    57

104. (151) - Steve Rucchin, Ana.
C   26/6-3/215
1996-97 stats............ 79     19     48    67   26    24   6   1
2
1995-96 stats............ 64       19   25        44    3    35    8   1
4
Career stats............. 186      44    84      128
Career per game averages.   -     .24   .45      .69
Averages over 82 games... 82       20    37       57

105. (110) - German Titov, Cal.
C   32/6-0/190
1996-97 stats............ 79     22     30        52   -12   36   12   0
4
1995-96 stats............ 82     28     39        67    9    24   13   2
2
Career stats............. 277    89      99      188
Career per game averages.   -   .32     .36      .68
Averages over 82 games... 82     26      30       56

106. (123) - Alexei Kovalev, NYR
RW 24/6-0/210
1996-97 stats............ 45     13     22        35   11    42    1   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 81     24     34        58    5    98    8   1
7
Career stats............. 315    93     122      215
Career per game averages.   -   .29     .39      .68
Averages over 82 games... 82     24      32       56

107. (114) - Paul Ysebaert, T.B.
LW 31/6-1/190
1996-97 stats............ 39      5     12        17    1    4     2   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 55     16     15        31   -19   16    4   1
1
Career stats............. 440   136     159      295
Career per game averages.   -   .31     .36      .67
Averages over 82 games... 82     25      30       55

108. (112) - Mike Ricci, Col.
C   26/6-0/190
1996-97 stats............ 63       13   19        32   -3    59    5   0
3
1995-96 stats............ 62       6    21        27    1    52    3   0
1
Career stats............. 479     132   189      321
Career per game averages.   -     .28   .39      .67
Averages over 82 games... 82       23    32       55

109. (*) - Steve Sullivan,   Tor. [ROOKIE]
C   23/5-9/155
1996-97 stats............    54    13    25       38   14    37    3   0
3
1995-96 stats............    16    5         4    9     3    8     2   0
1
Career stats.............    70    18    29       47
Career per game averages.     -   .26   .41      .67
Averages over 82 games...   82     21    34    55

110. (*) - Bobby Carpenter, N.J.
C    34/6-0/200
1996-97 stats............ 62      4     15     19    6     14    0   1
0
1995-96 stats............ 52      5      5     10   -10    14    0   1
0
Career stats.............1056   309     391   700
Career per game averages.   -   .29     .37   .66
Averages over 82 games... 82     24      30    54

111. (121) - Shayne Corson, Mon.
LW 31/6-1/200
1996-97 stats............ 58      8     16     24   -9    104    3   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 77     18     28     46    3    192   13   0
0
Career stats............. 747   200     294   494
Career per game averages.   -   .27     .39   .66
Averages over 82 games... 82     22      32    54

112. (125) - Derek Plante, Buf.
C 26/5-11/160
1996-97 stats............ 82     27     26     53   14     24    5   0
6
1995-96 stats............ 76     23     33     56   -4     28    4   0
5
Career stats............ 282     74     113   187
Career per game averages.   -   .26     .40   .66
Averages over 82 games... 82     21      33    54

113. (125) - Randy Burridge, Buf.
LW 31/5-9/185
1996-97 stats............ 55     10     21     31   17     20    1   3
0
1995-96 stats............ 74     25     33     58    0     30    6   0
3
Career stats............. 676   195     245   440
Career per game averages.   -   .29     .36   .65
Averages over 82 games... 82     24      30    54

114. (119) - Patrick Flatley, NYR
RW 34/6-2/205
1996-97 stats............ 68      10     12    22    6     26    0   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 56       8     9     17   -24    21    0   0
0
Career stats............. 780   170     340   510
Career per game averages.   -   .22     .43   .65
Averages over 82 games... 82      18     35    53

115. (132) - Keith Primeau, Car.
C   26/6-4/210
1996-97 stats............ 75     26    25     51   -3    161    6   3
2
1995-96 stats............ 74     27    25     52   19    168   6    2
7
Career stats............. 438    123   158   281
Career per game averages.   -    .28   .36   .64
Averages over 82 games... 82      23    30    53

116. (158) - Jeff Friesen, S.J.
LW 21/6-0/190
1996-97 stats............ 82     28    34     62   -8     75    6   2
5
1995-96 stats............ 79     15    31     46   -19    42    2   0
0
Career stats............. 209    58     75   133
Career per game averages.   -   .28    .36   .64
Averages over 82 games... 82     23     30    53

117. (176) - Josef Stumpel, L.A.
RW 25/6-1/190
1996-97 stats............ 78     21    55     76   -22    14    6   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 76     18    36     54   -8     14    5   0
2
Career stats............. 274    54    122   176
Career per game averages.   -   .20    .44   .64
Averages over 82 games... 82     16     36    52

118. (136) - Johan Garpenlov, Flo.
LW 30/5-11/185
1996-97 stats............ 53     11    25     36   10     47   1    0
1
1995-96 stats............ 82     23    28     51   -10    36    8   0
7
Career stats............. 433   102    171   273
Career per game averages.   -   .24    .39   .63
Averages over 82 games... 82     20     32    52

119. (152) - Travis Green, NYI
C   27/6-1/195
1996-97 stats............ 79      23    41    64   -5     38   10   0
3
1995-96 stats............ 69     24    45     69   -21    42   14   1
2
Career stats............. 334     78   133   211
Career per game averages.   -    .23   .40   .63
Averages over 82 games... 82      19    33    52

120. (127) - Eric Daze, Chi.
LW 22/6-4/202
1996-97 stats............ 71     22    19     41   -4     16   11   0
4
1995-96 stats............ 80     30    23     53   16     60   6    0
2
Career stats............. 155     53    43    96
Career per game averages.   -    .34   .28   .62
Averages over 82 games... 82      28    23    51

121. (124) - Pat Falloon, Phi.
RW 25/5-11/200
1996-97 stats............ 52      11   12     23   -8     10    2   0
4
1995-96 stats............ 71      25   26     51   14     10    9   0
2
Career stats............. 372    109   124   233
Career per game averages.   -    .29   .33   .62
Averages over 82 games... 82      24    27    51

122. (137) - Scott Mellanby, Flo.
RW 31/6-1/205
1996-97 stats............ 82     27    29     56    7    170    9   1
4
1995-96 stats............ 79     32    38     70    4    160   19   0
3
Career stats............. 793   223    267   490
Career per game averages.   -   .28    .34   .62
Averages over 82 games... 82     23     28    51

123. (124) - Corey Millen, Cal.
C   33/5-7/170
1996-97 stats............ 61     11    15     26   -19    32    1   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 44      7    14     21    8     18    2   0
1
Career stats............. 335    90    119   209
Career per game averages.   -   .27    .35   .62
Averages over 82 games... 82     22     29    51

124. (140) - Adam Graves, NYR
LW 29/6-0/207
1996-97 stats............ 82      33    28    61   10     66   10   4
3
1995-96 stats............ 82      22   36     58   18    100    9   1
2
Career stats............. 676    209   204   413
Career per game averages.   -    .31   .30   .61
Averages over 82 games... 82      25    25    50

125. (166) - Adam Deadmarsh, Col.
C   22/6-0/195
1996-97 stats............ 78     33    27     60    8    136   10   3
4
1995-96 stats............ 78     21    27     48   20    142    3   0
2
Career stats............. 204    63     62   125
Career per game averages.   -   .31    .30   .61
Averages over 82 games... 82     25     25    50
126. (*) - Jarome Iginla, Cal. [ROOKIE]
RW 20/6-2/195
1996-97 stats............ 82     21    29     50   -4     37   8   1
3
Career stats............. 82     21    29     50
Career per game averages.   -   .26   .35    .61
Averages over 82 games... 82     21    29     50

127. (134) - Valeri Zelepukin, N.J.
RW 29/5-11/185
1996-97 stats............ 71     14    24     38   -10    36   3   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 61      6     9     15   -10   107   3   0
1
Career stats............. 340    83    125   208
Career per game averages.   -   .24    .37   .61
Averages over 82 games... 82     20     30    50

128. (138) - Dallas Drake, Pho.
C   28/6-0/180
1996-97 stats............ 63     17    19     36   -11    52   5   1
1
1995-96 stats............ 69     19    20     39   -7     36   4   4
2
Career stats............. 309    75    110   185
Career per game averages.   -   .24    .36   .60
Averages over 82 games... 82     20     30    50

129. (150) - Mariusz Czerkawski, NYI
RW 25/5-11/190
1996-97 stats............ 76     26    21     47    0    16    4   0
3
1995-96 stats............ 70     17     23    40   -4     18   3   0
1
Career stats............. 197    57     59   116
Career per game averages.   -   .29    .30   .59
Averages over 82 games... 82     24     25    49

130. (*) - Marty McInnis, Cal.
LW   27/6-0/183
1996-97 stats............ 80     23    26     49   -8     22   5   1
4
1995-96 stats............ 74     12    34     46   -11    39   2   0
1
Career stats............. 349     82   123   205
Career per game averages.   -    .24   .35   .59
Averages over 82 games... 82      20    29    49

131. (182) - Jere Lehtinen, Dal.
RW   24/6-0/185
1996-97 stats............ 63     16    27     43   26     2    3   1
2
1995-96 stats............ 57      6    22     28    5    16    0   0
1
Career stats............. 120    22    49    71
Career per game averages.   -   .18   .41   .59
Averages over 82 games... 82     15    34    49

132. (135) - Shawn McEachern, Ott.
C/RW 28/6-0/195
1996-97 stats............ 65     11   20     31   -5     18   0   1
2
1995-96 stats............ 82     24   29     53   -5     34   3   2
3
Career stats............. 366    96   121   217
Career per game averages.   -   .26   .33   .59
Averages over 82 games... 82     21    27    48

133. (146) - Stu Barnes, Pit.
C   27/5-11/175
1996-97 stats............ 81    19    30     49   -23    26   5   0
3
1995-96 stats............ 72    19    25     44   -12    46   8   0
5
Career stats............. 355    91   117   208
Career per game averages.   -   .26   .33   .59
Averages over 82 games... 82     21    27    48

134. (148) - Alexandre Daigle, Ott.
C   22/6-0/185
1996-97 stats............ 82     26   25     51   -33    33   4   0
5
1995-96 stats............ 50      5   12     17   -30    24   1   0
0
Career stats............. 263    67    89   156
Career per game averages.   -   .25   .34   .59
Averages over 82 games... 82     20    28    48

135. (126) - Vitali Yachmenev, L.A.
RW 22/5-9/180
1996-97 stats............ 65     10   22     32   -9     10   2   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 80     19   34     53   -3     16   6   1
2
Career stats............. 145    29    56    85
Career per game averages.   -   .20   .39   .59
Averages over 82 games... 82     16    32    48

136. (181) - Chris Gratton, Phi.
C   22/6-3/220
1996-97 stats............ 82     30   32     62   -28   201   9   0
4
1995-96 stats............ 82     17   21     38   -13   105   7   0
3
Career stats............. 294    67   102   169
Career per game averages.   -   .23   .35   .58
Averages over 82 games... 82     19    29    48
137. (190) - Brian Savage, Mon.
C   26/6-2/195
1996-97 stats............ 81     23   37     60   -14   39    5   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 75     25    8     33   -8    28    4   0
4
Career stats............. 196    61    52   113
Career per game averages.   -   .31   .27   .58
Averages over 82 games... 82     25    22    47

138. (139) - Kevin Miller, Chi.
LW 32/5-11/190
1996-97 stats............ 69     14   17     31   -10   41    5   1
2
1995-96 stats............ 81     28   25     53   -4    45    3   2
2
Career stats............. 537   142   169   311
Career per game averages.   -   .26   .32   .58
Averages over 82 games... 82     21    26    47

139. (143) - Martin Straka, Flo.
C   25/5-9/185
1996-97 stats............ 55      7   22     29    9    12    2   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 77     13   30     43   -19   41    6   0
1
Career stats............. 295    58   112   170
Career per game averages.   -   .20   .38   .58
Averages over 82 games... 82     16    31    47

140. (129) - Roman Oksiuta, Pit.
RW 27/6-3/229
1996-97 stats............ 35      6    7     13   -16   26    2   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 70     23   28     51    4    60   11   0
1
Career stats............. 153    46    41    87
Career per game averages.   -   .30   .27   .57
Averages over 82 games... 82     25    22    47

141. (*) - Jim Campbell, StL. [ROOKIE]
RW   24/6-1/175
1996-97 stats............ 68     23    20    43    3    68    5   0
6
1995-96 stats............ 16      2     3    5     0    36    1   0
0
Career stats............. 84     25    23    48
Career per game averages.   -   .30   .27   .57
Averages over 82 games... 82     25    22    47

142. (163) - Bobby Holik, N.J.
C   26/6-3/220
1996-97 stats............ 82     23    39    62   24    54    5   0
6
1995-96 stats............ 63       13   17     30    9    58   1   0
1
Career stats............. 478     123   151   272
Career per game averages.   -     .26   .31   .57
Averages over 82 games... 82       21    25    47

143. (142) - Joel Otto, Phi.
C   36/6-4/220
1996-97 stats............ 78       13   19     32   12    99   0   1
2
1995-96 stats............ 67       12   29     41   11   115   6   1
1
Career stats............. 875     192   309   501
Career per game averages.   -     .22   .35   .57
Averages over 82 games... 82       18    29    47

144. (118) - Andrei Nikolishin, Was.
C   24/5-11/180
1996-97 stats............ 71      9     19     28    3    32   1   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 61     14     37     51   -2    44   5   2
3
Career stats............. 171    31      66    97
Career per game averages.   -   .18     .39   .57
Averages over 82 games... 82     15      32    47

145. (*) - Ted Donato, Bos.
LW   29/5-10/170
1996-97 stats............ 67       25   26     51   -9    37   6   2
2
1995-96 stats............ 82       23   26     49    6    46   7   0
1
Career stats............. 372      96   116   212
Career per game averages.   -     .26   .31   .57
Averages over 82 games... 82       21    25    46

146. (*) - Sergei Berezin,   Tor. [ROOKIE]
RW   25/5-10/172
1996-97 stats............    73    25   16     41   -3     2   7   0
2
Career stats.............    73    25    16    41
Career per game averages.     -   .34   .22   .56
Averages over 82 games...    82    28    18    46

147. (169) - Martin Gelinas, Van.
LW 27/5-11/195
1996-97 stats............ 74     35     33     68    6    42   6   1
3
1995-96 stats............ 81      30     26    56    8    59   3   4
5
Career stats............. 523   152     143   295
Career per game averages.   -   .29     .27   .56
Averages over 82 games... 82     24      22    46
148. (156) - Bill Guerin, N.J.
RW 26/6-2/200
1996-97 stats............ 82     29    18     47   -2     95   7   0
9
1995-96 stats............ 80     23    30     53    7    116   8   0
6
Career stats............. 361     96   107   203
Career per game averages.   -    .27   .29   .56
Averages over 82 games... 82      22    24    46

149. (*) - Guy Carbonneau, Dal.
C    37/5-11/185
1996-97 stats............ 73      5    16     21    9     36   0   1
0
1995-96 stats............ 71      8    15     23   -2     38   0   2
1
Career stats.............1098   239    368   607
Career per game averages.   -   .22    .34   .56
Averages over 82 games... 82     18     28    46

150. (160) - Niklas Andersson, NYI
LW 26/5-9/175
1996-97 stats............ 74     12    31     43    4     57   1   1
1
1995-96 stats............ 48     14    12     26   -3     12   3   2
1
Career stats............. 124    26     44    70
Career per game averages.   -   .21    .35   .56
Averages over 82 games... 82     17     29    46

151. (161) - Jason Dawe, Buf.
LW 24/5-10/195
1996-97 stats............ 81     22    26     48   14     32   4   1
3
1995-96 stats............ 67     25    25     50   -8     81   7   1
2
Career stats............. 222     60    62   122
Career per game averages.   -    .27   .28   .55
Averages over 82 games... 82      22    23    45

152. (162) - Yanic Perreault, L.A.
C   26/5-11/185
1996-97 stats............ 41     11    14     25    0     20   1   1
0
1995-96 stats............ 78     25     24    49   -11    16   8   3
7
Career stats............. 158    41     46    87
Career per game averages.   -   .26    .29   .55
Averages over 82 games... 82     21     24    45

153. (*) - Vladimir Tsyplakov, L.A.
LW   28/6-2/194
1996-97 stats............ 67     16    23     39    8     12   1   0
2
1995-96 stats............   23    5     5     10    1    4     0   0
0
Career stats.............   89    21    28    49
Career per game averages.    -   .24   .31   .55
Averages over 82 games...   82    20    25    45

154. (120) - Petr Sykora, N.J.
C 21/5-11/185
1996-97 stats............ 19      1     2     3    -8     4    0   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 63     18    24     42    7    32    8   0
3
Career stats............. 82      19    26    45
Career per game averages.   -    .23   .32   .55
Averages over 82 games... 82      19    26    45

155. (*) - Kevin Todd, Ana.
C   29/5-10/180
1996-97 stats............ 65      9    21     30   -7    44    0   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 74     16    27     43    6    38    0   2
4
Career stats............. 356     66   126   192
Career per game averages.   -    .19   .35   .54
Averages over 82 games... 82      16    29    45

156. (*) - Ryan Smyth, Edm.
LW   21/6-1/190
1996-97 stats............ 82     39    22     61   -7    76   20   0
4
1995-96 stats............ 48      2     9     11   -10   28    1   0
0
Career stats............. 133     41    31    72
Career per game averages.   -    .31   .23   .54
Averages over 82 games... 82      25    19    44

157. (144) - Sergei Nemchinov, NYI
C   33/6-0/205
1996-97 stats............ 69      8    16     24    9    16    1   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 78     17     15    32    9    38    0   0
2
Career stats............. 424   107    123   230
Career per game averages.   -   .25    .29   .54
Averages over 82 games... 82     20     24    44

158. (153) - Alexander Selivanov, T.B.
RW 26/6-1/205
1996-97 stats............ 69     15    18     33   -3    61    3   0
4
1995-96 stats............ 79     31    21     52    3    93   13   0
5
Career stats............. 191    56    45    101
Career per game averages.   -   .29   .24    .53
Averages over 82 games...   82   24    20     44

159. (149) - Darrin Shannon, Pho.
LW 27/6-2/210
1996-97 stats............ 82     11    13     24   4     41    1   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 63      5    18     23   -5    28    0   0
1
Career stats............. 448    85    151   236
Career per game averages.   -   .19    .34   .53
Averages over 82 games... 82     16     28    44

160. (155) - Miroslav Satan, Buf.
LW 23/6-1/176
1996-97 stats............ 76     25    13     38   -3    26    7   0
3
1995-96 stats............ 62     18    17     35   0     22    6   0
4
Career stats............. 138    43     30    73
Career per game averages.   -   .31    .22   .53
Averages over 82 games... 82     25     18    43

161. (178) - Rob Niedermayer, Flo.
C   23/6-2/200
1996-97 stats............ 60     14    24     38   4     54    3   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 82     26    35     61   1    107   11   0
6
Career stats............. 255    53     82   135
Career per game averages.   -   .21    .32   .53
Averages over 82 games... 82     17     26    43

162. (*) - Jonas Hoglund, Cal. [ROOKIE]
LW 25/6-3/200
1996-97 stats............ 68     19    16     35   -4    12    3   0
6
Career stats............. 68     19     16    35
Career per game averages.   -   .28   .24    .52
Averages over 82 games... 82     23    20     43

163. (*) - Keith Jones, Col.
RW   26/6-0/200
1996-97 stats............ 78     25    23     48   3    118   14   1
7
1995-96 stats............ 68     18    23     41   8    103    5   0
2
Career stats............. 325     85    85   170
Career per game averages.   -    .26   .26   .52
Averages over 82 games... 82      21    21    42

164. (*) - Brian Holzinger, Buf.
C   25/5-11/180
1996-97 stats............ 81     22    29     51   9     54    2   2
6
1995-96 stats............ 58     10    10     20   -21    37   5   0
1
Career stats............. 143    32     42    74
Career per game averages.   -   .22    .29   .52
Averages over 82 games... 82     18     24    42

165. (164) - Shawn Burr, S.J.
LW   31/6-1/200
1996-97 stats............ 74     14    21     35    5    106   1   0
3
1995-96 stats............ 81     13    15     28    4    119   1   0
2
Career stats............. 814   175    250   425
Career per game averages.   -   .21    .31   .52
Averages over 82 games... 82     17     25    42

166. (*) - Randy Cunneyworth, Ott.
LW   36/6-0/193
1996-97 stats............ 76     12     24    36   -7     99   6   0
3
1995-96 stats............ 81     17    19     36   -31   130   4   0
2
Career stats............. 781   185    212   397
Career per game averages.   -   .24    .27   .51
Averages over 82 games... 82     20     22    42

167. (174) - Josef Beranek, Pit.
LW 28/6-2/190
1996-97 stats............   8     3     1     4    -1      4   1   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 61      6    14     20   -11    60   0   0
1
Career stats............. 324    77     88   165
Career per game averages.   -   .24    .27   .51
Averages over 82 games... 82     20     22    42

168. (177) - Steve Konowalchuk, Was.
C   25/6-0/195
1996-97 stats............ 78     17    25     42   -3     67   2   1
3
1995-96 stats............ 70     23    22     45   13     92   7   1
3
Career stats............. 293    67     82   149
Career per game averages.   -   .23    .28   .51
Averages over 82 games... 82     19     23    42

169. (*) - Darren McCarty, Det.
RW   25/6-1/210
1996-97 stats............ 68     19    30     49   14    126   5   0
6
1995-96 stats............ 63     15    14     29   14    158   8   0
1
Career stats............. 229    48     69   117
Career per game averages.   -   .21    .30   .51
Averages over 82 games...   82     17   25     42

170. (*) - Sami Kapanen, Car.
RW   24/5-10/169
1996-97 stats............ 45       14   12     26    6     2    3   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 35       5     4      9    0      6   0   0
0
Career stats............. 70       19    16    35
Career per game averages.   -     .27   .23   .50
Averages over 82 games... 82       22    19    41

171. (*) - Bob Probert, Chi.
LW   32/6-3/215
1996-97 stats............ 82        9    14    23   -3    326   1   0
3
1995-96 stats............ 78       19   21     40   15    237   1   0
3
Career stats............. 634     142   180   322
Career per game averages.   -     .22   .28   .50
Averages over 82 games... 82       18    23    41

172. (*) - Mike Peca, Buf.
C   23/5-11/175
1996-97 stats............ 79       20   29     49   26     80   5   6
4
1995-96 stats............ 68       11   20     31   -1     67   4   3
1
Career stats............. 184      37    55    92
Career per game averages.   -     .20   .30   .50
Averages over 82 games... 82       16    25    41

173. (191) - Valeri Bure, Mon.
RW 23/5-10/174
1996-97 stats............ 64       14   21     35    4     6    4   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 77       22   20     42   10     28   5   0
1
Career stats............. 165      39    42    81
Career per game averages.   -     .24   .25   .49
Averages over 82 games... 82       20    21    41

174. (165) - Robert Kron, Car.
LW 30/5-10/180
1996-97 stats............ 68       10   12     22   -18    10   2   0
4
1995-96 stats............ 77       22   28     50   -1      6   8   1
3
Career stats............. 416      94   109   203
Career per game averages.   -     .23   .26   .49
Averages over 82 games... 82       19    21    40

175. (175) - Paul Ranheim, Car.
LW 31/6-0/195
1996-97 stats............ 67       10   11        21   -13    18    0   3
1
1995-96 stats............ 73       10   20        30   -2     14    0   1
1
Career stats............. 556     120   148      268
Career per game averages.   -     .22   .27      .49
Averages over 82 games... 82       18    22       40

176. (*) - Sergei Zholtok,   Ott. [ROOKIE]
C   24/6-0/190
1996-97 stats............    57    12    16       28    2     19   5    0
0
Career stats.............    57    12    16       28
Career per game averages.     -   .21   .28      .49
Averages over 82 games...    82    17    23       40

177. (168) - Mike Keane, NYR
RW 30/5-10/185
1996-97 stats............ 81       10   17        27    2    63    0    1
1
1995-96 stats............ 73       10   17        27   -5     46    0   2
2
Career stats............. 642     110   206      316
Career per game averages.   -     .17   .32      .49
Averages over 82 games... 82       14    26       40

178. (154) - David Oliver, NYR
RW 26/5-11/185
1996-97 stats............ 31       3         3    6    -5      8    0   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 80       20   19        39   -22    34   14   0
0
Career stats............. 155      39    36       75
Career per game averages.   -     .25   .23      .48
Averages over 82 games... 82       20    19       39

179. (167) - Patrick Poulin, T.B.
LW 24/6-1/208
1996-97 stats............ 73     12     14        26   -16    56    2   3
1
1995-96 stats............ 46      7          9    16    7    16    1    0
0
Career stats............. 313    68      83      151
Career per game averages.   -   .22     .26      .48
Averages over 82 games... 82     18      21       39

180. (155) - Sergio Momesso, StL.
LW 32/6-3/215
1996-97 stats............ 40      1          3    4    -6     48    0   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 73     11     12        23   -13   142    6   0
1
Career stats............. 710   152     193      345
Career per game averages.   -   .21     .27      .48
Averages over 82 games...   82   17      22      39

181. (*) - Brian Rolston, N.J.
LW   24/6-2/185
1996-97 stats............ 81     18      27      45     6   20   2   2
3
1995-96 stats............ 58        13    11      24    9    8   3   1
4
Career stats............. 179     38      49      87
Career per game averages.   -    .21     .27     .48
Averages over 82 games... 82      17      22      39

182. (194) - Trent Klatt, Phi.
RW 26/6-1/210
1996-97 stats............ 76     24      21      45     9   20   5   5
5
1995-96 stats............ 71        7    12      19     2   44   0   0
2
Career stats............. 303     61      86    147
Career per game averages.   -    .20     .28    .48
Averages over 82 games... 82      16      23     39

183. (*) - Dixon Ward, Buf.
RW 29/6-0/195
1996-97 stats............ 79     13      32      45    17   36   1   2
4
1995-96 stats............   8       2     2       4     1   6    0   0
1
Career stats............. 246     49      70    119
Career per game averages.   -    .20     .28    .48
Averages over 82 games... 82      16      23     39

184. (180) - Kelly Miller, Was.
LW 34/5-11/197
1996-97 stats............ 77     10      14      24     4   33   0   1
3
1995-96 stats............ 74      7      13      20     7   30   0   2
1
Career stats............. 919   172      270    442
Career per game averages.   -   .19      .29    .48
Averages over 82 games... 82     15       24     39

185. (*) - Benoit Brunet, Mon.
LW   29/5-11/193
1996-97 stats............ 39     10    13        23     6   14   2   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 26      7     8        15    -4   17   3   1
4
Career stats............. 226    39    71        110
Career per game averages. -   .17   .31        .48
Averages over 82 games... 82     14    25         39

186. (185) - Mike Sillinger, Van.
C   26/5-10/191
1996-97 stats............ 78     17    20     37   -3    25   3   3
2
1995-96 stats............ 74     14     24    38   -18   38   7   1
2
Career stats............. 296     47    94   141
Career per game averages.   -    .16   .32   .48
Averages over 82 games... 82      13    26    39

187. (*) - Anson Carter, Bos. [ROOKIE]
C   23/6-1/181
1996-97 stats............ 38     11     7     18   -7     9   2   1
2
Career stats............. 38     11     7     18
Career per game averages.   -   .29   .18    .47
Averages over 82 games... 82     24    15     39

188. (170) - Todd Marchant, Edm.
C/LW 24/5-10/175
1996-97 stats............ 79     14    19     33   11    44   0   4
3
1995-96 stats............ 81     19    19     38   -19   66   2   3
2
Career stats............. 209    46     53    99
Career per game averages.   -   .22    .25   .47
Averages over 82 games... 82     18     21    39

189. (*) - Jamie Langenbrunner, Dal. [ROOKIE]
C   22/5-11/185
1996-97 stats............ 76     13    26     39   -2    51   3   0
3
1995-96 stats............ 12      2     2      4   -2     6   1   0
0
Career stats............. 90     15    28     43
Career per game averages.   -   .17   .31    .47
Averages over 82 games... 82     14    25     39

190. (*) - Jean-Yves Roy, Bos.
RW   28/5-10/185
1996-97 stats............ 52      10   15     25   -8    22   2   0
1
1995-96 stats............   4     1     1     2     3    2    0   0
0
Career stats............. 59      12    16    28
Career per game averages.   -    .20   .27   .47
Averages over 82 games... 82      16    22    38

191. (184) - John Druce, Phi.
RW 31/6-2/195
1996-97 stats............ 43      7     8     15   -5    12   1   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 77     13    16     29   -20   27   0   0
0
Career stats............. 508    112   124   236
Career per game averages.   -    .22   .24   .46
Averages over 82 games...   82   18    20     38

192. (*) - Markus Naslund, Van.
LW   24/5-11/185
1996-97 stats............ 78     21    20     41   -15   30   4   0
4
1995-96 stats............ 76     22    33     55   20    42   4   0
5
Career stats............. 239    49     62   111
Career per game averages.   -   .21    .26   .46
Averages over 82 games... 82     17     21    38

193. (*) - Greg Johnson, Pit.
C/RW 26/5-10/174
1996-97 stats............ 75     13    19     32   -18   26   1   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 60     18    22     40    6    30   5   0
2
Career stats............. 209     40    57    97
Career per game averages.   -    .19   .27   .46
Averages over 82 games... 82      16    22    38

194. (*) - Dave Roberts, Van.
C/LW   27/6-0/185
1996-97 stats............ 58     10    17     27   11    51   1   1
1
1995-96 stats............ 34      3    10     13   -7    18   1   0
1
Career stats............. 112     19    32    51
Career per game averages.   -    .17   .29   .46
Averages over 82 games... 82      14    24    38

195. (192) - Brian Noonan, Van.
RW 32/6-1/200
1996-97 stats............ 73     12     22    34   -3    34   3   1
1
1995-96 stats............ 81     13    22     35    2    84   3   1
6
Career stats............. 540   106    144   250
Career per game averages.   -   .20    .26   .46
Averages over 82 games... 82     16     21    37

196. (186) - Todd Krygier, Was.
LW 32/5-11/190
1996-97 stats............ 47      5    11     16   -10   37   1   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 76     15    33     48   -1    82   3   1
0
Career stats............. 498    98    131   229
Career per game averages.   -   .20    .26   .46
Averages over 82 games... 82     16     21    37

197. (183) - Randy Wood, NYI
LW 34/6-0/190
1996-97 stats............ 65       6         5    11   -7    61   0   1
2
1995-96 stats............ 76       8    13        21   -15   62   1   0
0
Career stats............. 741     175   159      334
Career per game averages.   -     .24   .21      .45
Averages over 82 games... 82       20    17       37

198. (*) - Dave Reid, Dal.
LW   33/6-1/205
1996-97 stats............ 82       19   20        39   12    10   1   1
4
1995-96 stats............ 63       23   21        44   14    4    1   6
3
Career stats............. 685     141   165      306
Career per game averages.   -     .21   .24      .45
Averages over 82 games... 82       17    20       37

199. (187) - Doug Brown, Det.
RW 33/5-10/185
1996-97 stats............ 49       6         7    13   -3     8   1   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 62       12   15        27   11     4   0   1
1
Career stats............. 583     113   151      264
Career per game averages.   -     .19   .26      .45
Averages over 82 games... 82       16    21       37

200. (*) - Brent Gilchrist, Det.
C   30/5-11/185
1996-97 stats............ 67     10      20       30    6    24   2   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 77     20     22        42   -11   36   6   1
2
Career stats............. 556   112     138      250
Career per game averages.   -   .20     .25      .45
Averages over 82 games... 82     16      21       37

201. (*) - Denis Pederson,   N.J. [ROOKIE]
C   22/6-2/190
1996-97 stats............    70    12   20        32    7    62   3   0
3
1995-96 stats............    10    3         1    4    -1     0   1   0
2
Career stats.............    80    15    21       36
Career per game averages.     -   .19   .26      .45
Averages over 82 games...    82    16    21       37

202. (*) - Rob Zamuner, T.B.
LW   28/6-2/202
1996-97 stats............ 82       17   33        50    3    56   0   4
3
1995-96 stats............ 72       15   20        35   11    62   0   3
4
Career stats............. 349     63    95   158
Career per game averages.   -    .18   .27   .45
Averages over 82 games... 82      15    22    37

203. (*) - Niklas Sundstrom, NYR
C/LW   22/5-11/183
1996-97 stats............ 82     24    28     52   23     20   5   1
4
1995-96 stats............ 82      9    12     21    2     14   1   1
2
Career stats............. 164    33    40     73

Career per game averages.    -   .20   .24   .44
Averages over 82 games...   82    16    20    36

204. (172) - Todd Bertuzzi, NYI
RW 22/6-3/225
1996-97 stats............ 64     10    13     23   -3     68   3   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 76     18    21     39   -14    83   4   0
2
Career stats............. 140    28     34    62
Career per game averages.   -   .20    .24   .44
Averages over 82 games... 82     16     20    36

205. (193) - Todd Harvey, Dal.
C   22/5-11/200
1996-97 stats............ 71      9    22     31   19    142   1   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 69      9    20     29   -13   136   3   0
1
Career stats............. 180     29    51    80
Career per game averages.   -    .16   .28   .44
Averages over 82 games... 82      13    23    36

206. (195) - Cory Stillman, Cal.
C   24/6-0/185
1996-97 stats............ 58      6    20     26   -6     14   2   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 74     16    19     35   -5     41   4   1
3
Career stats............. 142    22     41    63
Career per game averages.   -   .15    .29   .44
Averages over 82 games... 82     12     24    36

207. (188) - Igor Korolev, Pho.
RW 27/6-1/190
1996-97 stats............ 41      3     7     10    5     74   0   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 73     22    29     51    1     42   8   0
5
Career stats............. 306    43     91   134
Career per game averages.   -   .14    .30   .44
Averages over 82 games... 82     11     25    36
208. (*) - Harry York, StL. [ROOKIE]
C    23/6-2/215
1996-97 stats............ 74     14    18     32    1    24   3   1
3
Career stats............. 74     14     18    32
Career per game averages.   -   .19    .24   .43
Averages over 82 games... 82     16     20    36

209. (*) - Radek Dvorak, Flo.
RW   20/6-2/187
1996-97 stats............ 78     18    21     39   -2    30   2   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 77     13    14     27    5    20   0   0
4
Career stats............. 155    31     35    66
Career per game averages.   -   .20    .23   .43
Averages over 82 games... 82     16     19    35

210. (*) - Brian Skrudland, NYR
C    34/6-0/196
1996-97 stats............ 51      5    13     18    4    48   0   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 79      7     20    27    6   129   0   1
1
Career stats............. 747   112    210   322
Career per game averages.   -   .15    .28   .43
Averages over 82 games... 82     12     23    35

211. (*) - Stephane Matteau, S.J.
LW   28/6-3/210
1996-97 stats............ 74     16    20     36   11    50   1   2
2
1995-96 stats............ 78     11    15     26   -8    87   4   0
2
Career stats............. 451    85    104   189
Career per game averages.   -   .19    .23   .42
Averages over 82 games... 82     16     19    35

212. (*) - Chris Simon, Was.
LW   25/6-3/219
1996-97 stats............ 42     9     13     22   -1   165   3   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 64     16    18     34   10   250   4   0
1
Career stats............. 188    33     45    78
Career per game averages.   -   .18    .24   .42
Averages over 82 games... 82     15     20    35

213. (189) - Shaun Van Allen, Ott.
C   30/6-1/205
1996-97 stats............ 80     11    14     25   -8    35   1   1
2
1995-96 stats............ 49     8     17     25   13     41   0   0
2
Career stats............. 277    36     81   117
Career per game averages.   -   .13    .29   .42
Averages over 82 games... 82     11     24    35

214. (*) - Steve Heinze, Bos.
RW   27/5-11/180
1996-97 stats............ 30    17      8     25   -8     27   4   2
2
1995-96 stats............ 76    16     12     28   -3     43   0   1
3
Career stats............. 306    71     57   128
Career per game averages.   -   .23    .19   .42
Averages over 82 games... 82     19     15    34

215. (197) - Steve Rice, Car.
RW 26/6-0/215
1996-97 stats............ 78    21     14     35   -11    59   5   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 59     10    12     22   -4     47   1   0
2
Career stats............. 282    62     57   119
Career per game averages.   -   .22    .20   .42
Averages over 82 games... 82     18     16    34

216. (196) - Jeff O'Neill, Car.
C   21/6-1/176
1996-97 stats............ 72     14    16     30   -24    40   2   1
2
1995-96 stats............ 65      8    19     27   -3     40   1   0
1
Career stats............. 137    22     35    57
Career per game averages.   -   .16    .26   .42
Averages over 82 games... 82     13     21    34

217. (*) - Matthew Barnaby, Buf.
RW 24/6-0/170
1996-97 stats............ 68     19    24     43   16    249   2   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 73     15    16     31   -2    335   0   0
0
Career stats............. 201    38     45    83
Career per game averages.   -   .19    .22   .41
Averages over 82 games... 82     16     18    34

218. (*) - Mike Grier, Edm. [ROOKIE]
RW   22/6-0/242
1996-97 stats............ 79     15    17     32    7     45   4   0
2
Career stats............. 79     15     17    32
Career per game averages.   -   .19    .22   .41
Averages over 82 games... 82     16     18    34
219. (*) - Eric Lacroix, Col.
LW   26/6-1/200
1996-97 stats............ 81      18   18     36   16     26   2   0
4
1995-96 stats............ 72     16    16     32   -11   110   3   0
1
Career stats............. 201     43    41    84
Career per game averages.   -    .21   .20   .41
Averages over 82 games... 82      17    16    33

220. (*) - Kai Nurminen, L.A.
LW   28/6-1/205
1996-97 stats............ 67     16    11     27   -3     22   4   0
1
Career stats............. 67      16    11    27
Career per game averages.   -    .24   .16   .40
Averages over 82 games... 82      20    13    33

221. (*) - Joe Sacco, Ana.
RW   28/6-1/195
1996-97 stats............ 77     12    17     29    1    35    1   1
2
1995-96 stats............ 76     13    14     27    1    40    1   2
2
Career stats............. 338     65    70   135
Career per game averages.   -    .19   .21   .40
Averages over 82 games... 82      16    17    33

222. (198) - Ian Laperriere, L.A.
C   23/6-1/195
1996-97 stats............ 62      8    15     23   -25   102   0   1
2
1995-96 stats............ 71      6    11     17   -11   155   1   0
1
Career stats............. 171    27     40    67
Career per game averages.   -   .16    .23   .39
Averages over 82 games... 82     13     19    32

223. (*) - Viktor Kozlov, S.J.
LW   22/6-5/209
1996-97 stats............ 78     16    25     41   -16    40   4   0
4
1995-96 stats............ 62      6    13     19   -15    62   2   0
1
Career stats............. 156     24    38    62
Career per game averages.   -    .15   .24   .39
Averages over 82 games... 82      12    20    32

224. (*) - Andreas Dackell, Ott. [ROOKIE]
RW   25/5-10/191
1996-97 stats............ 79     12    19     31   -6     8    2   0
3
Career stats............. 79     12    19     31
Career per game averages.   -   .15   .24    .39
Averages over 82 games...   82   12    20     32

225. (*) - Jason Allison, Bos.
C/RW 22/6-3/205
1996-97 stats............ 72      8    26     34   -6     34   2   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 19      0     3     3    -3      2   0   0
0
Career stats............. 105     10    31    41
Career per game averages.   -    .10   .29   .39
Averages over 82 games... 82       8    24    32

226. (*) - Andrei Nazarov, S.J.
LW   25/6-6/230
1996-97 stats............ 60     12    15     27   -4    222   1   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 42      7     7     14   -15    62   2   0
1
Career stats............. 129    22     27    49
Career per game averages.   -   .17    .21   .38
Averages over 82 games... 82     14     17    31

227. (*) - Rem Murray, Edm. [ROOKIE]
C   22/6-1/183
1996-97 stats............ 82     11    20     31    9     85   2   0
1
Career stats............. 82     11     20    31
Career per game averages.   -   .13    .24   .37
Averages over 82 games... 82     11     20    31

228. (*) - Glen Murray, L.A.
RW   24/6-2/200
1996-97 stats............ 77     16    14     30   -21    32   3   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 69      14   15     29    4     57   0   0
2
Career stats............. 294     59    49   108
Career per game averages.   -    .20   .17   .37
Averages over 82 games... 82      16    14    30

229. (*) - Brad May, Buf.
LW   25/6-1/210
1996-97 stats............ 42      3     4     7    -8    106   1   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 79     15    29     44    6    295   3   0
4
Career stats............. 389     63    82   145
Career per game averages.   -    .16   .21   .37
Averages over 82 games... 82      13    17    30

230. (*) - Landon Wilson, Bos. [ROOKIE]
RW 22/6-2/202
1996-97 stats............ 49      8    12     20   -5     39   0   0
0
1995-96 stats............   7     1     0     1     3    6    0   0
0
Career stats.............   56     9    12    21
Career per game averages.    -   .16   .21   .37
Averages over 82 games...   82    13    17    30

231. (199) - Sergei Krivokrasov, Chi.
RW 23/5-11/175
1996-97 stats............ 67     13    11     24   -1    42   2   0
3
1995-96 stats............ 46      6    10     16   10    32   0   0
1
Career stats............. 167    32    28     60
Career per game averages.   -   .19   .17    .36
Averages over 82 games... 82     16    14     30

232. (*) - Ethan Moreau, Chi. [ROOKIE]
LW   22/6-2/205
1996-97 stats............ 82     15    16     31   13   123   0   0
1
1995-96 stats............   8     0     1     1     1    4    0   0
0
Career stats............. 90     15    17     32
Career per game averages.   -   .17   .19    .36
Averages over 82 games... 82     14    16     30

233. (*) - Tom Fitzgerald, Flo.
C/RW 29/6-1/191
1996-97 stats............ 71     10    14     24    7    64   0   2
1
1995-96 stats............ 82     13    21     34   -3    75   1   6
2
Career stats............. 489    69    106   175
Career per game averages.   -   .14    .22   .36
Averages over 82 games... 82     12     18    30

234. (*) - Garry Valk, Pit.
LW 29/6-1/205
1996-97 stats............ 70     10    11     21   -8    78   0   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 79     12    12     24    8   125   1   1
2
Career stats............. 435     67    91   158
Career per game averages.   -    .15   .21   .36
Averages over 82 games... 82      12    17    29

235. (*) - Stephane Yelle, Col.
C   23/6-1/165
1996-97 stats............ 79      9    17     26    1    38   0   1
1
1995-96 stats............ 71     13    14     27   15    30   0   2
1
Career stats............. 150    22     31    53
Career per game averages.   -   .15    .21   .36
Averages over 82 games...   82    12    17       29

236. (*) - Shjon Podein, Phi.
LW   29/6-2/200
1996-97 stats............ 82      14     18      32         7    41   0    0
4
1995-96 stats............ 79      15    10       25    25       89    0    4
4
Career stats............. 273     48    46       94
Career per game averages.   -    .18   .17      .35
Averages over 82 games... 82      15    14       29

237. (*) - Daymond Langkow, T.B. [ROOKIE]
C   21/5-11/175
1996-97 stats............ 79     15    13        28     1       35    3    1
1
1995-96 stats............   4     0     1        1      -1       0    0        0
0
Career stats............. 83     15    14        29
Career per game averages.   -   .18   .17       .35
Averages over 82 games... 82     15    14        29

238. (*) - Todd Warriner, Tor.
LW/C 23/6-1/188
1996-97 stats............ 75      12    21       33     -3       41   2        2
0
1995-96 stats............ 57      7      8       15    -11       26   1        0
0
Career stats............. 137     19    29       48
Career per game averages.   -    .14   .21      .35
Averages over 82 games... 82      12    17       29



                                  - DEFENSE -

Player                     Gp     G      A      Pts   +/-       Pim   PP   SH
GW
1. (1) - Paul Coffey, Phi.
36/6-1/190
1996-97 stats............ 57      9     25       34   11        38    1    1
2
1995-96 stats............ 76      14    60       74    19       90    3    1
3
Career stats.............1211    381   1063   1444
Career per game averages.   -    .31    .88   1.19
Averages over 82 games... 82      25     72     97

2. (2) - Ray Bourque, Bos.
36/5-11/210
1996-97 stats............ 62      19    31       50   -11        18   8        1
3
1995-96 stats............ 82      20    62       82   31        58    9    2
2
Career stats.............1290   362   1001   1363
Career per game averages.   -   .28    .78   1.06
Averages over 82 games... 82     23     64     87

3. (3) - Brian Leetch, NYR
29/5-11/190
1996-97 stats............ 82     20    58     78    31    40    9   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 82     15    70     85    12    30    7   0
3
Career stats............. 649   147   503     650
Career per game averages.   -   .23   .78    1.01
Averages over 82 games... 82     19    64      83

4. (4) - Al MacInnis, StL.
34/6-2/196
1996-97 stats............ 72     13    30     43     2    65    6   1
1
1995-96 stats............ 82     17    44     61     5    88    9   1
1
Career stats............. 989   251   703    954
Career per game averages.   -   .25   .71    .96
Averages over 82 games... 82     21    58     79

5. (6) - Phil Housley, Was.
33/5-10/185
1996-97 stats............ 77     11    29     40    -10   24    3   1
2
1995-96 stats............ 81     17    51     68     -6   30    6   0
1
Career stats.............1067   285   705    990
Career per game averages.   -   .27   .66    .93
Averages over 82 games... 82     22    54     76

6. (5) - Sergei Zubov, Dal.
26/6-0/200
1996-97 stats............ 78     13    30     43    19    24    1   0
3
1995-96 stats............ 64     11    55     66     28   22    3   2
1
Career stats............. 308    54   211    265
Career per game averages.   -   .17   .69    .86
Averages over 82 games... 82     14    57     71

7. (7) - Gary Suter, Chi.
33/6-0/190
1996-97 stats............ 82     7      21     28    -4   70    3   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 82     20    47     67     3    80   12   2
4
Career stats............. 845   167   535    702
Career per game averages.   -   .20   .63    .83
Averages over 82 games... 82     16    52     68
8. (9) - Jeff Brown, Car.
31/6-1/204
1996-97 stats............   1     0     0      0     0     0    0    0
0
1995-96 stats............ 76      8    47     55     8     56   5    0
0
Career stats............. 687    150   406    556
Career per game averages.   -    .22   .59    .81
Averages over 82 games... 82      18    48     66

9. (8) - Larry Murphy, Det.
36/6-2/210
1996-97 stats............ 81      9    36     45     3     20   5    0
1
1995-96 stats............ 82      12    49     61    -2    34    8   0
1
Career stats.............1315    254   797   1051
Career per game averages.   -    .19   .61    .80
Averages over 82 games... 82      16    50     66

10. (10) - Chris Chelios, Chi.
35/6-1/186
1996-97 stats............ 72      10   38     48    16    112   2    0
2
1995-96 stats............ 81      14   58     72    25    140   7    0
3
Career stats............. 920    153   567   720
Career per game averages.   -    .17   .62   .78
Averages over 82 games... 82      14    51    65

11. (11) - Steve Duchesne, StL.
32/5-11/195
1996-97 stats............ 78     19    28     47     -9    38   10   2
3
1995-96 stats............ 62     12    24     36    -23    42    7   0
2
Career stats............. 765   188    394   582
Career per game averages.   -   .25    .52   .77
Averages over 82 games... 82     21     42    63

12. (12) - Sandis Ozolinsh, Col.
25/6-3/205
1996-97 stats............ 80     23    45     68     4     88   13   0
4
1995-96 stats............ 73     14    40     54     2     54   8    1
1
Career stats............. 319    79    155   234
Career per game averages.   -   .25    .49   .74
Averages over 82 games... 82     21     39    60

13. (15) - Nicklas Lidstrom, Det.
27/6-2/185
1996-97 stats............ 79     15    42     57    11     30   8    0
1
1995-96 stats............ 81      17   50     67   29     20   8   1
1
Career stats............. 451     70   237   307
Career per game averages.   -    .16   .52   .68
Averages over 82 games... 82      13    43    56

14. (13) - Scott Stevens, N.J.
33/6-2/210
1996-97 stats............ 79      5    19     24   26     70   0   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 82      5     23    28    7    100   2   1
1
Career stats.............1120    162   584   746
Career per game averages.   -    .14   .52   .66
Averages over 82 games... 82      11    43    54

15. (18) - Zarley Zalapski, Cal.
29/6-1/215
1996-97 stats............   2     0     0     0     -2     0   0   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 80     12    17     29   11    115   5   0
1
Career stats............. 562    96    271   367
Career per game averages.   -   .17    .48   .65
Averages over 82 games... 82     14     39    53

16. (16) - Dave Babych, Van.
36/6-2/215
1996-97 stats............ 78      5    22     27    -2    38   2   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 53      3    21     24    -5    38   3   0
0
Career stats.............1101    140   566   706
Career per game averages.   -    .13   .51   .64
Averages over 82 games... 82      11    42    53

17. (19) - James Patrick, Cal.
34/6-2/200
1996-97 stats............ 19      3     1     4     2     6    1   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 80      3    32     35    3     30   1   0
0
Career stats............. 875    120   428   548
Career per game averages.   -    .14   .49   .63
Averages over 82 games... 82      11    41    52

18. (22) - Kevin Hatcher, Pit.
31/6-4/225
1996-97 stats............ 80      15   39     54   11    103   9   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 74      15   26     41   -24    58   7   0
3
Career stats............. 886    189   361   550
Career per game averages.   -    .21   .41   .62
Averages over 82 games...   82   17    34     51

19. (14) - Robert Svehla, Flo.
28/6-1/190
1996-97 stats............ 82     13    32     45     2   86   5   0
3
1995-96 stats............ 81      8    49     57    -3   94   7   0
0
Career stats............. 168     22    82   104
Career per game averages.   -    .13   .49   .62
Averages over 82 games... 82      11    40    51

20. (20) - Rob Blake, L.A.
27/6-3/215
1996-97 stats............ 65      8     23    31   -28   82   4   0
1
1995-96 stats............   6     1     2     3     0    8    0   0
0
Career stats............. 391     68   170   238
Career per game averages.   -    .17   .44   .61
Averages over 82 games... 82      14    36    50

21. (24) - Fredrik Olausson, Pit.
31/6-2/195
1996-97 stats............ 71      9    29     38   16    32   3   0
3
1995-96 stats............ 56      2    22     24    -7   38   1   0
0
Career stats............. 711   106    329   435
Career per game averages.   -   .15    .46   .61
Averages over 82 games... 82     12     38    50

22. (17) - Vladimir Malakhov, Mon.
29/6-3/220
1996-97 stats............ 65     10    20     30    3    43   5   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 61      5    23     28    7    79   2   0
0
Career stats............. 306    43    145   188
Career per game averages.   -   .14    .47   .61
Averages over 82 games... 82     11     39    50

23. (23) - Norm Maciver, Pho.
33/5-11/180
1996-97 stats............ 32      4     9     13   -11   24   1   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 71      7    46     53    6    58   3   0
0
Career stats............. 459     53   224   277
Career per game averages.   -    .11   .49   .60
Averages over 82 games... 82       9    40    49

24. (27) - Mathieu Schneider, Tor.
28/5-11/192
1996-97 stats............ 26      5    13     18      3          20    1       0
1
1995-96 stats............ 78     13    41     54   -20       103          7        0
1
Career stats............. 477    84   196    280
Career per game averages.   -   .18   .41    .59
Averages over 82 games... 82     15    34     48

25. (26) - Al Iafrate, S.J.
31/6-3/220
1996-97 stats............ 38     6     9         15        -10        91       3
0    0
1995-96 stats............ INJURED - DID NOT PLAY
Career stats............. 778  150   304    454
Career per game averages.   -  .19   .39    .58
Averages over 82 games... 82    16    32     48

26. (21) - Jeff Norton, T.B.
31/6-2/200
1996-97 stats............ 75      2    16     18      -7         58       0        0
0
1995-96 stats............ 66      8    23     31      9          42    1       0
2
Career stats............. 535    42   265    307
Career per game averages.   -   .08   .49    .57
Averages over 82 games... 82      6    41     47

27. (*) - Janne Niinimaa, Phi. [ROOKIE]
22/6-1/200
1996-97 stats............ 77      4    40      44     12         58   1        0
2
Career stats............. 77      4     40     44     12         58   1        0
2
Career per game averages.   -   .05        .52    .57
Averages over 82 games... 82      4    43      47

28. (25) - Dave Ellett, Bos.
33/6-2/200
1996-97 stats............ 76      6    15     21      -6         40        1       0
2
1995-96 stats............ 80      3    19     22   -10           59       1        1
0
Career stats............. 941   148   381    529
Career per game averages.   -   .16   .40    .56
Averages over 82 games... 82     13    33     46

29. (30) - Garry Galley, L.A.
34/6-0/204
1996-97 stats............ 71      4    34     38    10       102       1       1
1
1995-96 stats............ 78     10    44     54      -2         81       7        1
2
Career stats............. 889    97   399    496
Career per game averages.   -   .11   .45    .56
Averages over 82 games...   82    9    37     46

30. (29) - Bruce Driver, NYR
35/6-0/185
1996-97 stats............ 79      5    25     30    8    48   2   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 66      3     34    37    2    42   3   0
0
Career stats............. 847     91   375   466
Career per game averages.   -    .11   .44   .55
Averages over 82 games... 82       9    36    45

31. (32) - Steve Chiasson, Car.
30/6-1/205
1996-97 stats............ 65      8    22     30   -21   39   4   2
1
1995-96 stats............ 76      8    25     33    3    62   5   0
2
Career stats............. 657    85    270   355
Career per game averages.   -   .13    .41   .54
Averages over 82 games... 82     11     34    45

33. (33) - Jyrki Lumme, Van.
30/6-1/207
1996-97 stats............ 66     11    24     35    8    32   5   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 80     17    37     54    -9   50   8   0
2
Career stats............. 580     76   239   315
Career per game averages.   -    .13   .41   .54
Averages over 82 games... 82      11    34    45

34. (28) - Doug Bodger, S.J.
31/6-2/213
1996-97 stats............ 81      1    15     16   -14   64   0   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 73      4    24     28   -24   68   3   0
0
Career stats............. 916     94   399   493
Career per game averages.   -    .10   .44   .54
Averages over 82 games... 82       9    36    45

35. (31) - Calle Johansson, Was.
30/5-11/200
1996-97 stats............ 65      6    11     17    -2   16   2   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 78     10    25     35   13    50   4   0
0
Career stats............. 710    77    303   380
Career per game averages.   -   .11    .43   .54
Averages over 82 games... 82      9     35    44

36. (36) - Glen Wesley, Car.
29/6-1/201
1996-97 stats............ 68      6    26     32        0      40   3    1
0
1995-96 stats............ 68      8    16     24        -9     88    6   0
1
Career stats............. 721     93   286   379
Career per game averages.   -    .13   .40   .53
Averages over 82 games... 82      11    33    43

37. (35) - Alexei Zhitnik, Buf.
25/5-11/190
1996-97 stats............ 80      7     28    35        10     95   3    1
0
1995-96 stats............ 80      6    30     36    -25        58    5   0
0
Career stats............. 351    41    144   185
Career per game averages.   -   .12    .41   .53
Averages over 82 games... 82     10     34    44

38. (42) - Dmitri Mironov, Ana.
32/6-2/214
1996-97 stats............ 77     13    39     52    16        101   3    1
2
1995-96 stats............ 72      3    31     34    19         88   1    0
1
Career stats............. 324    38    133   171
Career per game averages.   -   .12    .41   .53
Averages over 82 games... 82      9     34    43

39. (39) - Roman Hamrlik, T.B.
23/6-2/200
1996-97 stats............ 79     12    28     40        -29    57    6   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 82     16    49     65        -24   103   12   0
2
Career stats............. 340     49   121   170
Career per game averages.   -    .14   .36   .50
Averages over 82 games... 82      12    30    41

40. (*) - Per Gustafsson, Flo. [ROOKIE]
27/6-2/190
1996-97 stats............ 58      7    22     29     11        22   2    0
1
Career stats............. 58      7    22     29     11        22   2    0
1
Career per game averages.   -   .12       .38    .50
Averages over 82 games... 82     10    31     41

41. (75) - Oleg Tverdovsky, Pho.
21/6-1/205
1996-97 stats............ 82     10    45     55         -5    30    3   1
2
1995-96 stats............ 82      7    23     30         -7    41    2   0
0
Career stats............. 200    20     77         97
Career per game averages.    -   .10   .39   .49
Averages over 82 games...   82     8    33    41

42. (37) - Steve Smith, Chi. [RETIRED]
34/6-4/215
1996-97 stats............ 21      0     0     0     4       29       0   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 37      0     9     9    12       71       0   0
0
Career stats............. 702    71   283    354
Career per game averages.   -   .10   .40    .50
Averages over 82 games... 82      8    33     41

43. (38) - Yves Racine, Cal.
28/6-0/200
1996-97 stats............ 46      1    15     16    4       24       1   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 57      1    19     20   -10      54       0       0
0
Career stats............. 448     37   186   223
Career per game averages.   -    .08   .42   .50
Averages over 82 games... 82       7    35    41

44. (41) - Eric Desjardins, Phi.
28/6-1/198
1996-97 stats............ 82     12    34     46    25      50       5   1
1
1995-96 stats............ 80      7    40     47    19      45       5       0
2
Career stats............. 601    67    228   295
Career per game averages.   -   .11    .38   .49
Averages over 82 games... 82      9     31    40

45. (*) - Bryan Berard, NYI [ROOKIE]
20/6-1/195
1996-97 stats............ 82      8     40    48        1   86   3       0
1
Career stats............. 82      8    40     48     1      86   3       0
1
Career per game averages.   -   .10    .49   .59
Averages over 82 games... 82      8     40    48

46. (58) - Jason Woolley, Pit.
28/6-0/188
1996-97 stats............ 60      6    30     36     4      30       2   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 52      6    28     34    -9      32       3       0
0
Career stats............. 183     17    71    88
Career per game averages.   -    .09   .39   .48
Averages over 82 games... 82       7    32    39

47. (43) - Scott Niedermayer, N.J.
24/6-0/200
1996-97 stats............ 81      5    30     35    -4    64   3   0
3
1995-96 stats............ 79      8    25     33    5     46   6   0
0
Career stats............. 373     38   136   174
Career per game averages.   -    .11   .36   .47
Averages over 82 games... 82       9    30    39

48. (44) - Teppo Numminen, Pho.
29/6-1/190
1996-97 stats............ 82      2     25    27    -3    28   0   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 74     11    43     54    -4    22   6   0
3
Career stats............. 629    55    237   292
Career per game averages.   -   .09    .38   .47
Averages over 82 games... 82      7     32    39

49. (40) - Igor Kravchuk, Ott.
31/6-1/200
1996-97 stats............ 82      4    24     28    7     35   1   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 66      7    16     23   -19    34   3   0
1
Career stats............. 338     41   114   155
Career per game averages.   -    .12   .34   .46
Averages over 82 games... 82      10    28    38

50. (47) - Jiri Slegr, Pit.
26/6-1/205
1996-97 stats............ PLAYED IN SWEDEN
1995-96 stats............ 57     4    13      17    -1    74   0   1
1
Career stats............. 207   15    78      93
Career per game averages.   -  .07   .38     .45
Averages over 82 games... 82     6    31      37

51. (49) - Sergei Gonchar, Was.
23/6-2/212
1996-97 stats............ 57     13     17    30    -11   36   3   0
3
1995-96 stats............ 78     15    26     41    25    60   4   0
4
Career stats............. 166    30     43    73
Career per game averages.   -   .18    .26   .44
Averages over 82 games... 82     15     21    36

52. (46) - Gord Murphy, Flo.
30/6-2/195
1996-97 stats............ 80      8    15     23    3     51   2   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 70      8    22     30    5     30   4   0
0
Career stats............. 632     75   197   272
Career per game averages.    -   .12   .32   .44
Averages over 82 games...   82    10    26    36

53. (48) - Viacheslav Fetisov, Det.
39/6-1/220
1996-97 stats............ 64      5    23     28   26    76    1   1
1
1995-96 stats............ 69      7    35     42   37    96    1   1
1
Career stats............. 488    34    180   214
Career per game averages.   -   .07    .37   .44
Averages over 82 games... 82      6     30    36

54. (70) - Boris Mironov, Edm.
25/6-3/220
1996-97 stats............ 55      6    26     32    2    85    2   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 78      8    24     32   -23   101   7   0
1
Career stats............. 241     22    81   103
Career per game averages.   -    .09   .34   .43
Averages over 82 games... 82       7    28    35

55. (61) - Richard Smhelik, Buf.
26/6-3/208
1996-97 stats............ 62     11   19     30    19    43    2   0
1
1995-96 stats............ INJURED - DID NOT PLAY
Career stats............. 265    33   80    113
Career per game averages.   -   .12  .30    .42
Averages over 82 games... 82      9   25     34

56. (50) - Bob Beers, NYI
30/6-2/206
1996-97 stats............ 27      3     4     7     0     8    1   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 13      0     5     5    -2     10   0   0
0
Career stats............. 258     28    79   107
Career per game averages.   -    .11   .30   .41
Averages over 82 games... 82       9    25    34

57. (51) - Patrice Brisebois, Mon.
26/6-2/190
1996-97 stats............ 49      2    13     15   -7     24   0   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 69      9    27     36   10    65    3   0
1
Career stats............. 312    29    100   129
Career per game averages.   -   .09    .32   .41
Averages over 82 games... 82      8     26    34

58. (*) - Deron Quint, Pho.
21/6-1/182
1996-97 stats............   27    3    11          14         -4      4   1       0
0
1995-96 stats............   51    5    13          18         -2     22   2
0        0
Career stats.............   78     8   24          32
Career per game averages.    -   .10         .31        .41
Averages over 82 games...   82     8          26         34

59. (74) - Darryl Sydor, Dal.
25/6-0/205
1996-97 stats............ 82      8    40          48         37     51   2       0
2
1995-96 stats............ 84      3    17          20         -12    75   2       0
0
Career stats............. 396     30   131     161
Career per game averages.   -    .08   .33     .41
Averages over 82 games... 82       7    27      34

60. (66) - John Slaney, L.A.
25/6-0/195
1996-97 stats............ 32      3    11          14         -10     4   1       0
1
1995-96 stats............ 38      6    14          20          7     14   3       1
0
Career stats............. 133     16    37      53
Career per game averages.   -    .12   .28     .40
Averages over 82 games... 82      10    23      33

61. (60) - Marty McSorley, S.J.
34/6-1/225
1996-97 stats............ 57      4    12          16         -6     63       0   1
1
1995-96 stats............ 68     10    23          33         -20   169   1       1
1
Career stats............. 832   102    235     337
Career per game averages.   -   .12    .28     .40
Averages over 82 games... 82     10     23      33

62. (56) - Dave Manson, Mtl.
30/6-2/210
1996-97 stats............ 75      4    18          22         -26   187   2       0
0
1995-96 stats............ 82      7    23          30          8    205   3       0
0
Career stats............. 763     87   223     310
Career per game averages.   -    .11   .29     .40
Averages over 82 games... 82       9    24      33

63. (52) - Shawn Chambers, N.J.
31/6-2/200
1996-97 stats............ 73      4    17          21         17     19   1       0
0
1995-96 stats............ 64      2    21          23          1     18   2       0
1
Career stats............. 503     46   154   200
Career per game averages.   -    .09   .31   .40
Averages over 82 games... 82       8    25    33

64. (59) - Grant Ledyard, Dal.
35/6-2/195
1996-97 stats............ 67      1    15     16   31     61   0   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 73      5    19     24   -15    20   2   0
1
Career stats............. 795     77   238   315
Career per game averages.   -    .10   .30   .40
Averages over 82 games... 82       8    25    33

65. (53) - Todd Gill, S.J.
31/6-0/185
1996-97 stats............ 79      0    21     21   -20   101   0   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 74      7    18     25   -15   116   1   0
2
Career stats............. 718     59   231   290
Career per game averages.   -    .08   .32   .40
Averages over 82 games... 82       7    26    33

66. (55) - Doug Lidster, NYR
37/6-1/190
1996-97 stats............ 48      3     4     7    10     24   0   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 59      5     9     14   11     50   0   0
0
Career stats............. 844     75   264   339
Career per game averages.   -    .09   .31   .40
Averages over 82 games... 82       7    27    33

67. (34) - Marcus Ragnarsson, S.J.
26/6-1/215
1996-97 stats............ 69      3    14     17   -18    63   2   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 71      8    31     39   -24    42   4   0
0
Career stats............. 140    11     45    56
Career per game averages.   -   .08    .32   .40
Averages over 82 games... 82      6     27    33

68. (57) - Petr Svoboda, Phi.
31/6-1/175
1996-97 stats............ 67      2    12     14   10     94   1   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 73      1    28     29   28    105   0   0
0
Career stats............. 824     47   282   329
Career per game averages.   -    .06   .34   .40
Averages over 82 games... 82       5    28    33
69. (63) - Sylvain Cote, Was.
31/5-11/190
1996-97 stats............ 57      6     18      24        11   28   2       0
0
1995-96 stats............ 81      5    33      38          5   40   3       0
2
Career stats............. 806     95   219    314
Career per game averages.   -    .12   .27    .39
Averages over 82 games... 82      10    22     32

70. (*) - Jamie Rivers, StL. [ROOKIE]
22/6-0/180
1996-97 stats............ 15      2     5       7         -4    6   1       0
0
1995-96 stats............   3     0     0       0         -1    2   0       0
0
Career stats............. 18      2     5        7
Career per game averages.   -   .11   .28      .39
Averages over 82 games... 82      9          22      31

71. (72) - Vladimir Konstantinov, Det. [WILL NOT PLAY 97-98 SEASON]
30/5-11/176
1996-97 stats............ 77      5    33     38     38   151    0          0
0
1995-96 stats............ 81     14    20     34     60   139    3          1
3
Career stats............. 446    47   128    175
Career per game averages.   -   .10   .29    .39
Averages over 82 games... 82      8    24     32

72. (62) - Uwe Krupp, Col.
32/6-6/235
1996-97 stats............ 60      4    17      21         12   48   2       0
1
1995-96 stats............   6     0     3       3          4   4    0       0
0
Career stats............. 617     57   187    244
Career per game averages.   -    .09   .30    .39
Averages over 82 games... 82       7    25     33

73. (68) - Eric Weinrich, Chi.
30/6-0/210
1996-97 stats............ 81      7    25      32         19   62       1   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 77      5    10      15         14   65   0       0
0
Career stats............. 520     39   164    203
Career per game averages.   -    .07   .32    .39
Averages over 82 games... 82       6    26     32

74. (69) - Philippe Boucher, L.A.
24/6-3/188
1996-97 stats............ 60      7    18      25          0   25   2       0
1
1995-96 stats............ 53      7    16          23         -26    31       5       0
1
Career stats............. 184     22    50      72
Career per game averages.   -    .12   .23     .39
Averages over 82 games... 82      10    19      31

75. (90) - Alexander Karpovtsev, NYR
27/6-1/205
1996-97 stats............ 77      9    29          38         11     42       1   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 40      2     16         18         12     26       1   0
1
Career stats............. 231    18     68      86
Career per game averages.   -   .08    .29     .37
Averages over 82 games... 82      7     24      31

81. (81) - Chris Pronger, StL.
23/6-5/210
1996-97 stats............ 79     11    24          35         15    143       4   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 78      7    18          25         -18   110       3       1
1
Career stats............. 281     28    76     104
Career per game averages.   -    .10   .27     .37
Averages over 82 games... 82       8    22      30

82. (64) - Bill Houlder, T.B.
30/6-2/211
1996-97 stats............ 79      4    21          25         16     30       0   0
2
1995-96 stats............ 61      5    23          28          1     22       3   0
0
Career stats............. 372     34   105     139
Career per game averages.   -    .09   .28     .37
Averages over 82 games... 82       7    23      30

83. (*) - Wade Redden, Ott. [ROOKIE]
20/6-2/195
1996-97 stats............ 82      6    24          30          1     41   2       0
1
Career stats............. 82      6    24          30          1     41   2       0
1
Career per game averages.   -   .07          .29        .36
Averages over 82 games... 82      6    24          30

84. (77) - Derian Hatcher, Dal.
25/6-5/225
1996-97 stats............ 63      3    19          21          8     97       0   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 79      8    23          31         -12   129       2       0
1
Career stats............. 378    40     91     131
Career per game averages.   -   .11    .24     .35
Averages over 82 games... 82      9     20      29
85. (79) - Kevin Lowe, Edm.
38/6-2/195
1996-97 stats............ 64      1    13     14   -1     50   0   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 53      1     5     6    20     76   0   0
0
Career stats.............1247     84   347   431
Career per game averages.   -    .07   .28   .35
Averages over 82 games... 82       6    23    29

86. (91) - Ed Jovanovski, Flo.
21/6-2/210
1996-97 stats............ 61      7    16     23   -1    172   3   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 70     10    11     21   -3    137   2   0
2
Career stats............. 131     17    27    44
Career per game averages.   -    .13   .21   .34
Averages over 82 games... 82      11    17    28

87. (73) - Jamie Macoun, Tor.
36/6-2/195
1996-97 stats............ 73      1    10     11   -14    93   0   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 82      0     8     8     2     87   0   0
0
Career stats............. 985     75   265   340
Career per game averages.   -    .08   .27   .35
Averages over 82 games... 82       7    21    28

88. (80) - Ulf Samuelsson, NYR.
33/6-1/195
1996-97 stats............ 73      6    11     17    3    138   1   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 74      1     18    19    9    122   0   0
0
Career stats............. 887    49    256   305
Career per game averages.   -   .05    .29   .34
Averages over 82 games... 82      4     24    28

89. (78) - Chris Joseph, Van.
28/6-2/210
1996-97 stats............ 63      3    13     16   -21    62   2   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 70      5    14     19    6     71   0   0
1
Career stats............. 403     35    99   134
Career per game averages.   -    .08   .25   .33
Averages over 82 games... 82       7    20    27

90. (65) - Leif Rohlin, Van.
29/6-1/198
1996-97 stats............   40    2     8     10          4     8    0       0
0
1995-96 stats............   56    6    16     22          0    32    1       0
0
Career stats.............   96     8    24    32
Career per game averages.    -   .08   .25   .33
Averages over 82 games...   82     7    20    27

91. (76) - Tommy Albelin, Cal.
33/6-1/190
1996-97 stats............ 72      4    11     15         -8     14       2       0
0
1995-96 stats............ 73      1    13     14          1    18    0       0
0
Career stats............. 545     33   146   179
Career per game averages.   -    .06   .27   .33
Averages over 82 games... 82       5    22    27

92. (*) - Bryan McCabe, NYI
22/6-1/204
1996-97 stats............ 82      8    20     28         -2    165   2       1
2
1995-96 stats............ 82      7    16     23         -24   156   3       0
1
Career stats............. 164     15    36    51
Career per game averages.   -    .09   .23         .32
Averages over 82 games... 82       8    18    26

93. (83) - Alexei Gusarov, Col.
32/6-3/185
1996-97 stats............ 58      2    12     14          4    28    0       0
0
1995-96 stats............ 65      5    15     20         29     56   0           0
0
Career stats............. 396    29     98   127
Career per game averages.   -   .07    .25   .32
Averages over 82 games... 82      6     20    26

94. (71) - Kenny Jonsson, NYI
23/6-3/195
1996-97 stats............ 81      3     18    21         10     24   1       0
0
1995-96 stats............ 66      4    26     30          7    32    3       0
1
Career stats............. 186      9    51    60
Career per game averages.   -    .05   .27   .32
Averages over 82 games... 82       4    22    26

95. (82) - Jason York, Ott.
27/6-1/192
1996-97 stats............ 75      4    17     21         -8     67       1       0
0
1995-96 stats............ 79      3    21     24         -7     88       0       0
0
Career stats............. 188       9      50      59
Career per game averages.   -     .04     .27     .31
Averages over 82 games... 82        3      23      26

96. (*) - Daniel Mcgillis,   Edm. [ROOKIE]
25/6-2/220
1996-97 stats............    73       6    16         22        2        52    2      1
2
Career stats.............    73       6   16          22        2        52   2       1
2
Career per game averages.     -   .08     .22     .30
Averages over 82 games...    82     7      18      25

97. (85) - Mark Tinordi, Was.
31/6-4/213
1996-97 stats............ 56          2       6        8        3    118          0   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 71          3    10         13       26    113       2      0
0
Career stats............. 577      44     133     177
Career per game averages.   -     .08     .23     .31
Averages over 82 games... 82        6      19      25

98. (87) - Sean Hill, Ott.
27/6-0/195
1996-97 stats............         5       0       0        0         1        4       0
0    0
1995-96 stats............ 80          7    14         21       -26       94       2       0
2
Career stats............. 229      17      54      71
Career per game averages.   -     .07     .24     .31
Averages over 82 games... 82        6      19      25

99. (86) - Dimitri Yushkevich, Tor.
26/5-11/208
1996-97 stats............ 74      4        10         14       -24       47       0       1
0
1995-96 stats............ 69      1        10         11       -14       54       1       0
0
Career stats............. 340    20        81     101
Career per game averages.   -   .06       .24     .30
Averages over 82 games... 82      5        20      25

100. (95) - Don Sweeney, Bos.
31/5-11/170
1996-97 stats............ 82          3    23         26       -5        39       0       0
0
1995-96 stats............ 77          4    24         28       -4        42       2       0
3
Career stats............. 611      40     142     182
Career per game averages.   -     .07     .23     .30
Averages over 82 games... 82        5      20      25

101. (96) - Chris Therien, Phi.
25/6-3/230
1996-97 stats............ 71      2    22          24         26     64   0   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 82      6    17          23         16     89   3   0
1
Career stats............. 201     11    49      60
Career per game averages.   -    .06   .24     .30
Averages over 82 games... 82       4    20      24

102. (94) - Tom Pederson, S.J.
27/5-9/175
1996-97 stats............ 15      1      2          3          0      9   1   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 60      1     4          5          -9     40   1   0
1
Career stats............. 240     20    49              69
Career per game averages.   -    .08   .21     .29
Averages over 82 games... 82       7    17      24

103. (92) - Karl Dykhuis, Phi.
25/6-3/195
1996-97 stats............ 62      4    15          19          7     35   2   0
1
1995-96 stats............ 82      5    15          20         12    101   1   0
0
Career stats............. 195     12    44      56
Career per game averages.   -    .06   .23     .29
Averages over 82 games... 82       5    19      24

104. (*) - Jon Klemm, Col.
27/6-3/200
1996-97 stats............ 80      9    15          24         12     37   1   2
1
1995-96 stats............ 56      3    12          15         12     20   0   1
1
Career stats............. 151     13   27          40
Career per game averages.   -    .09         .18        .27
Averages over 82 games... 82       7          16         23

105. (93) - Kevin Haller, Car.
26/6-2/183
1996-97 stats............ 62      2    11          13         -12    85   0   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 69      5     9          14         18     92   0   2
2
Career stats............. 397     33    76     109
Career per game averages.   -    .08   .19     .27
Averages over 82 games... 82       7    16      23

106. (*) - Aaron Miller, Col. [ROOKIE]
26/6-3/197
1996-97 stats............ 56      5    12          17         15     15   0   0
3
1995-96 stats............   5     0     0           0          0      0       0       0
0
Career stats.............   71     5   15          20
Career per game averages.    -   .07         .21        .28
Averages over 82 games...   82     6          17         23

107. (99) - Curtis Leschyshyn, Car.
28/6-1/205
1996-97 stats............ 77      4    18          22         -18    38       1       1
1
1995-96 stats............ 77      4    15          19         32     73    0      0
1
Career stats............. 588    38    120     158
Career per game averages.   -   .07    .20     .27
Averages over 82 games... 82      6     16      22

108. (*) - Michal Sykora, Chi.
24/6-0/225
1996-97 stats............ 63      3    14          17          4     69    1      0
0
1995-96 stats............ 79      4    16          20         -14    54       1       0
0
Career stats............. 180      8    38      46
Career per game averages.   -    .05   .21     .26
Averages over 82 games... 82       4    17      21

109. (98) - Franticek Kucera, Phi.
29/6-2/205
1996-97 stats............   4     0     0          0          -2      2       0       0
0
1995-96 stats............ 54      3     6          9           2     20    0      0
1
Career stats............. 354    21     75      96
Career per game averages.   -   .06    .21     .27
Averages over 82 games... 82      5     17      22

110. (97) - Adam Burt, Car.
28/6-0/190
1996-97 stats............ 71      2    11          13         -13    79       0       0
0
1995-96 stats............ 78      4     9          13         -4    121       0       0
1
Career stats............. 499     35    92     127
Career per game averages.   -    .07   .18     .25
Averages over 82 games... 82       6    15      21

111. (*) - Stephane Quintal, Mon.
29/6-3/231
1996-97 stats............ 71      7    15          22          1    100   1       0
0
1995-96 stats............ 68      2     14         16         -4    117   0       1
1
Career stats............. 522    32     99     131
Career per game averages.   -   .06    .19     .25
Averages over 82 games...    82    5    16         21

112. (100) - Craig Wolanin, T.B.
30/6-3/205
1996-97 stats............ 38      0          4      4         -6    21          0   0
0
1995-96 stats............ 75      7     20         27         25    50      0       3
0
Career stats............. 685    40     133       173
Career per game averages.   -   .06     .19       .25
Averages over 82 games... 82      5      16        21

113. (*) - Janne Laukkanen, Ott.
27/6-0/180
1996-97 stats............ 76      3     18         21         -14   76      2       0
0
1995-96 stats............ 34      1          2      3         -1    14      1       0
0
Career stats............. 110     4              23      27
Career per game averages.   -   .04     .21        .25
Averages over 82 games... 82      3              17      20

114. (*) - Anders Eriksson, Det. [ROOKIE]
22/6-3/220
1996-97 stats............ 23      0     6      6               5    10      0       0
0
1995-96 stats............   1     0     0      0               1    2       0       0
0
Career stats............. 24      0              6                  6           6
12    0        0        0
Career per game averages.   -   .00       .25      .25
Averages over 82 games... 82      0    21     21

115. (*) - David Wilkie, Mon. [ROOKIE]
23/6-2/210
1996-97 stats............ 61      6     9          15         -9    63      3       0
0
1995-96 stats............ 24      1     5           6         -10   10      1       0
0
Career stats............. 86      7    14           21
Career per game averages.   -   .08   .16          .24
Averages over 82 games... 82      7    13           20

116. (*) - Drew Bannister,   Edm. [ROOKIE]
23/6-2/205
1996-97 stats............    65    4     14         18        -23   44       1      0
0
1995-96 stats............    13    0         1      1         -1        4       0   0
0
Career stats.............    78     4    15         19
Career per game averages.     -   .05   .19        .24
Averages over 82 games...    82     4            16      20
                              - GOALTENDERS -

Player, Team                 GP    W     L      T   SO   GAA    SV%

1. (3) - Patrick Roy, Col.
32/6-0/182
1996-97 stats............. 62      38    15    7     7   2.32   .923
1995-96 stats............. 61      34    24    2     2   2.78   .908
Career stats.............. 652    349   205   74    37   2.72   .906

2. (4) - Martin Brodeur, N.J.
25/6-1/205
1996-97 stats............. 67      37    14   13    10   1.88   .927
1995-96 stats............. 77      34    30   12     6   2.34   .911
Career stats.............. 235    119    67   39    22   2.24   .915

3. (18) - Dominik Hasek, Buf.
32/5-11/168
1996-97 stats............. 67      37    20   10     5   2.27   .930
1995-96 stats............. 59      22    30    6     2   2.83   .920
Career stats.............. 278    132    98   35    20   2.40   .922

4. (16) - Mike Richter, NYR
31/5-11/182
1996-97 stats............. 61      33    22    6     4   2.68   .917
1995-96 stats............. 41      24    13    3     3   2.68   .912
Career stats.............. 352    182   113   34    18   2.93   .905

5. (7) - Grant Fuhr, StL.
35/5-9/199
1996-97 stats............. 73      33    27   11     3   2.72   .901
1995-96 stats............. 79      30    28   16     3   2.87   .903
Career stats.............. 748    353   250   98    20   3.48   .885

6. (28) - Curtis Joseph, Edm.
30/5-10/182
1996-97 stats............. 72      32    29    9     6   2.93   .907
1995-96 stats............. 34      15    16    2     0   3.44   .886
Career stats.............. 386    184   141   45    11   3.05   .906

7. (6) - Ron Hextall, Phi.
33/6-3/192
1996-97 stats............. 55      31    16    5     5   2.56   .897
1995-96 stats............. 53      31    13    7     4   2.17   .913
Career stats.............. 539    265   191   56    19   3.06   .894

8. (14) - Nikolai Khabibulin, Pho.
24/6-1/176
1996-97 stats............. 72     30     33    6    7    2.83   .908
1995-96 stats............. 53     26     20    3    2    3.13   .908
Career stats.............. 151    64     62   13    9    3.02   .906

9. (11) - Guy Hebert, Ana.
30/5-11/185
1996-97 stats............. 67      29    25    12    4        2.67    .919
1995-96 stats............. 59      28    23     5    4        2.83    .914
Career stats.............. 254    112   108    27   13        2.91    .910

10. (33) - Andy Moog, Mon.
37/5-8/170
1996-97 stats............. 48      28    13     5    3        2.15    .913
1995-96 stats............. 41      13    19     7    1        2.99    .900
Career stats.............. 671    354   192    83   25        3.17    .891

11. (15) - John Vanbiesbrouck, Flo.
34/5-8/172
1996-97 stats............. 57     27     19    10    2        2.29    .919
1995-96 stats............. 57     26     20     7    2        2.68    .904
Career stats.............. 657   288    256    79   25        3.14    .898

12. (7) - Felix Potvin, Tor.
26/6-0/180
1996-97 stats............. 74      27    36     7   0         3.15    .908
1995-96 stats............. 69      30    26    11   2         2.87    .910
Career stats.............. 297    131   114    42   7         2.88    .909

13. (1) - Chris Osgood, Det.
24/5-10/175
1996-97 stats............. 47     23      13    9        6     2.30    .910
1995-96 stats............. 50     39       6    5    5        2.17    .911
Career stats.............. 157    99      32   19   14        2.39    .907

14. (22) - Rick Tabaracci, Cal.
28/5-11/180
1996-97 stats............. 62     23      29    6    5       2.70   .903
1995-96 stats............. 43     19      16    3    3         2.94   .892
Career stats.............. 218    76      90   21   13        3.06   .892

15. (12) - Sean Burke, Car.
30/6-4/210
1996-97 stats............. 51      22    22     6    4        2.69    .914
1995-96 stats............. 66      28    28     6    4        3.11    .907
Career stats.............. 418    166   186    47   14        3.33    .893

16. (2) - Jim Carey, Bos.
23/6-2/190
1996-97 stats............. 59     22      31    3     1      3.08     .886
1995-96 stats............. 71     35      24    9    9        2.26     .906
Career stats.............. 158    75      61   15   14        2.54     .899

17. (13) - Jocelyn Thibault, Mon.
22/5-11/170
1996-97 stats............. 61     22      24   11   1         2.90    .910
1995-96 stats............. 50     26      17    5   3         2.86    .907
Career stats.............. 158    68      56   21   5         2.90    .906

18. (*) - Patrick Lalime, Pit. [ROOKIE]
23/6-2/180
1996-97 stats.............    39   21     12   3    3    2.94    .913
Career stats..............    39   21     12   3    3    2.94    .913

19. (30) - Kirk McLean, Van.
31/6-0/180
1996-97 stats............. 44       21    18    3    0   3.21    .889
1995-96 stats............. 45       15    21    9    2   3.54    .910
Career stats.............. 493     207   213   58   19   3.27    .887

20. (29) - Trevor Kidd, Car.
25/6-2/190
1996-97 stats............. 55      21     23    6    4   2.84    .900
1995-96 stats............. 47      15     21    8    3   2.78    .895
Career stats.............. 178     72     66   26   10    2.83    .898

21. (5) - Bill Ranford, Was.
30/5-11/185
1996-97 stats............. 56       20    23   10    2   3.25    .887
1995-96 stats............. 77       34    30    9    2   3.29    .885
Career stats.............. 574     223   243   67   14   3.41    .888

22. (23) - Jeff Hackett, Chi.
29/6-1/185
1996-97 stats............. 41      19     18    4   2    2.16    .927
1995-96 stats............. 35      18     11    4   4    2.40    .916
Career stats.............. 226     62    126   16   6    3.39    .893

24. (49) - Arturs Irbe, Van.
30/5-7/180
1996-97 stats............. 35      17     12    3    3   2.69    .893
1995-96 stats............. 22       4     12    4    0   4.59    .860
Career stats.............. 218     73    103   29   11   3.35    .889

25. (*) - Ron Tugnutt, Ott.
30/5-11/155
1996-97 stats............. 37    17     15      1   3    2.80    .895
1995-96 stats............. DID NOT PLAY
Career stats.............. 262   75   132      25   5    3.77    .882

26. (21) - Ken Wregget, Pit.
33/6-1/195
1996-97 stats............. 46       17    17    6   2    3.25    .902
1995-96 stats............. 37       20    13    2   3    3.24    .905
Career stats.............. 504     198   220   45   8    3.77    .883

27. (43) - Kelly Hrudey, S.J.
36/5-10/189
1996-97 stats............. 48       16    24    5    0   3.19    .889
1995-96 stats............. 36        7    15   10    0   3.26    .907
Career stats.............. 649     267   249   86   16   3.45    .893

28. (34) - Garth Snow, Phi.
28/6-3/200
1996-97 stats.............   35   14          8    8      2     2.52    .903
1995-96 stats.............   26   12          8    4      0     2.88    .894
Career stats..............   68   30         19   12      2      2.82    .894

29. (17) - Ed Belfour, Dal.
32/5-11/182
1996-97 stats............. 46      14     24       6       2   2.82   .901
1995-96 stats............. 50      22     17      10       1     2.74   .902
Career stats.............. 428    204    147      56      31     2.68   .903

30. (31) - Damian Rhodes, Ott.
28/6-0/178
1996-97 stats............. 50     14         20   14      1     2.72    .890
1995-96 stats............. 47     14         27    5      2     2.77    .905
Career stats.............. 133    44         60   23      3      2.71    .901

31. (20) - Mike Vernon, S.J.
34/5-9/170
1996-97 stats............. 33      13    11        8       0    2.43    .899
1995-96 stats............. 32      21     7        2       3    2.26    .903
Career stats.............. 562    301   179       65      13    3.13    .885

32. (32) - Byron Dafoe, Bos.
26/5-11/190
1996-97 stats............. 40     13         17    5      0     3.11    .905
1995-96 stats............. 47     14         24    8      1     3.87    .888
Career stats.............. 97     30         44   14      1     3.52    .894

33. (19) - Stephane Fiset, L.A.
27/6-1/195
1996-97 stats............. 44     13         24    5       4    3.19    .906
1995-96 stats............. 37     22          6    7       1    2.93    .898
Career stats.............. 232    97         91   27      10    3.30    .895

34. (24) - Corey Hirsch, Van.
25/5-10/160
1996-97 stats............. 39     12         20    4      2     3.27    .894
1995-96 stats............. 41     17         14    6      1     2.93    .903
Career stats.............. 84     30         36   11      3      3.12    .897

35. (36) - Craig Billington, Col.
30/5-10/170
1996-97 stats............. 23     11      8        2      1     2.65    .909
1995-96 stats............. 27     10     13        3      0     3.44    .867
Career stats.............. 241    80    110       19      6     3.93    .868

37. (*) - Corey Schwab, T.B.
27/6-0/180
1996-97 stats............. 31     11         12       1    2   3.04   .897
1995-96 stats............. 10      0          3       0    0   2.18   .899
Career stats.............. 41     11    15        1       2 2.88   .897

38. (*) - Dwayne Roloson, Cal. [ROOKIE]
28/6-1/180
1996-97 stats.............   31    9     14   3    1    2.89    .897
Career stats..............   31    9     14   3    1    2.89    .897

39. (48) - Jason Muzzatti, NYR
26/6-1/190
1996-97 stats............. 31      9     13   5    0    3.43    .888
1995-96 stats............. 22      4      8   3    1    2.91    .911
Career stats.............. 55     13     22   8    1    3.32    .895

40. (41) - Eric Fichaud, NYI [ROOKIE]
22/5-11/190
1996-97 stats............. 34      9     14   4    0    3.10    .899
1995-96 stats............. 24      7     12   2    1    3.31    .897
Career stats.............. 58     16     26   6    1    3.19    .898

38. (38) - Darcy Wakaluk, Pho.
31/5-11/185
1996-97 stats............. 16      8      3    1   1    2.99    .899
1995-96 stats............. 37      9     16    5   1    3.39    .891
Career stats.............. 191    67     75   21   9    3.22    .889

39. (*) - Mike Dunham, N.J. [ROOKIE]
25/6-3/185
1996-97 stats............. 26      8     7    1    2    2.55    .906
Career stats.............. 26      8     7    1    2    2.55    .906

40. (*) - Robbie Tallas, Bos. [ROOKIE]
24/5-11/180
1996-97 stats............. 28      8     12   1    1     3.33   .882
1995-96 stats.............   1     1      0   0    0     3.00   .897
Career stats.............. 29      9     12   1    1   3.32   .883

41. (47) - Olaf Kolzig, Was.
27/6-3/188
1996-97 stats............. 29      8     15   4    2    2.59    .906
1995-96 stats............. 18      4      8   2    0    3.08    .887
Career stats.............. 71     14     36   8    2    2.99    .891

42. (27) - Mark Fitzpatrick, Fla.
29/6-2/198
1996-97 stats............. 30      8      9    9   0     2.36   .914
1995-96 stats............. 34     15     11    3   0     2.96   .891
Career stats.............. 253    98     85   40   6   3.15   .896

43. (42) - M. Shtalenkov, Ana.
32/6-2/185
1996-97 stats............. 24      7      8   1    2    2.89    .904
1995-96 stats............. 30      7     16   3    0    3.12    .896
Career stats.............. 82     21     35   6    2    3.10    .898

44. (26) - Chris Terreri, S.J.
33/5-8/160
1996-97 stats............. 22      6     10    3   0    2.75    .901
1995-96 stats............. 50     16     29    1   0    3.61    .884
Career stats.............. 336   125     140   36   6      3.14     .892

45. (*) - Jose Theodore, Mon. [ROOKIE]
21/5-11/180
1996-97 stats............. 16      5      6     2   0      3.87     .896
1995-96 stats.............   1     0      0     0   0      6.67     .500
Career stats.............. 17      5      6     2   0      3.91     .894

46. (25) - Glenn Healy, Tor.
35/5-10/190
1996-97 stats............. 23      5      12    4    1     2.61     .907
1995-96 stats............. 44     17      14   11    2     2.90     .900
Career stats.............. 372   143     160   42   11     3.45     .887

47. (*) - Bob Essensa, Edm.
32/6-0/185
1996-97 stats............. 19      4     8      0    1     2.80     .899
1995-96 stats.............   DID NOT PLAY
Career stats.............. 313   124   129     34   16   3.31     .894

48. (*) - Steve Shields, Buf. [ROOKIE]
25/6-3/210
1996-97 stats............. 13      3      8     2   0      2.97     .913
1995-96 stats.............   2     1      0     0   0      3.20     .875
Career stats.............. 15      4      8     2   0      2.99     .910

49. (*) - Marcel Cousineau, Tor. [ROOKIE]
24/5-9/180
1996-97 stats............. 13      3     5      2   1      3.29     .902
Career stats.............. 13      3     5      2   1      3.29     .902

50. (*) - Jamie Storr, L.A. [ROOKIE]
22/6-1/190
1996-97 stats.............   5     2      1     1   0      2.50     .925
1995-96 stats.............   5     3      1     0   0      2.76     .918
Career stats.............. 15      6      5     2   0      3.05     .910

51. (*) - Kevin Hodson, Det. [ROOKIE]
25/6-0/175
1996-97 stats.............   6     2      2     1   1      1.63     .930
1995-96 stats.............   4     2      0     0   1      1.10     .955
Career stats.............. 10      4      2     1   2      1.44     .939

52. (*) - Michael Fountain, Car. [ROOKIE]
25/6-2/200
1996-97 stats.............   6     2     2      0   1      3.44     .896
Career stats..............   6     2     2      0   1      3.44     .896

53. (50) - Wade Flaherty, S.J.
29/6-1/160
1996-97 stats.............   7     2       4    0   0      5.18     .847
1995-96 stats............. 24      3      12    1   0      4.91     .839
Career stats.............. 53     10      26    2   1      4.29     .878
54. (10) - Darren Puppa, T.B.
32/6-3/205
1996-97 stats.............   6       1     1    2    0   2.58    .907
1995-96 stats............. 57       29    16    9    5   2.46    .918
Career stats.............. 385     168   139   47   17   3.04    .897

55. (*) - Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Cal. [ROOKIE]
20/6-0/175
1996-97 stats.............   8     1     4    0     0    3.65    .881
Career stats..............   8     1     4    0     0    3.65    .881

56. (35) - Tommy Soderstrom, NYI
28/5-9/156
1996-97 stats.............   1      0      0    0    0   0.00    .000
1995-96 stats............. 51      11     22    6    2   3.87    .878
Career stats.............. 156     45     69   19   10   3.64    .884

57. (40) - Tim Cheveldae, Bos.
30/5-10/195
1996-97 stats.............   2       0     1    0    0   3.23    .848
1995-96 stats............. 30        8    18    3    0   3.93    .883
Career stats.............. 340     149   136   37   10   3.49    .883

58. (39) - Andrei Trefilov, Buf.
28/6-0/180
1996-97 stats.............   3      0      2    0   0    3.77    .898
1995-96 stats............. 22       8      8    1   0    3.51    .903
Career stats.............. 43      11     17    4   2     3.34    .902

59. (44) - Don Beaupre, Tor.
36/5-10/172
1996-97 stats.............   3       0     3    0    0   5.45    .833
1995-96 stats............. 41        6    28    0    1   3.87    .872
Career stats.............. 662     268   278   75   17   3.45    .884

60. (9) - Tom Barrasso, Pit.
32/6-3/211
1996-97 stats.............   5     0     5    0    0    5.78   .860
1995-96 stats............. 49     29    16    3    2    3.43   .902
Career stats.............. 602   295   218   63   23    3.45   .889
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