NHL

BLUELINES: No rest for the Red Wings

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  • In March 2002 the rested some vets who returned invigorated for the playoff run. This year a tight race may make that impossible. "The rest helped in 2002," says Ken Holland, "but we have no plans to rest anyone now."
  • Don't be surprised to hear rumors about San Jose's being put on the block. Also surfacing in reports is 's $7 million contract, which could make him expendable in L.A.
  • GM Ken Holland tells us that he won't be trading and that's that. The 32-year-old Fedorov becomes unrestricted in July, assuming he doesn't sign beforehand.
  • Ted Nolan is still waiting for that head coaching phone call. One NHL insider insists that Nolan actually received a live feeler from a major team. But Ted tells us no such contact was made.
  • Rod Bryden's bid to reacquire the was rejected by the team's creditors. The banks would rather see the Sens sold in an auction where they can receive a higher bid than Bryden's reported offer of under $100-million for the team and the Corel Centre.
  • Nelson Peltz, the man who could save the , is a New Yorker worth nearly a billion dollars and with a history of buying distressed companies and making them profitable. "He has a great love for hockey," says Marc Ganis, president of Sportscorp, a Philadelphia-based firm that advises companies on financing pro sports teams.
  • 's comfort level is rising in New Jersey, to the point that he's ready to consider re-signing with the . "As the months go on here, I feel more like this is home to me," says Joltin' Joe.
  • Gary Bettman clears up the misconception that other NHL teams have dug in their pockets to keep the afloat. "There's a provision that makes clubs not responsible when something like this happens," says the Commish. The money comes from financial institutions.
  • Once returns from his latest injury -- most likely after the All-Star break -- the may keep three goalies on the roster. If were reassigned to the minors, he'd have to clear waivers. Phoenix doesn¿t want to lose the 26-year-old Bierk after what he's shown. Expect trade rumors involving Burke and/or to surface when Sean returns. Possible destinations include Chicago, Vancouver and St. Louis.
  • As the ' saga unfolds, billionaire Tom Golisano has thrown his hat back into the ring, still hoping to beat out Mark Hamister whose time is running out.
  • Ex-Red Wing Mickey Redmond recently underwent successful surgery in his bout with lung cancer.
  • Tom Hicks is starting to find some prospective buyers for the , as well as American Airlines Arena. He declared his intentions to sell both this past summer. The asking price is reportedly $250 million.
  • Jay Feaster, who has gained considerable respect in his relatively short stint managing the , nixed agent Dave Frost's demand that client be traded. "To the extent that the player or the agent may have asked for a trade," says Feaster, "that's one sure way to guarantee that we grow old together." And what a wonderful line that is!
  • Bob Hartley says that is re-writing the book on goal scoring in the NHL. We won't deny that.
  • Someone close to the commissioner tells us that if Gary Bettman does not win a hard cap in the CBA war, he'll leave the NHL for other pursuits.
  • The East Coast Hockey League will require all players to wear visors next season. League CEO Brian McKenna tells us: "In 10 years people will think its crazy not to wear a visor. I suspect that this will be on the agenda of other leagues in the near future."
  • NHL legends are featured on new Canadian stamps. They include: Frank Mahovlich, Ray Bourque, Stan Mikita, Bill Durnan, Mike Bossy and Serge Savard.
  • 's biggest booster is his coach, Dave Lewis: "Sitting Luc was like throwing gasoline on a fire. It'll work. He'll start scoring again."
  • The $30 million loan is actually a sign of the franchise's strength. According to owner Alan P. Cohen, "It's a lot easier for me to work from a bank loan than to ask all of our partners to fund losses." Cohen also indicated that he's looking to build the team for the long-run. "We have a great opportunity because of the facility we're in and the size of our market to grow this team as Dallas grew the into what they have become."
  • says 's one-timer is the NHL's hardest. "Brett's stick is so whippy," says Niinimaa, "You have to have so much skill to shoot it with a stick like that. The thing about Hull is he only comes as far as he has to in order to shoot it. He gets it where he wants it."
  • Marty Brodeur on shutouts: "Getting them is all about your team being committed to help the goalie," says Brodeur. "If it's 4-0, the players want it to end 4-0. They don't want to get five goals or six goals."
  • NHL exec VP-COO, Jon Litner, on NHL fans: "All the research we've done has shown that the NHL consumer, compared to all sports, is more affluent, more technologically savvy and better educated. That's what makes the profile of our fans so attractive to advertisers."
  • 's latest shutouts are muffling critics. Ex-NHL goalie-turned broadcaster John Garrett notes: "He may be slipping a little. It's not like goalies play 20 minutes a game; they play 60 and have to concentrate every single minute."
  • Ex-NHLer J.P. Parise is coaching Shattuck-St. Mary's school in Faribault, MN, where Andy Murray once worked. Parise's son, Zach, currently at the University of North Dakota, is one of the top American ice products.
  • Darryl Sutter rates among the NHL's best power-strength forwards. It doesn't hurt that both are Albertans.
  • Someone close to Gary Bettman insists that the Commish is growing tired of saving bankrupt teams. Portland is the first-best next stop if either Buffalo or Ottawa go under.
  • Tagged: Sabres, Red Wings, Kings, Stars, Senators, Sharks, Lightning, Coyotes, Panthers, Jets, Sergei Fedorov, Luc Robitaille, Brett Hull, Brian Boucher, Sean Burke, Shane Doan

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