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Fischler 09/27/06

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#1 Rock


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Posted 27 September 2006 - 04:00 PM

Stan Fischler
Bluelines: Elias likely to be named Devs' captain; Kasparaitis the comedian

Sep 27, 2006

Time certainly is not a healer when it comes to Chris Pronger and the endless innuendo that followed him from Edmonton to Anaheim. The big D-man really opened up recently with the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson. “I knew I’d be Public Enemy No. 1 (in Edmonton),” says Pronger. “But I’m pissed off by all the rumors surrounding my leaving. Players ask to be traded every day. Teams trade players all the time, but when a player asks to be traded, he’s a jerk.”

Amazing how Brian Leetch has remained conspicuous by his absence yet continues to be the constant source of rumors. Our guess is that if the Rangers do not sign him, BL will keep himself in game shape until some injury-riddled team desperately needs a defenseman. Then comes the comeback!

It’s a good thing Sid (Der Bingle) Crosby is being paid big bucks. When the Penguins recently played an exhibition in his home turf (Halifax), The Kid had to spring for almost 100 tickets to cover family and pals. Total bill – at $90 per -- $9,000!

One of the most amazing comeback stories belongs to Sharks goalie coach Warren Strelow. The highly-respected mentor has endured a kidney transplant, gall bladder surgery, lymphedema and a broken leg – in three places! With all that, Warren is back with the Sharks, operating from a motorized scooter on the ice. “It’s amazing what kind of hockey sense he has,” says Vesa Toskala in a grand understatement. The 72-year-old Strelow adds a nifty line: “I’m not going to demonstrate the ‘butterfly’ at my age.”

Can Winnipeg ever return as an NHL city? Wayne Gretzky piqued interest after his Coyotes recently visited the city. “When the franchise left years ago,” says The Great One, “there were a lot of reasons why the team left. A lot of those issues have changed. By that I mean the Salary Cap, revenue sharing, the Canadian dollar is stronger and the new Winnipeg facility. There’s a lot more in favor of Winnipeg maybe some day getting an NHL franchise back.” Yes, The Peg is a “good hockey city.” But, no, it’s not at all in the league’s plans. That’s why there’s a team in Phoenix and not Winnipeg.

The Devils have yet to name a captain but just about everyone in the media is betting on the “C” going to Patrik Elias.

The clock soon will begin some serious ticking on the Penguins’ future in Pittsburgh. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl recently dispatched a letter to the club asking for a commitment to remain in town. Sticking points include new ownership and funding for the new arena. Forbes magazine’s rink expert Mike Ozanian values the Pens at $175 mil without a new arena. “The fact that they don’t have a new building is weighing the franchise down,” says Ozanian. “If they had a new building it would be a lot easier to sell the team.”

Meanwhile, construction continues on the Devils’ arena in Newark. Roof work is underway which makes for an impressive sight on the Downtown skyline.

Ever since his 1988 debut, Sean Burke has been a reliable goalie and solid team guy. But with Marc Denis starting for Tampa Bay and Johan Holmqvist the likely back-up, we may be seeing the last of a very good man.

Speaking of goalies, every time we saw J.S. Aubin in the Leafs’ nets last year, he looked as good as any top big-league goalie. Should Andy Raycroft falter, Aubin could play goal for us any night.

It wasn’t easy for the North American Hockey League to replace the excellent Mike Santos but the NAHL finally found a solid new commissioner in Eric H. Krupka. The rookie commish had founded EHK Sports Enterprises, one of the most successful sports management companies in North America.

It Never Goes Away Dep’t.: No city in the world has more persistent backers as a potential NHL site as Hartford. Against all odds, Howard Baldwin has been promoting it for years while the town itself won’t give up. Now Mayor Eddie Perez is checking out the city’s prospects for building a new NHL-ready arena. “This puts Hartford front and center on the question of, ‘Can hockey work in Hartford, and what will it take to make it work?’” says Perez. We wish him good luck!

Albany River Rats boasted a top-notch play-by-play man in Jon Scherzer. But in a curious twist of fate, JS was promoted to VP-marketing and had to pick a broadcaster to replace him. Jon got a good one in Don Helbig who’d been with the AHL Cincy Mighty Ducks and won the Ken McKenzie Award in 2003. Helbig will double as P.R. Director and may even have Scherzer on as a guest.

The pure honesty of Tie Domi was evident at his retirement press conference. Hockey’s fighter-among-fighters admits that the stupidest thing he ever did in a 16-year career was his vicious elbow on Scott Niedermayer in a 2001 playoff game against the Devils. Among Tie’s many gutsy moves was his bout with then heavyweight champ, Bob Probert at Madison Square Garden. By the way, Domi still will be hitting; only with his mouth. Pumpkin head just got signed by TSN as the Canadian network’s answer to Don (Grapes) Cherry. “I may need the six-second delay when I start,” chuckles Tie. “I don’t ‘vanilla’ too many things.” Except for a few: “I prefer not to talk about my personal life,” he told Bill Lankhof of The Toronto Sun. (So, where’s Paris Hilton now that we need her?)

Good Question Dep’t.: How come Brian Boucher finds it so hard to get NHL work? He played good goal in Philadelphia, delivered a handsome shutout streak in Phoenix and now has to practically beg for work. BB finally won an invite to the Blackhawks’ camp, posting a shutout over the Blues in his first outing.

Darius Kasparaitis knocked ‘em dead, introducing his teammates at the annual Rangers’ alumni golf outing-dinner. When we mentioned to the Laughing Lithuanian that he should be a stand-up comic, Kasper shot back, “I AM!” Darius broke up Jaromir Jagr, calling himself “The Franchise” and Jaromir, “French Fries!”

Hall of Famer Red Kelly’s Number 4 jersey will be retired by the Leafs, appropriately on October 4 at Air Canada Centre. Kelly’s Toronto career was amazing when one considers that he had previously been an All-Star defenseman with the Red Wings for 13 years. Starting in 1959-60, under Punch Imlach, Red played eight years as a Leaf at center, winning four Stanley Cups for the royal blue and white. However, Rangers fans won’t be so tickled. Before signing with Toronto, Kelly refused a trade from Detroit to New York. Then NHL President Clarence Campbell actually let Red get away with it! Hap Day, who won four Stanley Cups, coaching the Leafs, also will be honored along with Borje Salming.

The Oilers didn’t waste any time getting rid of Chris Pronger’s number 44. Alleged troublemaking forward Rob Schremp got the double-four and is insisting that he’s not a “problem child,” as the labeling goes. Schremp, who’s got oodles of talent to go with his motor mouth, tells the Calgary Sun’s Randy Sportak that his negative image is due to “perception.” Robbie says, “One newspaper says something bad about you and the next one just picks up that article and puts their twist on it and the next thing a magazine grabs that and you get a bad name.” Drafted 25th overall in 2004, Schremp will be excellent media fodder if he makes the Oilers varsity. By the way Robbie’s advice to Edmontonians who had previously bought Pronger-44 jerseys: “They can just throw a ‘Schremp’ on there!” And so another problem is solved.

Sabres’ favorite of yesteryear, Mike Foligno, is beaming more than ever these days. His son, also Mike Foligno, has impressed at Ottawa’s camp. John Muckler opines that young Mike has NHL written all over him; but not this year. He’ll wind up back with his Junior club, the Sudbury Wolves. Speaking of father-son combos, Mike Eaves’ kid, Patrick could be Ottawa’s top left wing this year.

Pun-Quote Of The Week: “My Slovak was a tremendous player!” Chris Phillips talking about ex-mate Zdeno Chara.

In the realm of Stories That We Wish Would Go Away But Won’t, there’s the never-ending lawsuit filed by Steve Moore against Todd Bertuzzi. No end appears in sight.
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#2 Don


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Posted 27 September 2006 - 04:09 PM

It’s a good thing Sid (Der Bingle) Crosby is being paid big bucks. When the Penguins recently played an exhibition in his home turf (Halifax), The Kid had to spring for almost 100 tickets to cover family and pals. Total bill – at $90 per -- $9,000!

It was kinda weird. The Penguins played there on Thursday and the Islanders on the weekend. The Penguins game was a sell-out and the 50/50 draw raised $5,000, so $2,500 for charity, which is pretty amazing given that Mooseheads games collect $3,000.

The Islanders game was on the same night as the Stones concert *and* no hometown hero to fawn over so it didn't sell out. So anyhow, my mother was helping with the 50/50 draw since the money was going to the Metro Food Bank where she volunteers. They were hoping to draw even with the Pittsburgh crowd... yet somehow they collect $14,000!!! I dunno if word got around that the pot was going to be huge and then everything started spiralling or what but that's crazy insane for a Metro Centre 50/50.
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#3 Voros19



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Posted 27 September 2006 - 04:13 PM

Albany River Rats boasted a top-notch play-by-play man in Jon Scherzer.

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Enjoy your dream world. It's on schedule to come crashing down on or about November 1.

#4 RowdyFan42


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Posted 27 September 2006 - 05:28 PM


You'll have to forgive Stan. He's older than dirt, you know. :evil:

Actually, Jon did work for FSNY before he came to Albany, so Stan probably remembers him from that.
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#5 oilers88cup



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Posted 27 September 2006 - 06:32 PM

why is this old bafoon so respected in the hockey world?He is an idiot.
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