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April 11, 1986

April 11, 1986

The Hockey News has been providing the most comprehensive coverage of the world of hockey since 1947. In each issue, you'll find news, features and opinions about the NHL and leagues across North America and the world.

Columnists

Logic Dictates That Gretzky, Not Lemieux, Deserves Hart

MARIO LEMIEUX IS a fine hockey player. One of the best in the National Hockey League, in fact. But the Hart Trophy winner over Wayne Gretzky? Surely you jest! There are many people who are saying that Lemieux deserves the honor—and they’re to be found in many places other than Pittsburgh. Those people point out that the Hart goes to the player who is most valuable to his team, and by that criterion. Lemieux should win the trophy. After all, if Mario Lemieux weren’t in Pittsburgh, the Penguins probably wouldn’t be either. They’d be in Hamilton. You can’t be much more valuable to a team than to be singlehandedly responsible for its existence in a city. At first, such rationale sounds reasonable. But under examination, that point of view doesn’t really stand up…

IN THIS ISSUE

This Pairing Has Gone Up In

The sure things in life have dwindled to a precious few: Death, taxes and a smirking, Cheshire grin on Glen Sather’s face following another Calgary Flames’ loss to the Edmonton Oilers. In the past three years, the Flames can boast only a single, solitary win over the Oilers. One win, plus 19 losses and three ties. Unlike the rivalry that exists between Montreal and Quebec or the Rangers and Islanders, the Flames-Oilers’ series isn’t especially competitive. Except for one playoff series two years ago—when the Flames gave the Oilers all they could handle, only to fall in the seventh game of the Smythe Division final—this is surely the most one-sided rivalry in hockey. The Oilers almost never have an off night against Calgary. Their heroes may vary—Craig MacTavish did in the Flames once…

IN THIS ISSUE

Penauins Sian DU Scorina Star Mathiasen

The Pittsburgh Penguins grabbed the leading player in this year’s college free-agent market, when they came to terms with University of Denver right winger Dwight Mathiasen. USA Today reported March 31 that Mathiasen had signed a $1.2 million (U.S.) four-year contract which included a $250,000 signing bonus. Mathiasen was available to play for the Penguins in their final four regular season games but not eligible for the playoffs because he wasn’t with the team as of March 11, the date National Hockey League rosters were frozen. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound center from New Westminster had indicated he wanted to play in his hometown (Vancouver) but he rejected a last-minute $1.4 million offer from the Vancouver Canucks. Because Mathiasen signed for four years, his per annum average is slightly higher than the contracts signed by last…

NHL

Vairo Not Comina Back As Assistant Coach

EAST RUTHERFORD—Since the birth >f the franchise back in 1974, none of its three incarnations—the Kansas City Scouts, Colorado Rockies or New Jersey Devils—had ever won more than 22 james in one season, So when the Devils and goalkeeper Alain Chevrier posted back-to-back victories over the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto-Maple Leafs to raise this season’s victory total to 24. it should have been a time to look optimistically toward the future. Instead, the franchise record was tempered by the revelation that the successful coaching tandem of Doug Carpenter and Lou Vairo is coming to an end at the conclusion of this season. Vairo, whose one-year contract expires at the conclusion of the season, will not return as the Devils’ assistant coach. Neither Vairo nor the Devils want to talk about the split until…