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May 23, 1986

May 23, 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.

The Juniors

Burns Olympiques’ Torch-Bearer

HULL—Hull Olympiques’ coach Pat Burns has worked on murder cases, armed robberies and drug busts. At 34, he has 16 years of service in with the Gatineau police force for whom he has done it all—including duty as a diver. Now he is at the crossroads. Burns is largely responsible for the Olympiques’ success this season and Charlie Henry, Hull’s director of operations, sees an impressive future in the game for him. “He definitely has NHL potential,” Henry said. “If he progresses as I think he should, it’s only a matter of time until “we move him.” Burns was expected to take another major step—being named assistant coach of Canada’a national junior team—in his rapid progression as a hockey coach. He guided the Olympiques to a record breaking season in the Quebec League and to the…


This Year Featured 3 Of Bottom 10

It’s been a weird Stanley Cup tournament so far. There’ve been plenty of upsets, and enough Cinderella stories to compile a complete post-modern series of fairy tales. But now we’ve had time to digest everything that happened in the early round of the post season, one thing has become clear in our opinion: The NHL’s playoff system is seriously flawed. It’s so damned easy to make the playoffs that teams which won won or tied less than 37 per cent of their regular-season games have shots at winning Lord Stanley’s cherished mug. This year, not one, not two, but three such teams made the playoffs. Take a gander at the table in the accompanying box. It lists the 10 worst teams ever to qualify for the Stanley Cup tournament. Notice that three clubs from…


Widespread Upsets Raise ‘What If’ Questions

BLOOMINGTON—Lou Nanne can’t help it if he keeps having these visions. He keeps seeing the North Stars get past the St. Louis Blues in the fifth game of their first-round playoff series and then he sees the Toronto Maple Leafs, who the Stars were 7-0-1 against during the regular season, and after that Calgary and after that Montreal. An early exit in previous years was easier to take—there was always Edmonton or Philadelphia or the New York Islanders left to overcome. But now, with the Oilers, the Flyers, the Capitals, the Blackhawks and the Nordiques gone, Nanne keeps seeing this passage. “It’s not just me,” Nanne said. “A lot of general managers are shaking their heads and saying, ‘Geez, what an opportunity.’ You won’t see anything like this again in a long, long…


New Jersey Draft Strategy Is To Obtain Defenseman

EAST RUTHERFORD—Once again the New Jersey Devils could pay dearly in the National Hockey League entry draft for finishing strongly during the regular season, just as they did two years ago when the Pittsburgh Penguins beat them to No. 1 choice Mario Lemieux. Although the club has refrained from hinting at its preferences for the draft. Devils’ general manager Max McNab would love to land a dominant defenseman to join 1985 top pick Craig Wolanin. The player who best fills McNab’s bill is Team Canada defenseman Shawn Anderson. The problem is: Will Anderson still be available when the Devils get around to selecting third behind the Red Wings and Kings? “We’re still in the position of taking who we feel is the best National Leaguer,” explained McNab. “After that we can fill positions…