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October 9, 1987

October 9, 1987

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.


Devils’ Captain Kirk Treks Toward Playoffs

EAST RUTHERFORD, N. J.—Captain Kirk’s mission: To lead New Jersey where no Devils’ team has gone before—the playoffs. But unlike the starship Enterprise, team leader Kirk Muller and the Devils don’t have a five-year timetable. The future, hopes New Jersey, is now. When the center-winger took the bridge on June 18, it officially signaled the end of an era in which a succession of veterans commandeered the Devils’ locker room. “Maybe it will be a boost, a spark,” said defenseman Joe Cirella. “He’s one of us. We all grew together, whereas all the other captains we had came from different pasts. They would relate to things that happened somewhere else, for another team at another time, and we weren’t there. We can relate to a younger guy, what he does on the ice…



25 YEARS AGO: • The Chicago Blackhawks thought they had acquired Toronto’s star left winger Frank Mahovlich for $1 million in cash, when Blackhawk owner Jim Norris agreed to a deal with Maple Leaf co-owner Harold Ballard. But at the 11th hour, the deal was vetoed by Maple Leaf president Stafford Smythe. • Toronto Maple Leaf coach-GM Punch Imlach was high on rookie defenseman Kent Douglas. Asked where the newcomer could fit in on a blue-line crew featuring Tim Horton, Allan Stanley, Bob Baun, Carl Brewer, Al Arbour and Larry Hillman. Imlach replied, “I’m not sure, but there’s got to be a place for him. He’s too good to keep out.” Imlach’s judgment proved correct—Douglas went on to win the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie. 35 YEARS AGO: • Montreal Canadien coach…


Potvin To Call It Quits After ’87-88 Season

UNIONDALE, N.Y.—Confidence, consistency and leadership are perhaps the three qualities for which New York Islander defenseman Denis Potvin will be most remembered. On Sept. 25, Potvin announced he will retire after this, his 15th NHL season. Asked privately if he thinks he was the greatest defenseman in NHL history, Potvin said, “Yeah.” Confidence. Potvin knows he and Bobby Orr both won Calder Trophies as rookie of the year. He knows Orr exceeded 100 points in six straight years, won three Hart Trophies as most valuable player and captured two scoring titles. Potvin topped 100 points only once and won neither the Hart nor Art Ross (scoring champ) Trophies. But Potvin has scored more goals (291), more assists (710) and more points (1,001) than any NHL defenseman, including Orr. “It’ll always be evaluated in…


Few Changes Anticipated On The Canadiens’ Roster

MONTREAL—It has been a training camp with little excitement. For managing director Serge Savard and the rest of the management team and coaching staff of the Montreal Canadiens, there were no dramatic surprises and nothing in the way of controversy. Barring any last-minute miracles, the number of new faces are likely to be minimal when Montreal takes to the ice for the first regular-season game in Philadelphia, Oct. 8. “From a player point of view, I certainly hope there won’t be a lot of changes,” said center Brian Skrud-land, back for his third season with Montreal. “I think we have had a couple of good seasons here with the personnel that we have been carrying. “Certainly I hope there are no changes in center ice. Our team ran into a tough Philadelphia club last…