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August 1, 1989

August 1, 1989

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 NHL

BESTER PREPARED FOR CHALLENGE AS NO. 1

It’s been a different kind of summer for Allan Bester. In previous years, the diminutive Toronto Maple Leaf netminder has spent his vacation months preparing to lock horns with any number of goaltending candidates for the No. I job. This year, he could be forgiven for being a touch complacent. Bester is now indisputably the Leafs’ top goalie, a job that carries a heavy load of responsibility, not to mention an even heavier load of shots on goal. The 5-foot-7, 150-pound native of Hamilton, Ont., admitted having a firm grip on the starter’s job has given him a different frame of mind this year. “I’ve been trying to enjoy myself more this summer,” Bester said during a break between a charity golf tournament and charity softball game. “I’m trying not to worry so much and…

THE NHL

BURKE’S MENTOR SAUVE CALLS IT QUITS

He was a New Jersey Devil for only two seasons, but Bob Sauve clearly left his mark on the organization before a chronic back problem forced him to retire after a 12-year NHL career. The veteran goaltender, limited to just 15 games last season because of a herniated disc that has bothered him the past eight years, announced his retirement July 13 at the age of 34. He will remain in the Devils’ organization as a special assignment scout and goalie consultant. He’ll also serve as president of the newly-formed Devils’ Alumni Association. “Everybody knows I have a bad back,” said Sauve, “but really it was my performance last year that did it. I didn’t feel I was doing what I should for the team. I didn’t feel it was honest of…

COLUMNISTS

BOYCOTT MEATBALLS—WE’RE AT WAR WITH SWEDEN

I was laying on a beach in Southern California when I learned we were at war with Sweden. “Ziegler vows retaliation for broken contracts,” said the newspaper headline. The story said NHL president John Ziegler had instructed his clubs to sign any Swede of its choosing, to stop payments to the Swedish hockey federation for currently-signed players, and to immediately execute all deserters. “Holy Lars Zetterstrom,” I said. “I never thought it would come to this.” The Swedes came to us in the early ’70s as lovers, not fighters. When we broke sticks over their heads, they seemed to like it. The only time they ever really complained was when Al Eagleson fed them chicken for 30 straight nights at the 1987 Canada Cup. Even then they beat the Russians once, which made…

IN THIS ISSUE

NEW YORK RANGERS SIGN UP WITH FLINT

For the first time in 21 years, a Flint-based International League team will be the No. 1 affiliate of an NHL team. The Flint Spirits entered a working agreement with the New York Rangers July 20, less than a month after the Rangers’ previous IHL affiliate, the Denver Rangers, had its league membership terminated. “If I was any happier I’d be out of my mind,” said Spirits’ president Don Chambers. “In our eyes, it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to professional sports in this area.” The response by fans has been “tremendous,” Chambers said, and the Spirits have experienced a rush in season-ticket sales at IMA Arena. How many have they sold? “I don’t know,” Chambers admitted, “but my wife was in here (Spirits’ offices) the first day and took in $9,000.” Chambers said he…