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December 22, 1989

December 22, 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

ZEZEL’S RETURN WAS JUST THE RIGHT TONIC

St. Louis Blues’ right winger Brett Hull couldn’t resist a good-natured jibe at teammate Peter Zezel, who returned to the lineup with three assists and a No. 1 star in the Blues’ 6-4 victory over Vancouver Dec. 9. “He looked a little rusty at times,” Hull deadpanned. “I was open at times, and he missed me.” Hull laughed heartily after his zinger but, truth be told, Zezel was the inspirational force behind a victory the Blues sorely needed. They had not won at home in four games, losing three and tying one. They had not won in three games overall, losing two and tying one. And they had not beaten the Canucks since the 1987-88 season. Zezel missed four games after suffering a badly bruised left shoulder on a hard hit by Hartford’s Pat…

DEPARTMENTS

FIRST AND FOREMOST

The player expected to be the best rookie in major junior hockey this season isn’t even in the Canadian Hockey League yet. But that will change between Jan. 1 and 10, when the fate of 16-year-old Eric Lindros is decided. The highly-publicized Lindros turned down the Ontario League’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds—othe team that drafted him first overall in 1989. But because of a new rule allowing teams to trade their first-round choices during their draft years, Lindros will suit up for one of seven teams during the second half. Despite the absence of Lindros, there is a strong rookie contingent in the CHL this season. In fact, one NHL scout says it’s premature to assume Lindros will be the dominant freshman. “That’s something that I think has been blown out of proportion…

THE NHL

QUINN STANDS PAT DESPITE DISMAL SEASON

Bob McCammon’s nickname, “Cagey,” took on an ironic connotation after the Vancouver Canucks lost their eighth straight road game to fall to 18th place overall in the standings. After his team was hammered 7-1 by the Chicago Blackhawks Dec. 10, McCammon felt more like a man trapped behind bars than the shrewd, calculating coach who was runner-up to Pat Bums as the NHL’s coach of the year last season. “It’s obvious we don’t have the right pieces,” McCammon said. “I’ll take the heat and try to get the puzzle to work.” For the past month, McCammon had suggested his team’s mix wasn’t right. His eagerness for a trade has been apparent. But general manager Pat Quinn did not share the feeling. “I am not against making a trade,” Quinn said. “But this is a time…

IN THIS ISSUE

UNLIKELY SCORER ENDS SHUTOUT STREAK

Mark Vichorek’s first goal of the season prevented Indianapolis’ Jimmy Waite from becoming the first International League goaltender in 18 seasons to record three consecutive shutouts. Vichorek, a Phoenix Roadrunner defenseman who has scored 12 goals in a 245-game minor-pro career with seven teams, scored at the 12minute mark of the second period in the Ice’s 2-1 overtime win Dec. 5. Waite’s shutout string had reached 162 minutes and 35 seconds by the time Vichorek scored. Waite’s two consecutive shutouts fell short of the feat of Dave Hainsworth, who twice recorded shutout triples for the Muskegon Mohawks in 1972-73. Hainsworth’s longest streak was 264 minutes and two seconds, over a five-game span. In the win over the Roadrunners, Waite stopped 24 of 25 shots. Earlier. Waite recorded back-to-back shutouts over the Salt Lake Golden…