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February 12, 1993

February 12, 1993

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.


Dismal club looks forward

Life in the present is not a particularly rewarding experience for the San Jose Sharks, but the team believes its future is in good hands. The Sharks, 6-42-2 after their first 50 games this season, insist they have the building blocks to assemble a competitive team. The challenge, they say, is to be patient while the construction is taking place. And while some of the team’s young prospects mature. Ideally, the Sharks would like to add three or four young players to their core group every season until the team becomes competitive. Players such as winger Rob Gaudreau and defensemen Sandis Ozolinsh and Doug Zmolek fit the mold this season and the Sharks have similar expectations for several others. Here are the top five prospects in order. Mike Rathje: He reported to training camp with…



In 1992, there was abundant quantity and quality when it came to NHL prospects. This year, there is little of either. Scouts identified 13 players a year ago as being potential impact players in the league. Only four earned that distinction this season. Peter Forsberg of the Quebec Nordiques, Markus Naslund of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Alexei Kovalev of the New York Rangers are repeats from last year. The only newcomer is Alexei Yashin of the Ottawa Senators. All four are Europeans. Among last year’s projected impact ’ players were Eric Lindros, Teemu Selanne and Felix Potvin. All have made substantial impressions in their rookie seasons. The eight scouts surveyed for this story agreed there was a trickle-down effect on each team’s list of top-10 prospects. The lower-ranked players this year aren’t as promising a…


Wakaluk’s up to challenge as co-No. 1 goalie

When the Minnesota North Stars’ mid-winter lour reached Toronto, newspaper headlines boldly proclaimed Felix Potvin as the Maple Leafs’ No. I goalie. Quietly in Minnesota, with fanfare appropriate to a Bob Gainey-coached team, Darcy Wakaluk has made the climb to where he’s on par with Jon Casey, the Stars’ No. 1 goalie. “Our goaltender situation is such that if either was to be injured, I wouldn’t be concerned,” Gainey said. Wakaluk’s climb has been difficult to ignore. Through the late-January game in Toronto, he was unbeaten in three games (2-0-1) and had a 1.95 goals-against average and.930 save percentage. He was 4-1-1 in recent starts and played in nine of 13 games. “We approached the game against Toronto With the importance attached to a division game against the team in front or behind us,”…


Rookie battle escalates

When Adam Oates cast his unofficial ballot for the Calder Trophy in late December and added the explanation that Teemu Selanne couldn’t carry Joe Juneau’s jockstrap, there was little reaction from the Winnipeg Jets. “Consider the source,” was about all anybody would say. But after a week-long road trip that took them through Boston in late January, the Jets and coach John Paddock had heard enough criticism of Selanne from Oates. And after he witnessed a sparkling performance by Alexei Zhamnov when the Jets beat Hartford 6-3 Jan. 30, two nights after losing 6-2 to Boston, Paddock couldn’t resist some return fire. “I think there’s a two-man race for the Calder, but Joe’s not in it,” the Jets’ coach said. Zhamnov scored a dazzling short-handed goal which was the winner against the Whalers. He missed…