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April 1, 1994

April 1, 1994

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.

IN THIS ISSUE

Injuries leave team with few legs to stand on

The Buffalo Sabres haven’t used injury problems as a crutch this season, even though they’ve had enough players on crutches to do just that. Bob Sweeney and Petr Svoboda are the two newest members of the Sabres’ corps of wounded players. Sweeney, the Sabres’ third-line center, is out until at least mid-April after spraining his right knee March 9 at Anaheim. Svoboda sustained a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee March 17 against New Jersey. He too will be lost for at least a month. The setbacks are the latest in a string of injuries that have dogged the Sabres all season. □ Captain Pat LaFontaine went down with a major knee problem in the fall. □ Svoboda missed the start of the season with a lingering problem in his…

IN THIS ISSUE

Balanced attack cuts it for champion Blades

The Saskatoon Blades have achieved success without finesse. Thanks to a gritty approach, Saskatoon captured the Western League’s East Division regular-season title. “A big thing has been our work ethic,” said Blades’ coach Lome Molleken. “The guys will do whatever it takes to succeed.” By clinching top spot in the East Division, the Blades receive a first-round playoff bye. “One of our biggest strengths has been our depth,” Molleken said. “When you look at the top 20 scorers, we have no one there.” Saskatoon’s leading producer, left winger Andy MacIntyre, had 85 points with four games left. That’s 30th in the league. Mind you, 52 of MacIntyre’s 85 points were goals. “I find it easier to shoot than pass,” MacIntyre said with a laugh. “I’m pretty flukey.” TUCKERED OUT: Back spasms interrupted the offensive exploits of Kamloops…

IN THIS ISSUE

Rangers’ quest for Cup follows Oiler pipeline

Finally, the New York Rangers are willing to speak about history. Long ridiculed for a Stanley Cup drought that began in 1941, the Rangers grafted Stanley Cup experience to an already seasoned team at the trading deadline March 21. Every player the Rangers acquired has either been to the Stanley Cup finals or won the Cup. In one day, general manager Neil Smith added eight Stanley Cups. If practice makes perfect, the rest of the NHL is toast. Smith was the busiest general manager in the most hectic trading deadline day in NHL history. He swung five of the day’s 18 deals, including three major transactions. “The stress of the trading deadline does funny things,” Smith said,”ft will cause a lot of different things to happen.” Smith landed Toronto Maple Leafs’ winger Glenn Anderson, a five-time…

IN THIS ISSUE

Roberts back in groove

In a normal season, consistency is a trademark of Gary Roberts’ game. This, of course, has been anything but a normal year for the Calgary Flames’ left winger. It began in September when he signed a four-year, $7.35-million contract making him the highest-paid player in team history. Early on, Roberts put too much pressure on himself to earn that money and scored only one goal in 13 games. Eventually, he hit his stride, scoring 19 goals in the next 27 games. His slash on the New York Ranger Steve Larmer in January resulted in a four-game suspension. Upon returning, he looked lost. Finally, he erupted for 16 goals in 21 games and was on pace to score 40 for the second time in his career. “It has been one of those years,” Roberts said. “I…