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September 22, 1995

September 22, 1995

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

Trades force juggling act

Need a quick and easy way to put Pittsburgh’s tumultuous off-season into perspective? Try this: A year ago, the Penguins’ depth chart featured two of the NHL’s premier left wingers, Kevin Stevens and Luc Robitaille. Fast forward to September, 1995, when the Penguins prepared to open camp with Markus Naslund and Tomas Sandstrom on the left side of their top two lines. Both, while versatile, were listed as right wingers as recently as a few months ago. They were forced to relocate after the Penguins traded Stevens to the Boston Bruins and Robitaille to the New York Rangers. Despite losing players such as Stevens, Robitaille and Larry Murphy during a summer of cost-cutting moves, coach Ed Johnston insists he is comfortable with the team. “We think we’re as strong as anyone in the league,” Johnston…

IN THIS ISSUE

Talented center Gordon finallv Rockets’ man

The Kelowna Rockets have engineered a coup by luring center Robb Gordon from the University of Michigan. Gordon, a 19-year-old center, was the Vancouver Canucks’ second-round selection (39th overall) in the 1994 draft. He had 15 goals and 41 points in 39 Central Collegiate Hockey Association games as a freshman last season. “I just wanted to play in more games,” said Gordon, who hails from Murrayville, B.C. “We went pretty much all the way and we only played 39 games. We’d practise five times and then play on weekends. I wanted to get out of that routine.” Gordon left for Vancouver’s training camp Sept. 9, which forfeits his U.S. college eligibility. As of that date, he hadn’t signed an NHL contract or a major junior registration card. If the Canucks sign Gordon, they…

IN THIS ISSUE

Feisty fan favorite Lemieux aoinu to salary arbitration

The Hartford Whalers and Jocelyn Lemieux’s agent have tendered their final offers. That means Lemieux, a restricted free agent, is the only Whaler headed for something neither side wants—salary arbitration. So much for being Favorite Whaler. The hearing is set for Sept. 23. The Whalers wanted it to be Sept. 2, but Lemieux’s agent, Steve Freyer, said it wasn’t a good weekend. Whalers’ GM Jim Rutherford wanted the hearing held before camp started Sept. 10. “Jocelyn thought he had found a home in Hartford,” Freyer said. “But the numbers they’ve offered haven’t been at the level we think they should be. We don’t really want to go to arbitration.” Lemieux. 27, earned $350,000 last season. He is asking for a one-year deal worth less than the NHL average salary ($733,000 last season), because that would…

IN THIS ISSUE

Key players could sit out

Washington Capitals’ GM David Poile is resigned to starting training camp this season without two of his major offensive cogs, right winger Peter Bondra and center Michal Pivonka. Both players are Group II free agents represented by Edmonton-based agent Rich Winter. Neither has reportedly been offered a contract by another team, which appears to be part of a continuing trend in the NHL. Poile said he had not spoken to Winter since prior to the NHL draft July 12 in Edmonton. “(Winter) sent me a fax asking me to do something, which I couldn’t do,” Poile said, refusing to reveal the details in Winter’s fax. “He said if I couldn’t do that, then he couldn’t negotiate. So that’s where we are-he said he wouldn’t negotiate.” How important the pair is to the Capitals is…