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January 12, 1996

January 12, 1996

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.


Bettman biggest bargain in NHL

We would like to be able to say that “for better or for worse,” the next commissioner of the NHL is the same commissioner who has been in place since 1993, Gary Bettman—the only “commissioner” in the league’s history. We would like to say “for better or for worse,” but where is the “worse?” Where is the downside? Where, except for some timely political rhetoric of union speak from the NHL Players’ Association and the officials’ union, is there any valued suggestion Bettman is leading the NHL down a road better left not travelled? The fact is Bettman will be accorded a contract extension in June. The exact terms and length of his new deal will be approved by the executive committee, probably about $2 million per season. While that may seem steep to…


Spotlight on Iginla after deal

Certain things are unanimous among hockey people where Kamloops Blazers’ right winger Jarome Iginla is concerned: □ He is a much better player entering 1996 than he was in the summer of 1995, when the Dallas Stars drafted him 11th overall. □ He is not likely to be a high-scoring NHL star first-liner, but is almost sure to be a solid second-line player with great character. □ For all intents and purposes, he was traded to the Calgary Flames straight up for holdout center Joe Nieuwendyk, a proven star in the league. Corey Millen came along in the deal, but is more of a Stars’ salary dump than a boost to Calgary’s offense. All of this will put the spotlight straight on the maple leaf on Iginla’s Canada sweater at the World Junior Championship…



KEY TO ABBREVIATIONS Statistics provided by National Hockey League; Players are listed by uniform number, name, games played (GP), minutes played (MIN), goals-against average (GAA), wins (W) losses (L) ties (T), empty-net goals (EN), shutouts (SO), goals against (GA), shots against (SA), save percentage (SP). Players indicated by an asterisk (’) are eligible for the Calder Trophy. Numbers beside teams indicate rankings tor the Bill Jennings Trophy. For goalies’ individual rankings see page 28.…


Joseph gambles on Las Vegas

Taking a Christmas holiday from the International League was a notion Curtis Joseph never thought he would have to consider. The erstwhile Edmonton Oilers’ goalie, an NHL Group free agent, was playing with the Las Vegas Thunder of the IHL while awaiting a trade at the NHL level. On the Thunder’s longest road trip of the season, GM Bob Strumm and coach Chris McSorley approached him about going home for Christmas. They told Joseph he had their approval to go home for two weeks, during which he would miss four games. Strumm and McSorley knew there was a chance they would never see him in a Thunder uniform again, but they gave him permission to go anyway. “He has done a lot for this franchise,” Strumm said. “We just felt we owed him that…