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April 19, 1996

April 19, 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.

COLUMNISTS

Are Canucks ready to spring again?

“I look around our dressing room and I see a lot of good hockey players. I see talent. If we, as a group, want to come together and do the difficult things, we can cause teams some problems in the playoffs. Definitely.” –Vancouver Canucks’ captain Trevor Linden, April 3 Trivia question. Did Linden utter the aforementioned words in: (a) 1994, when the Canucks sputtered through an ineffective regular season only to advance to the Stanley Cup final? (b) 1995, when the Canucks sputtered through an ineffective regular season only to register a surprising first round playoff upset of the St. Louis Blues? (c) 1996, when the Canucks sputtered through an ineffective regular season only to…? The answer is (c) 1996, but even that is not wholly accurate. Linden has been saying pretty much the same thing…

IN THIS ISSUE

Trio takes Patrick honors

NEW YORK-Milt Schmidt, George Gund III and Ken Morrow have had diversified careers in hockey, but they share one thing: they’re recipients of the Lester Patrick Award. The three men were feted April 1 for their outstanding service to hockey in the U.S. “I’m overwhelmed,” Morrow said. “I went through this last September after I was elected into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame and I thought nothing would top that.” Morrow, who served 10 seasons as a steady defenseman for the New York Islanders, was the first player in hockey history to win an Olympic gold medal (the 1980 ‘Miracle On Ice’ U.S. team in Lake Placid, N.Y.) and a Stanley Cup ring in the same year. “I was just a defensive defenseman,” Morrow said. “Usually, they don’t get much recognition.” Schmidt spent most…

NHL TEAMS

Panthers become kittens at critical noint in season

In was, in the words of Doug MacLean, “a pathetic performance. “(It was) the most disappointing game I’ve been involved with since I’ve been in the NHL,” said the Florida Panthers’ coach. MacLean was referring to a 3-2 loss April 3 to the Ottawa Senators that continued the Panthers’ slide. Despite holding a 2-0 lead after the first period, the Panthers got just six shots on goal in the final 40 minutes and allowed three unanswered goals in the final 13 minutes. The loss dropped the Panthers to 412-2 since Feb. 24 and 1-5-0 since March 23. MacLean came down on his players in a meeting the next day. “There wasn’t a lot of technical talk,” MacLean said of the gathering. The Panthers, struggling to maintain home ice advantage in the playoffs, were tentative in…

COLUMNISTS

Isles’ future bright if they head off injuries

During the New York Islanders’ formative years in the early-1970s, GM Bill Torrey used to joke about the team’s name. “I’ve come to believe that our middle name is Hapless,” Torrey said. “Everyone describes us as, ‘The Hapless Islanders.” Mike Milbury is now Torrey on Long Island, but it’s 1973-74 all over again. The savior-to-be then was Denis Potvin; now the Potvin-to-be is Bryan Berard, who becomes an Islander next fall. In the meantime, the Isles complete their 24th year looking very much like an expansion team, building amid the rubble of misery. One would be hard-pressed to find a more depressing catalogue of one-season misfortunes which slapped them around this year: □ Brett Lindros, their top draft pick in 1994 and highest-priced player at $1,150,000 per annum, may not play NHL hockey again…