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June 13, 1997

June 13, 1997

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.

NHL TEAMS

Eager Burns happy Bruin

It took more than a month of rumors and resumes, but the Boston Bruins finally hired Pat Bums as their coach, signing him to a reported four-year, $3-million contract. “Working with such a young team is going to be the challenge,” Burns said. “What we have to do is make these players believe that being a Bruin is very important.” Pre-draft speculation President-GM Harry Sinden has said definitively the Bruins will select consensus No. I choice Joe Thornton. They would love a crack at goalie Roberto Luongo with the eighth overall pick, but it’s unlikely he’ll still be available. A big left winger would fill a need. Payroll The March 1 trade of Bill Ranford, Rick Tocchet and Adam Oates hacked Boston’s payroll to a league-low $14.5 million. That will inch up…

COLUMNISTS

Rangers should keep Mess for less

The New York Rangers would be crazy not to re-sign unrestricted free agent Mark Messier. Especially since he has made it be known it is his desire to remain in Manhattan. However, if Messier’s demands are completely out of whack and he comes seeking something along the lines of three years at $6 million per, then adios amigo. The Rangers, with a league-leading $38-million payroll this past season, can’t afford to lock up 29 per cent of the budget in two players-Messier and Wayne Gretzky-and provide them with the type of quality supporting cast they require to remain effective. If the Rangers are going to carry the former Edmonton Oilers, they have to bulk up the supporting cast. “I’ll do everything in my power to make sure (Messier) stays a New York Ranger and…

FEATURES

Becoming a Conn Man

They say you can’t be a true winner until you skate a victory lap with the Stanley Cup lifted over your head. It might also be said you can’t be a true superstar until you play your best during the only time of the year that truly matters-the playoffs. The reward for that feat is the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. Since the award was introduced in 1965, many of the greats have won it: Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky, Mario (and Claude) Lemieux, Guy Lafleur, Ken Dryden, Mark Messier, Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy and Jean Beliveau. This could be the year Eric Lindros joins the club. At 24. he wouldn’t be the youngest winner-that honor belongs to goalie Patrick Roy, who was 20 when he won his first Cup with the Montreal…

FEATURES

Sweet draft choice for Milbury

What to do, what to do? If you are New York Islanders GM Mike Milbury, do you use the fourth and fifth overall picks in this year’s draft to add to your wealth o! young talent? Or do you put the pick.” up for trade in an attempt to acquire the leadership, scoring punch on the wing and goaltending depth you so desperately need? Don’t hold your breath waiting for the answer. Milbury said he plans to maximize his potential by waiting until the last minute before making a decision. He does say, though, given hi: druthers, he would rather use the picks to attract veteran relief. Certainly one or both picks would be highly coveted in a year whet there are a number of solid prospect: up for grabs. “Both picks are definitely…