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December 11, 1998

December 11, 1998

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.


Madison could host WJC, says Badgers’ boss Sauer WCHA

Wisconsin Badgers’ coach Jeff Sauer is looking into the possibility of what it would take to bring the World Junior Championship to the Madison, Wis., area in the next couple of years. The tournament features the best 20-and-under players in the world and takes place in late December and early January. Playing sites usually alternate between Europe and North America. The event _was held in Finland last year. The 1999 WJC is in Winnipeg Dec. 26-Jan. 4. The last time the U.S. hosted the event was 1996 in Massachusetts. Sauer, a member of the international committee for USA Hockey, believes Madison would be a good candidate to host such an event and has approached school officials with his ideas. “The reason thought about it is because of the facilities,” Sauer said. There are no…


Nicholls Bonders options after forced ‘retirement’

Colorful center Bernie Nicholls expected to spend the rest of November mulling an assistant-coaching offer from the San Jose Sharks after the club asked him to retire. GM Dean Lombardi summoned Nicholls to a meeting after the Sharks and New York Rangers played to a 2-2 tie Nov. 21 at San Jose Arena. Lombardi “recommended” that Nicholls hang up his skates. Shocked, Nicholls did not join his former teammates the next day, when the Sharks left town to begin a four-game road trip in Dallas. “They just want me to step down,” Nicholls said. “They don’t feel I’m doing what should be doing. think understand where they’re coming from, guess. just don’t understand the timing.” Nicholls, 37, played 18 years in the NHL and ranks 26th on the league’s all time scoring list with…


Less is more Nostalgia, hot issues popular book topics

Bigger may be better when it comes to the size if hockey players, but not necessarily when it comes to hockey books. With one notable exception, the size of this year’s average hockey book is smaller. But the quality seems to have increased. That’s the finding of Kevin Harper who, as national sales manager for the Canadian book distributor North 49, closely monitors hockey titles annually. Last year, publishers released an unusually high number of pricey coffee table gift books. “In general,” Harper says,”the sales were pretty lackluster.” So there are fewer high-priced items this year. Instead, publishers have refocused on upgrading their standard hardcovers and those large books they are producing. Because of this, Harper projects”an above-average year” for sales led by that one notable I exception-Total Hockey, the immense encyclopedia which has rocketed…


Maracle moving up

As nice as the zero looks in the loss column, Detroit Red Wings’ goalie Norm Maracle remains grounded in reality. Sooner or later, he knows he’ll lose an NHL game. His true concern is a long career, or establishing the beginnings of one. He’s enough of a student of recent goaltending history to know that quick starts are sometimes misleading. “Look at Patrick Lalime,” said Maracle of the former Pittsburgh goalie who began 14-0-2 two seasons ago. “He’s not playing in the league anymore. The players don’t know my style yet. Once they do, it’ll be a lot harder for me.” At least overconfidence isn’t a problem for Maracle, a perfect 4-0-1 lifetime with a 1.92 goals-against average. He took advantage of Chris Osgood’s hip-flexor injury to get his first start this season.…