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April 23, 1999

April 23, 1999

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.


3,000-mile bus journey costs Kazakhs medal

The rigors of a 3,000-mile road trip cost Kazakhstan’s national under-18 team a shot at a medal at the recent European junior championships. In an effort to cut travel costs, the Kazakhstan team decided to take a bus, rather than a plane, from its home base in the city of UstKamenogorsk to Bucharest, Romania, site of the European junior championship tournament. A 3,000-mile flight takes only about four hours. A 3,000-mile drive can take upwards of 50 hours, not including stops. Kazakhstan found that out the hard way. When the team didn’t arrive in time for its first game, officials declared a forfeit and Lithuania was awarded a 5-0 victory. Behind the eight-ball, Kazakhstan wound up in a playoff for fifth place on the final day, shellacking Romania 15-0, while the less-talented Lithuanian…


Drury, Hejduk go down to wire in bids for rookie scoring title

Not only were the Colorado Avalanche in a horse race with the Detroit Keo Wings for the No. 2 Western Conference playoff seed as the season drew to a close, but two of its players waged a race for the NHL rookie scoring title. Chris Drury and Milan Hejduk entered the final week of the regular season at the top of the league scoring list, with 44 points apiece. Winning the race could determine who gets the Calder Trophy, an honor Drury and Hejduk said they would trade for a sip out of the Stanley Cup. “It’s really unimportant to me,” Hejduk said of the rookie scoring title. “What’s more important is how we will do in the (playoffs). We have a chance for the Stanley Cup, so that’s bigger than anything.” Hejduk, a…


Isles eyeing Brewer as future star

In a season of great disappointment, the play of rookie Eric Brewer has been one of the New York Islanders’ few bright spots. The coaching staff brought Brewer, the only teenage defenseman in the league, along slowly, scratching him for 12 of the first 37 games. But as of April 9, he had played 38 of the past 41 matches. Because Rich Pilon missed 10 games with an inflamed back disc, Brewer was promoted to the second pairing with David Harlock and spotted on power play and penalty killing units. In a 2-2 tie with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim April 3, he logged a career-high 26:57 minutes. In the next game, a 4-3 home loss to the Buffalo Sabres, Brewer had a defensive-zone giveaway that led to a Sabres’ goal, but scored…


Ohlund advised to fight fire with fire after concussion

Will he ever learn? For the second straight season, Vancouver Canucks’ sophomore defenseman Mattias Ohlund sustained a concussion when nailed while cutting through the middle with his head down. A year ago, Buffalo Sabres’ captain Mike Peca knocked the Swede out for four games. This season it was San Jose Sharks’ hit man Bryan Marchment’s turn. The hit occurred during the Sharks’ 5-2 victory over Vancouver April 3. “I was hoping I could play a long time before my second concussion, but it’s my second one in two years,” said a disappointed Ohlund. “I’m not too concerned because the one I have now is way better than how I was feeling last year at this point.” Canucks’ captain Mark Messier, who has administered a few elbows during his career, figures Ohlund must do the…