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May 21, 1999

May 21, 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.

NHL TEAMS

Another early playoff exit after solid regular season

The New Jersey Devils tave written an embarrassing legacy. The perennial regular season powers are playoff pushovers. After winning a third straight Eastern Conference championship, the Devils were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round for the second straight season. Since winning the Stanley Cup in 1995, the Devils have won a grand total of one playoff round. “The more it happens, the more frustrating and discouraging it becomes,” said captain Scott Stevens. Overachievers Jason Arnott responded with a 27-goal season after being moved from right wing to center. Defenseman Ken Daneyko had his best season, finishing at plus-27. Rookie right winger Vadim Sharifijanov reached double figures in goals (11) and was plus-11 in 53 games. Underachievers Defenseman Scott Niedermayer, given more offensive freedom under coach Robbie Ftorek, should have dominated, but didn’t. Right winger…

IN THIS ISSUE

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DEPARTMENTS

ELSTON

NHL TEAMS

Hunter gets assignment as Avs’ checking center

Can Dale Hunter change his name to Ponce de Leon for a while? A sip from the fountain of youth for Hunter is a wish the Colorado Avalanche would take if it were granted one for the playoffs. The Avs entered their second round series with the two-time Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings having to rely on the 38-year-old Hunter to play a key role. Namely, Hunter became the team’s third-line checking center when Colorado lost valuable utilityman Stephane Yelle for the series with a sprained knee. Yelle had a knee-on-knee collision with San Jose Sharks’ center Ron Sutter in Game 6 of Colorado’s first round victory. He was expected to miss at least two weeks. “It’s one of those things where I’m going to have to step up and contribute,” said Hunter,…