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April 21, 2000

April 21, 2000

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

Ducks sign collegian McDonald, but center has long road ahead

Hoping to uncover a jewel from an unlikely source, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim reached into the U.S. collegiate ranks and signed center Andy McDonald. McDonald, 22, was one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the top player in U.S. college hockey. A senior at Colgate University, McDonald totaled 25 goals and 58 points in 34 games. “He’s a pretty good player,” said Anaheim GM Pierre Gauthier. “He’s a kid who comes out of junior B, goes and plays college and develops into one of the better players in college hockey.” McDonald agreed to terms on a two-year contract April 4. A native of Strathroy, Ont., McDonald plans to complete his academic year at Colgate before joining the Ducks in training camp in September. Listed at 5-foot-10, which might…

DEPARTMENTS

ELSTON

NHL TEAMS

Reserve goalie Valiquette comes in to fill tall order

New York Islanders’ GM Mike Milbury has spent five years gathering players of size to better handle the rigors of play in the Eastern Conference. But goalies? Unheralded 6-foot-5 prospect Stephen Valiquette became the tallest goalie in NHL history when he debuted in March. Over the final month of the season, the sixth straight in which the Islanders have missed the playoffs, the 22-year-old made two starts and won both. He recorded a 4-2 victory in Atlanta March 16 and a 45-save win in a 2-1 road defeat of Ottawa April 6. One area the Islanders are well-stocked is in goal. Roberto Luongo and Kevin Weekes are a promising tandem while veteran Wade Flaherty, when healthy, provides useful insurance. But Valiquette, an eighth round draft pick by Los Angeles in 1996, wasn’t scoffing…

LEAGUES

McCracken knows frustration as torn groin wipes out season

It has been the longest season of Jake McCracken’s Ontario League career and he never played a game. A groin injury kept the the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds’ goalie on the sidelines all season. “Frustrating is the only word,” said the 19-year-old Detroit Red Wings’ third round draft pick in 1998. McCracken strained his groin at the Wings’ camp, then tore it after returning to the Greyhounds. “The first time they told me I’d be out three weeks, it sounded like forever,” he said. “It turned out to be three months that first time.” The game before he was to get his first start, he tore it again in warmup, making a routine kick save. “It was too early to come back, but you get the guys questioning whether you’re really hurt and that was part…