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February 16, 2001

February 16, 2001

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 TEAM REPORTS

Nylander handed power play role

While the Chicago Blackhawks have been consistently among the top four teams in the NHL in penalty killing, they’re near the bottom in power play rankings. The situation got worse when playmaker Alex Zhamnov and point man Boris Mironov went down with injuries that will sideline them until at least March. Zhamnov suffered a fractured larynx, when hit by a puck, and Mironov underwent wrist surgery Jan. 26. Coach Alpo Suhonen hoped moving center Michael Nylander to the left point would help puck movement. “It seems to me that Nylander at the point opens up something because he’s so fast,” Suhonen said. Center Steve Sullivan has been a key killing penalties with six short-handed goals, which tied him with Theo Fleury for the league lead. “We take pride in our penalty killing and the longer…

IN THIS ISSUE

PLAYER OF THE MONTH

Count yourself lucky; you have witnessed history. Not only did Mario Lemieux make an unexpected comeback, returning to the Pittsburgh Penguins after three and a half years in retirement, he immediately resumed the title of best player on the planet. Lemieux had a goal and two assists in his first game back against the Toronto Maple Leafs and to prove it was no fluke, he went out and scored a goal and three assists in Game 2 against Ottawa. In 16 games since starting his comeback, Lemieux was held off the scoreboard just once. For his efforts in January when he scored 14 goals and 11 assists for 25 points in 14 games, Super Mario is The Hockey News player of the month for January. As if following a Hollywood script, Lemieux dominated…

NHL TEAM REPORTS

Rookies Aubin, Vyborny, Denis showing Columbus future is now

No matter how many wins or points the Columbus Blue Jackets accumulate in their inaugural season, the front office believes it will have fond memories. Chief among the reasons is the solid core of young talent Columbus has assembled, including three rookies - center Serge Aubin, right winger David Vyborny and goalie Marc Denis who are making an impact this season. Aubin has 12 goals and 24 points, which ranks him sixth among rookies. Above and beyond that, though, is his solid defense and bone-crunching checks. “What I really like about Serge is his attitude,” said coach Dave King. “He’s having success, but I don’t think it will ever go to his head. He’ll always work hard.” Vyborny has eight goals and 21 points and has excelled at both ends of the ice. Denis…

NHL TEAM REPORTS

GM Johnston on rearguard hunt

Ottawa Senators’ GM Marshall Johnston is continuing his search for blueline help, but the price has to be right. The Sens confirmed they spoke with free agent Marty McSorley, whose NHL ban will be lifted Feb. 21, and they’re also interested in Detroit’s Steve Duchesne and Vancouver’s Adrian Aucoin. “We’d like to win a Stanley Cup,” Johnston said. “But we’re not going to blow our brains out just to win this year and the leave the team in jeopardy next year.” Johnston maintains his priority is to find a defenseman to help in the stretch drive and the playoffs. He admitted he has done plenty of shopping. The Senators have 31 games remaining after the all-star break and with the trade deadline looming March 13, Johnston would like to get something done to help…