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November 2, 2001

November 2, 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

Wiemer delivering gusto and offense

The day after the Florida Panthers acquired center Jason Wiemer in a trade with Calgary, his former Flames’ coach Brian Sutter said Wiemer was so tough, “He hunts bears with whiskey bottles.” Wiemer laughed, “I saw that quote. It was an interesting quote.” Sutter was exaggerating on Wiemer’s choice of weapon when bear hunting, but not on the bear hunter’s hockey toughness. Wiemer’s willingness to put his 6-foot-1, 220-pound body into his game, whether finishing a check, winning a faceoff or playing in the ugly areas has made him the best Panther early this season. When the other two players in that trade, Calgary center Rob Niedermayer and Panthers’ right winger Valeri Bure, came up too lame to play in this season’s first PanthersCalgary game Oct. 18, it left spotlight room for Wiemer. He…

IN THIS ISSUE

UNITED LEAGUE

The Flint Generals pulled a United League shocker when they released forwards Kevin Kerr and Kahlil Thomas two days before the season. The Generals had seven veterans and UHL rules permit teams to dress only six per game. By releasing Kerr and Thomas, the Generals opened a spot to sign defenseman Nick Stajduhar. Kerr, 34, was entering his 15th season. Thomas, who has played in Flint for five seasons, was Flint’s MVP last season. The 25-year-old reportedly will sign with Memphis of the Central League. Kerr, who is 77 goals shy of breaking Scott Gruhl’s all-time record for goals by a minor-leaguer (663), was still mulling his options. Kerr is one of 10 minor leaguers with at least 500 goals and 1,000 points.…

IN THIS ISSUE

Castors axe Canale after horrible start

Norm Gosselin felt like he had no other choice. The Sherbrooke Castors’ GM fired coach Joe Canale after the team won just one of its first 11 games and fell to last place overall in the Quebec League standings. “The situation was that we were 1-9-1 and something had to be done,” Gosselin said. “We didn’t play well the last three games so I didn’t see any solution coming directly from the players, so I had to fire my coach. It wasn’t because he wasn’t a good coach because he proved lots of times before what he could do.” Canale is fifth in league history in career games coached with 682 and sixth overall in victories with 318. His other QMJHL stops were in Shawinigan, Chicoutimi, Beauport and Laval. He has also coached…

IN THIS ISSUE

Charlotte owners aspire to move Checkers

The Charlotte Checkers are poised to relo cate after this season, but East Coast League officials vow the league’s largest market will not go without hockey. Owners Ray Woolridge and George Shinn, who also are part owners of the city’s NBA and WNBA franchises, backed out of a five-year lease to play at Cricket Arena. The partners are posturing to relo cate all three teams, possibly to Norfolk, Va., or Louisville, Ky., after this season. The Checkers continue to draw well after nine seasons in the ECHL. Their home opener drew 7,407 and they had nine crowds of more than 6,000 last season–the most in four years. Greenville Grrrowl owner Carl Scheer told the Charlotte Observer he’d be interested in placing a team in Charlotte if the Checkers leave. CLEAN SLATE Former Ottawa 67’s…