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June 28, 2002

June 28, 2002

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.

TEAM REPORTS

Stirring playoff run raises expectations

The best is yet to come. That’s the feeling of Montreal Canadiens players and management as they enter the off-season - and with good reason. Despite suffering a rash of injuries, including abdominal cancer that side-lined captain Saku Koivu for all but the final three regular season games, the Canadiens made the playoffs for the first time in four years and upset Boston in the opening round before being eliminated by Carolina. The franchise believes it can take another step next season and go deeper into the playoffs. THREE BURNING QUESTIONS 1. Can Jose Theodore be resigned and at what cost? Theodore, a potential restricted free agent, has the organization over a barrel. He was the team’s most valuable player and the main reason why Montreal qualified for the playoffs. He earned $1.6 million…

TEAM REPORTS

There’s silver lining to Stanley Cup loss

The Carolina Hurricanes’s run to the Stanley Cup final may not have ended the way they wanted, but it offered a great deal of promise for the future, both in the success of the team’s young players and the franchise’s foothold in Raleigh. The critical factor will be the continued improvement of young players such as Erik Cole, Josef Vasicek and Jaroslav Svoboda as they are given bigger roles. THREE BURNING QUESTIONS 1. Will Ron Francis be back? It appears so. Shortly after the Game 5 loss to Detroit, Francis said he hoped to sign another contract with the Canes. The 39-year-old captain had his best season of his four in Carolina, leading the team, on and off the ice, all the way to the final. 2. How good can Cole and Svoboda be?…

DEPARTMENTS

NHLPA files grievance on tax

The NHL Players’ Association has filed a grievance over Alberta’s plan to impose a tax on money earned for games in Edmonton and Calgary. The NHLPA claims the tax contravenes the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and its players. The Alberta government, at the request of the Oilers and Flames, tabled a controversial players’ tax in its provincial budget last March. The tax, which is to begin in 2002-03, would be assessed against players on game days in Edmonton and Calgary. If the tax is quashed, it would cost the Flames and Oilers about $3 million (Cdn.) each per season. The NHLPA has no problem with a visiting player being taxed in other centers - common for athletes who perform in the U.S. - because the player is then taxed less in his…

STATS

2002 NHL PLAYOFF STATISTICS