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October 26, 2002

October 26, 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.

IN THIS ISSUE

New upstart league has Wal-Mart design

TOP PLAYER 1. ZAC BOYER, RW Orlando 2. COREY SMITH, LW Macon 3. JOHN GURSKIS, C St. Petersburg TOP GOALTENDER 1. JEFF SAJALKO Jacksonville 2. FRED BEAUBIEN Knoxville 3. DAVID GOVERDE Orlando TOP DEFENSEMAN 1. CHRIS LIPUMA Orlando 2. CORY PETERSON Cape Fear 3. JACOUE RODRIGUE Knoxville To the champion of the new Atlantic Coast League goes…the Coffey Cup? The league has been so busy planning for its inaugural season, commissioner Jim Riggs said the grand prize has yet to be named. No reason to panic. Riggs, who served as vice-president/GM of the Central League’s Memphis RiverKings the past 10 years, has until April to name the award. Founder Bill Coffey, who helped start up the East Coast League in 1988 and owns the ACHL’s St. Petersburg Parrots, is the logical choice, if a corporate sponsor isn’t found. Coffey devised the blueprint for putting together a league that should become profitable at a time…

NHL TEAM REPORTS

McKay, Czerkawski hobbled by injuries

An injury to the left foot of Randy McKay means the Canadiens won’t start the new season off the right foot. The veteran 35-year-old right winger, signed as a free agent from Dallas, is expected to miss up to two weeks with a slight fracture in his left foot. McKay had been bothered since he was struck by a shot early in training camp. He suspected his foot was only bruised, but an MRI revealed the fracture. “We’re used to that in Montreal,” said coach Michel Therrien, whose team led the NHL in man-games lost to injury in two of the last three seasons. “It is frustrating, but what can you do?” McKay and newly acquired Mariusz Czerkawski were to be captain Saku Koivu’s linemates on the Canadiens’ top trio. McKay was replaced by…

NHL TEAM REPORTS

May injures shoulder in pre-season bout

I’ll be back.” I The Terminator promised it, and so does the Phoenix Coyotes’ version of mayhem, agitating left winger Brad May. The veteran grinder suffered muscle tears in and around the labrum in his left shoulder during a fight in a pre-season game, and will be lost up to three months after undergoing surgery Oct. 7 in Los Angeles. “I had the same thing happen to my right shoulder years ago and I came back from that one just fine,” May said. “I’ll come back from this one, too. I’m hoping to be back sooner, closer to two months, but I’ll be back.” May’s injury, accompanied with the revelation second-year center Krys Kolanos is suffering from post-concussive syndrome, forced Coyotes coach Bobby Francis to remix his third and fourth lines for the first…

DEPARTMENTS

Bonsignore caught in numbers game

Jason Bonsignore’s bid to earn a job with his hometown Rochester Americans failed, but that doesn’t mean his comeback is over. Bonsignore, 26, played very well in the Amerks’ training camp and in two pre-season games, but was released because no roster spots were available. Rochester GM Jody Gage encouraged the center to stay in the game, either with another American League team or in the East Coast League. Drafted fourth overall in 1994 by Edmonton, Bonsignore retired in January 2000 because of injuries and personal issues. He played just 79 NHL games, scoring three goals and 16 points for Edmonton and Tampa Bay. “I thought he proved he should make a comeback,” Gage said. “Hopefully, he proved to himself that he should stick with it.” The Buffalo Sabres stock Rochester and already had…