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April 4, 2003

April 4, 2003

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

White-hot Nolan proving value to Leats

Only half the players the Maple Leafs acquired in the week leading up to the trade deadline were actually in the lineup, but Owen Nolan was doing more than enough to make up for the losses. Nolan, the crown jewel of the Leafs’ acquisitions at the deadline, was finding a new lease on his hockey life in Toronto. In five games after coming over from San Jose, Nolan had five goals and seven points and gave the team a viable offensive option on both the second line and second power play unit. “It’s a different attitude here than it was in San Jose,” Nolan said. “Guys are upbeat and they’ve got that cocky attitude that they’re going to win every game and it makes it a lot easier to play.” The developments weren’t…

DEPARTMENTS

TWO MINUTES IN THE BOX

OTTAWA SENATORS POS. Left Wing AGE 31 BIRTHPLACE Toledo, Ohio BRYAN SMOLINSKI Start the clock… All-time favorite movie? “Brians Song- the one with Billy Dee Williams, not that brutal remake.” What was your first job? “I was a gravedigger. The worst thing I had to do was open up a casket and take a ring off somebody’s finger. But it wasn’t as bad as you’d imagine.” Hobbies? “I’m a big car buff. I own a ‘68 Chevy Camaro and a ‘67 Chevelle.” Favorite sports cliche? “‘We can’t worry about what happened tonight; we just need to move on and give it our all tomorrow.’ We used that one a lot this year in Los Angeles.” If you weren’t in the NHL, what would you be doing now? “Still looking for work.” Which team has the ugliest third jerseys in the league? “The Islanders. They look…

NHL TEAM REPORTS

Flames trade debacle forces McAmmond out

Dean McAmmond’s elation over returning to Calgary has become disappointment. McAmmond was re-acquired by the Flames from Colorado on trade deadline day and expected to be reunited with Jarome Iginla and Craig Conroy. That plan was derailed by the collective bargaining agreement. As a result, the left winger, who set career numbers with Calgary last season, is ineligible for the remainder of the year. He’ll receive the balance of his $1.4 million (U.S.) salary. “1 don’t think it’s justice at all. That I’m in Calgary is the only thing I’m happy about,” he said. Players dealt within four weeks prior to the pre-season waiver draft can’t be traded back to their original team in the ensuing season. McAmmond was traded to Colorado with Derek Morris and Jeff Shantz for Chris Drury and Stephane Yelle three…

NHL TEAM REPORTS

Avs’ top lines are fine; third line needs tweaking

The Avalanche’s opening lines are as good as the smoothest of pickup artists in a crowded bar. Peter Forsberg, Milan Hejduk, Joe Sakic and Alex Tanguay help form quite an imposing top two trios, but when it comes to getting offense from the third and fourth lines, the Avs are severely lacking. Entering the final three weeks of the season, the Avs featured a third line of Serge Aubin, Riku Hahl and Dan Hinote. In a combined 136 games, those three players had combined for only 18 points-by far the worst points-per-game average of any third line in the NHL to that point. The third line’s makeup has changed over the season, but even if you add the numbers of depth forwards Eric Messier, Scott Parker, Mike Keane, Jeff Shantz and Brian Willsie,…