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May 9, 2003

May 9, 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.


A Roman adventure

Flyer fans, having finally had their prayers for a second round answered, can get off both knees up to one in tribute to Roman Cechmanek, who prefers to stop ‘em just that way. A full standup salute for a goalie who hates to stand up is not yet advised, the trickle of respect gained by this crooked-leg crook in 112 minutes of overtime against the Leafs still subject to change the next time one trickles off his pads and between his legs. In other words, yet to be convened is a convention of the lovers of an unconventional goalie, even with his baggage now Ceched from Flyer one-and-out debacles the last two springs. “I am so happy we won, so happy to get out of the first round,” said Roamin’ Roman after…


Minny Wild in name only

The archeologists who record the evolution of the Minnesota Wild from expansion punks to playoff studs will have plenty of cave writings to decipher. They will dust off nameplates some might remember, excavate relics from games few could forget and chronicle a mystical season in which an unlikely band of kids, castoffs and drifters jelled to make the playoffs, accomplishing in three years what only two other teams in the modern NHL had done. And they trumped that with a stunning first round upset of the Colorado Avalanche, rallying from a 3-1 deficit and winning the final two games in overtime. How exactly did the Wild, with their league-low $20.5-million payroll, no-name personality and well-versed five-year plan, make the playoffs in Year 3, ahead of expansion cousin Columbus and distant relatives in Atlanta…


Selanne will explore his options

Teemu Selanne declined an option to play in San Jose for $6.5 million next season, but hasn’t shut the door on a possible return. “He’s saying no thank you to the option, but not to the Sharks,” said Selanne’s agent Don Baizley. “We did discuss the fact no one is burning bridges.” The Sharks, who still own negotiating rights with the team’s leading goal-scorer each of the last two years until June 30, may be ready to move in another direction. “We have a number of options to look at and Teemu might be one of them,” said team president Greg Jamison. “But we need to go forward.” Jamison said he’d listen if Selanne wants to inquire before gaining unrestricted free agent status for the second straight July 1, but…



The Oklahoma City Blazers failed to reach the Central League’s Ray Miron President’s Cup final, so they’ll have to settle for a third consecutive attendance title. The Blazers “three-peated” as the top drawing team in the North American minor pros, averaging 8,988 fans a game, tops among 93 minor pro franchises. Oklahoma City edged the Manchester Monarchs of the American League by two fans per game. Oklahoma City has four attendance titles overall among North American minor pro teams and has never finished lower than seventh since the CHL’s revival in 1992.…