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June 27, 2003

June 27, 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

Six straight playoff absences bad news for Blueshirts

When a team holds its breakup day before the playoffs begin, it isn’t good. When it happens sixth times in a row, it is very bad. Or, as defined by Glen Sather, now 0-for-3 as Rangers GM: “In hockey there are two things: winning and misery. Right now, there’s a lot of misery.” REGULAR SEASON GRADES A Mike Dunham, G. Kept team in playoff race. A- Brian Leetch, D. Final six weeks after injury were great. A- Matt Barnaby, LW. Went above and beyond grinder duties. B+ Petr Nedved, C. Solid bounce-back season. B- Boris Mironov, D. Made an effort to repair reputation. B- Mark Messier, C. Good production, but played far too many minutes. B- Dale Purinton, D. Made a lot of progress. C+ Bobby Holik, C. Somehow never given checking center role. C+ Alexei Kovalev, RW. Played out of…

IN THIS ISSUE

SCOREBOARD

QUEBEC LEAGUE Listed below are the results of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft conducted June 7 in Val-d’Or. Players are listed with height, weight, position and 2002-03 team. Players bom in 1987 and after were eligible. ROUND ONE 1. Rimouski Sidney Crosby, C, 5’10 175, Shatttuck St. Mary’s Prep School; 2. Drummondville Guillaume Latendresse, W, 6’1 211, Riverains C. Charles-Lemoyne Midget; 3. Val-d’Or Luc Bourdon, D, 6’1 180, Miramichi Rivermen Midget; 4. Chicoutimi Romy Elayoubi, W, 5’10 176, Elites de Jonquiere Midget; 5. Shawinigan Jean-Philippe Paquet, D, 6’2 189, Commandeurs de Levis Midget; 6. Rouyn-Noranda Jean-Philippe Levasseur, G, 6’0 182, Cantonniers de Magog Midget; 7. Prince Edward Island Ryan Mior, G, 6’1 168, Pembrooke Lumber Kings Jr. A; 8. Lewiston Marc-Andre Cliche, W, 5’11 160, Forestiers d’Amos Midget; 9. Victoriaville Francis…

NHL TEAM REPORTS

Sniff at post-season whets Freds’ appetite

A 10-2-2-1 stretch in February-March affirmed management’s belief this team can compete for the playoffs and had the Predators three points out of eighth place with 18 games left in the year. There also was the 2-10-4-4 start and a 0-10-3-2 finish, which meant a franchise-worst 27 victories for the season. REGULAR SEASON GRADES A Tomas Vbkoun, G. Was in top 10 in games, GAA, save percentage. A- David Legwand, C. Displayed ability to dominate games. A- Jason York, D. Set new franchise record at plus-13. B+ Adam Hall, RW. Led all NHL rookies with eight power play goals. B+ Andreas Johansson, LW. Had team-high 20 goals in 56 games. B+ Kimmo Timonen, D. Scored 28 of his 40 points on the power play. B Rem Murray, C. Provided much-needed versatility, stability. B Vladimir Orszagh, RW. Strong second half despite…

IN THIS ISSUE

Habs, Isles on different paths

Though not exactly rivals of Hatfield-McCoy stature, the Canadiens and Islanders are nevertheless linked by their similar post-expansion storylines: glory franchises of the late 1970s and early 1980s, winners of eight straight Cups between them, turned into modern-day middlepackers in the Eastern Conference soup. So you can understand that when Montreal announced ex-Habs captain Bob Gainey had returned to assume the GM post, the Isles needed to respond the very next day. GM PULLS OUT BAG OF TRICKS New York GM Mike Milbury pondered his options. As satisfying as it would have been to trade Mariusz Czerkawski again, getting him back first would be a tough sell. Perhaps he considered dealing Rick DiPietro and drafting Marc-Andre Fleury before being overcome by a disconcerting deja vu. It had to be dramatic. Something daring. Something…difficult.…