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January 27, 2004

January 27, 2004

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

Special teams not all that special as Oilers try to put power in play

Halfway through the season, special teams remain a disaster for the Edmonton Oilers. Their penalty killing has been 30th in the league all season and their power play was floundering between 29th and 30th as of mid-January. They went an entire six-game road trip (a swing that included an overtime loss and two one-goal losses) without a single power play goal in 21 opportunities. In 14 games between Dec. 12 and Jan. 11, they scored all of two power play goals. “We have the personnel,” said left winger Ryan Smyth. “We just can’t seem to get it together. We’re not getting the job done.” And they’re not sure why. “Everybody is kind of in the same boat - we don’t know,” said center Mike York. “I think we’ve pretty much critiqued it every…

DEPARTMENTS

Colaiacovo enjoying smooth transition

He was an NHLer for the first month of the 2002-03 season, a 19-year-old who earned a spot on the Toronto Maple Leafs blueline with an impressive training camp. But when the 2003-04 season began, Carlo Colaiacovo wasn’t back in Toronto. He was instead in St. John’s, Nfld., wearing the sweater of the Baby Leafs. This time, the Maple Leafs didn’t have room on defense and decided the development of their highly touted prospect would be best served with an American League apprenticeship. After four seasons with Erie in the Ontario League - he was an OHL all-star the past two years - many thought Colaiacovo was earmarked for Toronto. He was the No. 13-rated prospect in Future Watch 2003. Colaiacovo never complained about being sent to St. John’s, though. He has simply…

NHL TEAM REPORTS

Souray for Norris Trophy? Six-point game is a gem

Although he recorded a six-point game against Pittsburgh - breaking the Montreal team record for points by a defense-man - Sheldon Souray is laughing off talk of him capturing the Norris Trophy this season. “The only Norris I know is Chuck,” he quipped. Souray, 27, continues weaving an incredible tale. His comeback from four career-threatening wrist operations, which cost him half of 2001-02 and all of last season, would have sufficed. Souray is second on the Canadiens with 32 points in 46 games. He has 14 goals, one behind the team lead held by Richard Zednik. His career best is three goals and 11 points in 52 games for Montreal in 2000-01. The last time Souray scored as many as 15 goals, he was a 14-year-old bantam in Bonnyville, Alta. Souray scored once…

DEPARTMENTS

Vanbiesbrouck sale closes sad chapter

A regrettable episode in the history of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds ended when John Vanbiesbrouck agreed to sell his 25 per-cent share in the Ontario League team. Vanbiesbrouck resigned last March as coach-GM after uttering a racial slur against team captain Trevor Daley, who is black. At the time, Vanbiesbrouck told OHL governors he would sell his share, but that dragged on to the point that it was troubling commissioner David Branch. Vanbiesbrouck finally sold his share Jan. 9. “This whole situation has been such a bad-news story,” Branch said. “There’s nothing good about it and I think everyone on all sides will be pleased things are moving forward.” Former team president Sam Biasucci also sold his 25 per-cent share. He had accompanied Vanbiesbrouck to some of the players’ homes the night the racial…