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September 14, 2004

September 14, 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

Kovalev liking idea of returning to Habs

With the start of training camp days away and no contract offers on the horizon, Alex Kovalev appears to be growing antsy. The unrestricted free agent now says he wants to play for the Canadiens, who acquired him last season in a trade from the Rangers. Coincidentally, the left winger was quoted in a Pittsburgh newspaper this summer saying he was unhappy in coach Claude Julien’s defensive system. “I don’t know where that story came from,” he said. “I never had any problem with the coach. I had some meetings with him to explain what kind of player I am. There were some adjustments that had to be made and he had to learn what my game was about. But I think we had things going in the playoffs.” Kovalev was held to…

NHL TEAM REPORTS

Deals for draft picks high on ’to-do’ list

As they headed into a rookie tournament against the Kings, Coyotes and Sharks, the Mighty Ducks were negotiating contracts with 2003 first round draft selection Ryan Getzlaf and center Tim Brent, a 2002 second round pick whom the club selected again in the third round this year. Getzlaf made a strong bid for a roster spot in training camp last year, being sent back to Calgary of the Western League in Anaheim’s final set of roster moves. While the center could return to the Hitmen yet again, Brent is ready to begin his pro career after having played four seasons with Toronto-St. Michael’s of the Ontario League. “The intention is to have them signed,” said Ducks interim GM Al Coates. Anaheim is likely to take more of a waitand-see approach with its second 2003…

DEPARTMENTS

Don’t believe all you hear in owners’ lockout rage

The Hockey News FROM THE EDITORS Arecent report out of Toronto suggested that if the NHL and NHL Players’ Association don’t get a new collective bargaining agreement soon, owners would be prepared to disband the NHL and start up a new league as soon as the beginning of January. The lockout hasn’t even started yet and already fans are getting subjected to off-the-cuff, quickfix-it schemes from unnamed sources. We’re not disputing the source’s existence, just its credibility. The story brings to mind Chris Chelios’s threat against Gary Bettman and his family during the labor dispute in 1994. What’s the connection? Just that clear thinking and common sense are the first casualties of labor war. Look, we understand everyone is frustrated at the likelihood that NHL training camps will not open on time and that…

NHL TEAM REPORTS

Cajanek’s Blues role about to get bigger?

Aquiet Czech who has clung to his countrymen since coming to the NHL two seasons ago, Blues center Petr Cajanek will be given his best chance to spread his wings this season. In doing so, he might just cushion the Blues’ dearth of proven scoring wingers. With Pavol Demitra let loose to unrestricted free agency and unlikely to return, Cajanek is the Blues’ best bet to ascend to the scoring-line slot. Doug Weight and Keith Tkachuk have fizzled as a combo in the past, so Cajanek could get coveted time with Tkachuk. That could mean more points but guarantees more pressure. “I think he views it as an opportunity for more quality ice time,” said Cajanek’s agent, Mark Stowe. “I think he’s ready now to have a bigger role with this team.” Cajanek…