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Original Issue

In the Crease

Giving Sergei Fedorov an offer sheet was a mistake by the
Hurricanes, who should have known that the Red Wings would match
the $38 million deal. The bid for Fedorov, which did nothing but
drive up the price of doing business in the NHL, was the latest
in a series of missteps by the club since Peter Karmanos bought
it 3 1/2 years ago. In August 1994 the organization, then the
Hartford Whalers, signed restricted free-agent wing Steven Rice
but lost a better player, defenseman Bryan Marchment, as
compensation. That month the franchise acquired mediocre
defenseman Glen Wesley from the Bruins for three first-round
draft picks. That trade netted Boston solid defenseman Kyle
McLaren, promising backliner Johnathan Aitken and rookie
sensation Sergei Samsonov, a forward. Finally the club relocated
to Carolina, where it's drawing a little better than half as
many fans as it was in Hartford. Despite their lack of success
in the free-agent market, look for the Hurricanes to try again
this summer. Their target is Stars restricted free-agent center
Mike Modano, who played youth hockey in a system sponsored by
Compuware, which is owned by Karmanos....

Good week in commissions for Mike Barnett, Fedorov's agent. He
also got the Maple Leafs to pony up $22.8 million over four
years for center Mats Sundin....

Why has Penguins' goalie Tom Barrasso been so consistent this
year? He's finally healthy. Since 1988-89 Barrasso has battled
painful shoulder ailments that would not allow him to lift
weights. Now, after surgery last January, he's stronger than
ever and has the best goals-against average (2.14) of his

A key line for the Olympic gold-medal-winning Czechs was made up
of Robert Lang, Robert Reichel and Martin Rucinsky. Those three
were linemates for six years in Litvinov when they played in a
special sports school....

Barry Smith, the associate coach of the Red Wings, has been
credited with bringing the left wing lock to the NHL. He has
also been on the coaching staff of three Cup champions and
guided a club team in Sweden. He deserves a chance to be a head
man in the NHL.

Pierre McGuire coached the Hartford Whalers in 1993-94.