One reason the Blues were leading the league in goals at week's
end, despite the loss of center Pierre Turgeon and right wings
Brett Hull and Joe Murphy for long stretches this season, is
that they have very quick forwards. The speed allows them to
generate scoring chances off the rush, something that is
important in the free-flowing Western Conference.... A name to
watch for St. Louis: Michal Handzus, a 6'5", 202-pound center,
who is flourishing with the Worcester IceCats of the American
Hockey League. He's being likened to a young Ron Francis, and
general managers around the league are constantly trying to pry
him from the Blues.... The slumping Coyotes (0-7-2 in their last
nine games through Sunday), who made a four-player trade last
week, may not be finished dealing. General manager Bobby Smith
has talked with teams about a swap for Phoenix center Jeremy
Roenick. One of those clubs that rejected him was the Kings....
Flyers director of player personnel Paul Holmgren had a hand in
last week's acquisition of goalie Sean Burke from the Canucks
for netminder Garth Snow. When Holmgren coached Burke in
Hartford in the mid-1990s, he called him MT--for Meal Ticket....
Three players who may be traded soon: centers Joe Juneau of the
Capitals and Andrew Cassels of the Flames, and defenseman Igor
Kravchuk of the Senators. The Canadiens are interested in
Juneau, who could provide some spark for their offense, and
Cassels, who is an adept playmaker. The Blues and the Sabres are
also interested in Cassels. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks, Canucks
and Red Wings are talking to Ottawa about Kravchuk, a solid
all-around backliner who will be an unrestricted free agent
after the season.... Stars goaltender Ed Belfour, who was second
in the league in goals-against average (1.88), gets lots of
support. He has faced 20 or fewer shots 17 times this season.
Pierre McGuire coached the Hartford Whalers in 1993-94.