The latest strategy of Bob Goodenow, the head of the NHL
Players' Association, is to make copies of all sound bites and
newspaper clippings in which league executives talk about the
strong financial state of the NHL. The players' association then
distributes these to agents, who use them when negotiating
deals. General managers, who have been telling agents that
budgets are tight and that there isn't that much money available
for player contracts, will be in for a long summer....
Some things you should know following the Senators' shocking
sweep by the Sabres in the first round of the playoffs: First,
Ottawa lacks leadership. The Senators didn't re-sign former
captain Randy Cunneyworth after last season and gave the
leadership role to star center Alexei Yashin, who didn't handle
it well. Yashin not only failed to score a point against Buffalo
but also took some foolish penalties. Second, look for Ottawa,
which rotated competent goaltenders Damian Rhodes and Ron
Tugnutt this season, to seek a bona fide No. 1 netminder in the
off-season. Third, with 12 Senators becoming free agents this
summer, expect a big personnel shake-up....
One Ottawa player who did perform up to his potential was
forward Shawn McEachern. He showed grit and speed throughout the
series against the Sabres despite playing with a torn abdominal
muscle. He will undergo surgery this week to repair the injury,
which began plaguing him at midseason....
The NHL is losing a key behind-the-scenes administrator in Garry
Lovegrove, the league's managing director of central registry,
who's quitting after the entry draft in June. Lovegrove, who has
been with the NHL for 33 years, knows the ins and outs of
waivers and league bylaws better than anybody. With three
expansion clubs entering the NHL in the next two years, it
wouldn't be surprising to see him end up in a team front office.