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Original Issue

In The Crease

Despite not having one player under contract, the expansion
Minnesota Wild, who will join the league in 2000-01, already
ranks in the top half among NHL teams in merchandise sales.
Minnesota also has deposits for more than 12,000 season-ticket
packages, due in large part to an extensive grass-roots campaign
led by former North Stars standout Neal Broten, a Minnesota
native and now a consultant with the Wild. On the hockey side
Minnesota has whittled its list of general manager candidates to
three: Les Jackson, assistant general manager of the Thrashers;
David McNab, assistant general manager of the Mighty Ducks; and
Pierre Page, former coach of Anaheim....

With the Avalanche ownership in flux--Ascent Communications,
which had agreed to sell the team to the Laurie family, may be
forced to renege on the deal because of shareholder
opposition--Colorado is in for a tumultuous summer. General
manager Pierre Lacroix, who has six unrestricted free agents,
doesn't know whom to report to and isn't sure who will authorize
a budget....

Hurricane center Keith Primeau, a restricted free agent who had
30 goals in '98-99, was offered a long-term deal worth $4
million a year by Carolina. Primeau rejected that offer and said
he won't sign for less than $6 million a season. Hurricane
general manager Jim Rutherford has told other G.M.'s that he'll
trade Primeau before he pays him that kind of money....

Look for the Red Wings to try to sign one of two free-agent
goalies, Manny Legace or Steve Passmore, as their third-string