Publish date:

In The Crease

Several NHL scouts who recently returned from Europe are raving
about 17-year-old right wing Marian Gaborik of Trencin, a club
team in Slovakia. The 6'1", 183-pound Gaborik is an explosive
offensive force who has a good chance to be the No. 1 pick in
the June entry draft....

Coaches around the league were furious--and talking
union--because the NHL fined Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman
$1,000 for shoving a TV cameraman at Tampa Bay's Ice Palace on
Nov. 7, but did not sanction Detroit players Steve Yzerman and
Martin Lapointe who were involved in a similar incident during
that game....

The Sharks are off to the best start in franchise history
(13-9-3 through Sunday), despite the absence of their top
defensive tandem, Marcus Ragnarsson and Mike Rathje, who have
been out with injuries since Oct. 19 and Nov. 3, respectively.
Ragnarsson, who suffered a hairline fracture of his right
instep, and Rathje (strained groin) are day-to-day. Expect San
Jose to be an even bigger force when those two return to the

The Lightning, the NHL's worst club the last two years, is a
nightmare to play against this season. Tampa Bay, which used to
be a soft team, has added gritty players like forward Steve
Martins and Bruce Gardiner. Credit tough new general manager
Rick Dudley for the Lightning's turnaround (7-11-1 through

If the NHL is serious about cleaning up the game, it should have
the victim of a cheap shot testify at a suspension hearing;
currently only league disciplinarian Colin Campbell, the
offending player, his general manager and the game official
attend those meetings. A face-to-face encounter might get the
offenders to understand the suffering they've caused....

When Brett Hull of the Stars and Vincent Lecavalier of the
Lightning changed uniform numbers in late summer, they caused a
headache for retailers, who were stuck with thousands of dollars
in unwanted and out-of-date merchandise.