In March, Devils wing Claude Lemieux asked general manager Lou
Lamoriello to add another skate-sharpening specialist to New
Jersey's equipment staff because Lemieux, acquired four months
earlier, wasn't happy with the way his blades were being cared
for. Lamoriello responded by hiring Rob McLean, who serviced
Lemieux's skates during the Avalanche's Cup-winning season of
1995-96. McLean has also begun sharpening the skates of wing
Speaking of Mogilny, he has spent a lot of time recently working
out and talking hockey with Vladimir Bure, the former Olympic
swimmer for the U.S.S.R. and the estranged father of stars Pavel
and Valeri. The elder Bure is a trainer who travels with the
Devils. When he's in New Jersey, Vladimir lives at the apartment
of rookie Scott Gomez, who has also come under his influence....
Colorado center Joe Sakic (left), who will be a restricted free
agent in July, wants to sign a long-term deal to remain with the
Avalanche. Colorado would like to get that done, but money
considerations may be a stumbling block. The Avalanche also
wants to retain unrestricted free-agent defenseman Raymond
Bourque, whom it obtained in March. Both players are expected to
command salaries in the $6 million to $8 million range....
If Mighty Ducks general manager Pierre Gauthier, who fired farm
team coach Moe Mantha last month, continues his organizational
shake-up (Anaheim was a disappointing 34-36-12-3 and failed to
qualify for the playoffs), it won't be surprising to see
assistant coaches George Burnett and Newell Brown let go. If
that happens, expect Burnett to become the coach of the Oshawa
Generals of the Ontario Hockey League and Brown to catch on with
the expansion Columbus Blue Jackets....
Senators goalie Tom Barrasso has put off some of his Ottawa
teammates with his attitude. Barrasso missed the final team
meeting after the Senators were eliminated last week.
COLOR PHOTO: DAVID E. KLUTHO