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Original Issue

In the Crease

There's no shortage of suitors for 21-year-old defenseman Mike
Van Ryn, who was declared an unrestricted free agent by an
arbitrator last week. Don't be surprised if Van Ryn, who was
drafted by the Devils two years ago but failed to sign a pro
contract, considers playing for the Blues. St. Louis needs
another defenseman, and Van Ryn might want to learn beside
Norris Trophy winners Chris Pronger and Al MacInnis....

The Bruins have been showing a lot of faith in European scout
Svenake Svensson. As part of the March 6 deal that sent Raymond
Bourque to the Avalanche, Boston asked for and received Swedish
forward prospect Samual Pahlsson. Then, in the first round of
the draft last Saturday, the Bruins chose two Swedish-born
players, defenseman Lars Jonsson (No. 7 pick) and forward Martin
Samuelsson (No. 27)....

The Stars' 36-year-old center, Brian Skrudland, who was injured
most of last season, may retire and take a front-office position
with the Flames....

The Oilers are counting on assistant coach Ted Green, a former
NHL defenseman, to help Eric Brewer become the player he was
expected to be when the Islanders drafted him fifth overall in
1997. Brewer, who was in and out of the New York lineup the last
two seasons before being acquired by Edmonton on Saturday, needs
confidence and must learn the fundamentals of playing defense.