Don't be surprised if Maple Leafs director of player personnel
Nick Beverley, who has been with the club for five years, leaves
for a job with the Blackhawks. Chicago's manager of hockey
operations, Mike Smith, was associate G.M. for Toronto from 1997
through '99. Beverley has a keen eye for talent, and losing him
would be a blow to Toronto....
Expect the Red Wings to announce the re-signing of free agent
defenseman Larry Murphy, 39, and forward Brent Gilchrist, 33.
The two players give the team depth. Murphy, however, will not
play as much in 2000-01 as he did last year....
The Blue Jackets are expected to name 38-year-old Newell Brown
as associate coach. New head man Dave King coached Brown when he
played on the Canadian national team in 1986....
A sleeper to watch from last month's draft is goaltender Levente
Szuper, who was chosen by the Flames in the fourth round (116th
pick). Szuper, a native of Hungary, played junior hockey for the
Ottawa 67s, whose coach, Brian Kilrea, says Szuper is the best
netminder he has ever had....
One overlooked free agent who can help an NHL club is defenseman
Scott Lachance, the fourth player selected in the 1991 draft. He
played for the Canadiens last year and improved steadily,
becoming a solid defensive defenseman....
Brian McCutcheon was an excellent choice to succeed Mike Ramsey
as assistant coach in Buffalo. (Ramsey left to pursue a business
venture.) McCutcheon, who was the coach of the Sabres' farm team
in Rochester, N.Y., has had a big hand in developing many of the
young players now in Buffalo.