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Original Issue

In the Crease

The league is setting up a panel to examine what seems to be a
rising number of head injuries, though no official stats have
been kept. The panel will be made up of medical and hockey
professionals, including at least one NHL coach. One reason the
panel will include a coach may be the formation last month of
the NHL Coaches' Association, a group that wants the league to
treat coaches with greater respect....

Free-agent forward Ted Donato is attractive to numerous teams
because of his speed and hockey sense. After watching the Devils
skate rings around the Stars in the Stanley Cup finals, clubs
are beginning to put more of a premium on speed....

Hiring Andre Savard as director of hockey personnel was a major
step forward by the Canadiens. Savard, who was an assistant
coach with the Senators last season, will help Montreal
cultivate prospects, an area in which the organization has
slipped dramatically over the last 10 years....

In late August, Russian president Vladimir Putin will preside
over ceremonies in Moscow honoring New Jersey assistant coach
Slava Fetisov. Don't be surprised if Fetisov becomes the next
European-born NHL head coach....

Has any team had a worse off-season than the Hurricanes? Since
June, Carolina has lost seven regulars, including defenseman
Paul Coffey and forward Gary Roberts, to either free agency,
trades or the expansion draft. The Hurricanes, who missed the
playoffs last season, could be in big trouble in 2000-01.