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Original Issue

In The Crease

Blue Jackets general manager Doug MacLean has rejected numerous
trade offers for solid netminder Ron Tugnutt and goal-scoring
forward Geoff Sanderson. Both players have had stellar seasons,
and MacLean sees them as building blocks for expansion

The league-leading Avalanche's hopes for the Stanley Cup could
be hurt by poor penalty killing (22nd in the league at week's
end). Colorado needs to close down the spacing between the
forwards and the defensemen because opponents are too easily
passing the puck through the box and thereby changing the point
of attack...

The three-year, $9 million contract that wing Steve Sullivan
signed with the Blackhawks last week will make it virtually
impossible for the Sabres to come to terms with restricted free
agent center Michael Peca, who hasn't played all season.
Buffalo's latest offer to Peca, the Sabres' captain, was for
$11.4 million over four seasons. While Sullivan has turned into
a solid scorer (28 goals), Peca is a better all-around player...

It's commendable to be loyal, but new Islanders co-owner Charles
Wang owes New York's fans an apology for saying they should not
attend games if they don't embrace G.M. Mike Milbury, whom Wang
has given a vote of confidence. Islander fans have been
e-mailing Wang to fire Milbury, who has had his job since 1995
but has yet to get the Islanders into the playoffs...

By far the best face-off man in the league is the Capitals' Adam
Oates. In a 15-second span against the Canucks last week, Oates
won three draws from three players; each of the three led to a
shot on goal...

Think goaltender Felix Potvin has any regrets? In August he
rejected a three-year, $9 million extension from Vancouver, and
after a poor first half (3.08 goals-against average), Potvin,
who's making $2.7 million, was traded to the Kings last week.
Unless his play turns around dramatically, he may be lucky to
earn $750,000 per year when his contract runs out following this