The league is considering the use of protective netting above the
plexiglass in the end zones of arenas to help reduce the number
of fans injured by flying pucks. (The netting is used in most
European professional leagues.) The Kings recently settled a
multimillion-dollar lawsuit with a fan who was struck by a puck
earlier this season....
The Devils made a smart--though largely overlooked--move last
week in acquiring face-off specialist Bob Corkum from the Kings
for a conditional draft choice. New Jersey, which was 20th in
the league in draws through Sunday, inexpensively upgraded a
vital area. Corkum had won 53.6% of his face-offs this season....
Many players use the excuse that wearing a visor hurts their
performance because it reduces peripheral vision, but a look at
the NHL points leaders disputes that claim. Four of the top five
and 17 of the top 25 wear eyeshields....
Now that the Mighty Ducks have slashed their payroll by trading
star Teemu Selanne ($8 million per season) and waiving
disappointing goaltender Guy Hebert ($3.6 million), don't be
surprised if they're active in the free-agent market next
summer. One of the first things Anaheim may do is sign Yanic
Perreault, now of the Maple Leafs, who successfully centered a
line with Paul Kariya and the recently acquired Jeff Friesen at
the 1996 World Championships....
The hot new piece of equipment is the one-piece Synergy stick,
which is made of carbon graphite and adds velocity to shots.
Unlike a wood stick, the Synergy stick doesn't retain water,
thus remaining light, and the blade is computer-designed for
each player so it doesn't need to be manually adjusted. Nine
Senators, including high-scoring forwards Marian Hossa and Shawn
McEachern, each of whom is having the best year of his career,
have been using the stick since the beginning of the season.