Publish date:

In The Crease

Is 19-year-old rookie goaltender Rick DiPietro the latest young
Islander to enter general manager Mike Milbury's doghouse?
Milbury, who in recent years traded high first-round picks such
as defensemen Wade Redden, Bryan Berard and Eric Brewer, forward
J.P. Dumont and netminder Roberto Luongo, ripped DiPietro behind
closed doors two weeks ago for his play in a 6-4 loss to the
rival Rangers. After that dressing-down DiPietro didn't start
the next two games...

Don't expect Jeremy Roenick of the Coyotes and Tony Amonte of
the Blackhawks to be back with their teams next season. Roenick,
who'll be an unrestricted free agent this summer, disappointed
Phoenix by scoring one goal in 13 games down the stretch after
the trade of captain Keith Tkachuk. Amonte, who will earn $3.4
million next season, the final year of his contract, has high
trade value. Chicago could obtain a number of young, inexpensive
players for him...

The expansion Wild, which sold out every home game, has been a
merchandising success as well. Minnesota jerseys were the No. 1
seller among NHL teams, and the Wild's merchandise sales ($4
million-plus) ranked second to those of the Red Wings, an
Original Six team...

The league was smart to assign two outstanding supervisors, Ron
Ego and Claude Loiselle, to work the Flyers-Sabres playoff
matchup. The teams don't like each other, and the series
promised to be mean-spirited...

Scout turned agent Matt Keator, formerly on the Blues' staff, is
making a name for himself among players from Slovakia. Keator
recently added Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara to his stable of
Slovaks, which also includes Michal Handzus and Ladislav Nagy of
the Coyotes.