Publish date:

In The Crease

If nothing else, the hiring of Brian Sutter as coach of the
Blackhawks will make Chicago a tougher team. Sutter, who was a
hard-nosed player, demands that his clubs play in-your-face
hockey (he previously coached the Blues for four seasons and the
Bruins and the Flames for three each), a quality the Hawks have
lacked in missing the playoffs for four straight years. Also,
expect Chicago to be active in the free-agent market, and don't
be surprised if it tries to acquire the Flames' Val Bure, who has
fallen out of favor in Calgary but scored a career-best 35 goals
playing for Sutter in 1999-2000....

The Canadiens are interested in obtaining former Coyotes forward
Robert Reichel, who played in the Czech Republic last season
after failing to come to contract terms with Phoenix. Forward
Mikael Renberg, whose rights are also owned by the Coyotes and
who played in Sweden last season for personal reasons, may also
be ready to return to the NHL. The Flyers and the Leafs are
interested in trading for his rights....

As the playoffs unfolded, here are the three best moves that
coaches made: 1) The decision of the Leafs' Pat Quinn to move
checking center Shayne Corson opposite the Devils' Scott Gomez
after Game 3 of the New Jersey-Toronto series. Corson
immediately shut down Gomez, who had had four points in the
first three matches. 2) The pushing by the Sabres' Lindy Ruff of
his penalty killers to pressure the Penguins' point men, leading
to two shorthanded goals. 3) The matching by the Kings' Andy
Murray of defensemen Aaron Miller and Mattias Norstrom against
Avalanche center Peter Forsberg following Game 4. The duo kept
Forsberg, who had been dominant, scoreless in Games 5 and 6.