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Original Issue

In The Crease

Don't be surprised if the Flyers sign at least two high-profile
free agents this summer. Expect Philadelphia to make a big pitch
for centers Joe Sakic and Jeremy Roenick as well as defenseman
Rob Blake. In addition the Flyers will try hard to re-sign their
own coveted free agent, left wing John LeClair....

Because of the animosity between commissioner Gary Bettman and
NHL Players' Association chief Bob Goodenow, Larry Kelly, a
prominent agent, is leading a movement to get Penguins
owner-player Mario Lemieux and Coyotes owner Wayne Gretzky
deeply involved on the management side in the upcoming
negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement. The
current CBA expires following the 2003-04 season....

NHL coaches are insulted that the Jack Adams Award winner
receives only $1,000 in addition to the hardware. The cash award
for being named coach of the year comes up far short of the loot
for the players' top honor: The Hart Trophy winner gets $10,000,
with the runner-up receiving $6,000 and the third-place finisher
$4,000. The NHL Broadcasters' Association determines payment for
the coaches' award, while the league is responsible for the
money for the other honors....

The contract of Maple Leafs goalie Curtis Joseph expires after
next season, and Joseph's agent, Don Meehan, will use an unusual
comparison in negotiations. In making his case for Joseph's
value, Meehan will compare him as a team centerpiece with
another Toronto franchise player--Raptors forward Vince Carter....

Forward Zdeno Ciger, who has not played an NHL game in five
years, is being recruited by Wild general manager Doug
Risebrough. Ciger, 31, scored 82 goals in 296 NHL games before
leaving to play for Bratislava in his native Slovakia.