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Original Issue

In The Crease

Bruins center Joe Thornton, who was suspended for three games
last week for cross-checking the Hurricanes' Rod Brind'Amour in
the face, had been warned numerous times this season by members
of the NHL brass to drop his stick during confrontations. Team
Canada insiders say that Thornton's irresponsible use of his
stick was one of the reasons he didn't make the Olympic
team--Canadian officials were concerned he might take a bad
penalty at the wrong time.... Don't be surprised to see
41-year-old Dino Ciccarelli, who retired before 1999-2000 after
scoring 608 goals, back in the league this season. During the
Olympic break Ciccarelli skated with 10 Red Wings at informal
practices in Orlando with the Detroit staff looking on. Wings
coach Scotty Bowman says that Ciccarelli, who was slowed by a
back injury when he left the game, looked healthy. One team that
might be interested in signing him is the Rangers.... It's a
shame that Herb Brooks, who coached the U.S. to the 1980 Miracle
on Ice and then to a silver medal in Salt Lake City, doesn't
have a regular job with USA Hockey. Following the 2002 Games,
Brooks was back scouting for the Penguins instead of working to
build interest in the game in the U.S., which he is uniquely
qualified to do.... Remember the name Chris Bala. He was the
58th player selected in the 1998 draft by the Senators and has
been burning up the AHL recently as a rookie left wing with the
Grand Rapids Griffins (21 goals in 60 games through Sunday). The
6'1", 180-pound Bala, who graduated from Harvard, has fine speed
and is an excellent finisher.