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Original Issue

In The Crease

How did the Capitals obtain top goaltending prospect Maxime
Ouellet and three high draft picks, including a first-rounder,
from the Flyers for 39-year-old center and free-agent-to-be Adam
Oates? Washington general manager George McPhee successfully
created a bidding war among the Flyers, Avalanche, Sharks and
Stars. McPhee also got lucky: The night before the March 19
trading deadline two Philadelphia centers, Jeremy Roenick and
Keith Primeau, went down with injuries. The Flyers were able to
trade Ouellet and the picks because Philadelphia has two other
outstanding netminding prospects, Roman Malek of the Czech
Republic and Antero Niittymaki of Finland, and had collected 11
selections in the 2002 draft.... Some Blues players were
grumbling following the trade deadline because St. Louis hadn't
made any significant deals. (In their only swap the Blues
acquired veteran center Ray Ferraro, who had eight goals with
the Thrashers this season.) With top center Doug Weight perhaps
out for the season with a second-degree sprain of his right MCL
and St. Louis barely hanging on to a playoff berth, the players
were expecting more reinforcements.... Canadiens goaltender Jose
Theodore hasn't often been mentioned as a Hart Trophy candidate,
but he should be. Theodore (23-22-10 with a 2.24 goals-against
average and a .927 save percentage) has kept undermanned
Montreal, which was 29-28-12-3 through Sunday and held the final
playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, in most games. In the 53
matches he'd started, the Canadiens had been outshot in 43 of