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Original Issue

In The Crease

The tension between Panthers G.M. Rick Dudley and coach Mike
Keenan is coming to a head. On March 6 Dudley fired Keenan's
assistant coach Paul Baxter, replacing him with John Torchetti, a
Dudley loyalist. For two weeks Dudley refused to allow Keenan on
the ice during practices, and it appears that Florida management
is hoping Keenan quits.... Several NHL general managers were
surprised last week when Sharks president Greg Jamison canned
G.M. Dean Lombardi. San Jose was a disappointing 26-33-6-7 at the
time of the move, but Jamison had put Lombardi in a no-win
position before the season by ordering the G.M. to take a hard
line with holdout goalie Evgeni Nabokov (right). The netminder
was offered a relatively puny $2.5 million per year, $1 million
less than he signed for three weeks into the season. By then he
was far from being in game shape and the Sharks were already