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Original Issue

In The Crease

While rumors of former Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman's coming
out of retirement to go behind the Rangers' bench are false,
don't be surprised if his longtime assistant Barry Smith
finally gets a chance to be a head coach next season. Smith,
52, a Red Wings assistant for the last 10 years, is in the
running for the vacant Pittsburgh job. He is an excellent
teacher and would be a good fit with the young Penguins.... USA
Hockey hit a low point last week when the U.S. team it sent to
the world championships lost 5-2 to Denmark (above) and 1-0 to
Switzerland. (The Danes hadn't played in the worlds since 1949,
when they got embarrassed by Canada 47-0.) Many outsiders feel
the organization's dysfunctional management--which had
difficulty persuading top U.S. pro players to join this year's
team and has sent underachieving squads to previous worlds and
world junior tournaments--is the reason for the program's
slide.... Last week Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock complained about
how easily the fashionable one-piece carbon fiber sticks break.
Some players around the league, notably penalty killers who
can't afford to be left shorthanded by broken sticks, have
switched to more reliable wood.