Publish date:

In The Crease

With free-agent center Sergei Fedorov telling the Red Wings last
week that he won't re-sign with them, expect Detroit to
aggressively fill a position that was already thin. Two centers
who may end up with the Red Wings are Joe Nieuwendyk, an
unrestricted free agent, and Doug Weight, who is making $8.5
million a year in St. Louis. Nieuwendyk, a fine two-way player,
would be a perfect fit in Detroit, where he would be reunited
with Brett Hull. (They played together in Dallas from 1998-99
through '00-01.) If Dominik Hasek unretires and goes back in net
for Detroit, as expected, the Red Wings likely could swing a
trade with the Blues, dealing goalie Curtis Joseph, who would
waive his no-trade clause to return to St. Louis, for Weight, who
was born in Warren, Mich.... Speaking of Fedorov, 33, don't be
surprised to see the Mighty Ducks pursue him. After losing wing
Paul Kariya to free agency, Anaheim has the means to sign a top
player. Also, general manager Bryan Murray has a good rapport
with Fedorov, whom he coached while with Detroit from '90-91
through '92-93.... With the Maple Leafs' front office in
flux--the team has new majority owners, and coach Pat Quinn is
expected to give up his G.M. duties--agents are complaining that
they don't know who to contact to shop their free agents.