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Pierre McGuire's In the Crease

Devils coach Brent Sutter says two players stand out as the hardest working he has coached: Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, whom Sutter had at the 2005 World Junior Championships, and New Jersey left wing Zach Parise. With a team-high 18 goals through Sunday, Parise (right) has become one of the league's top young players.... G.M.'s Scott Howson of the Blue Jackets and Dean Lombardi of the Kings understand what a good development opportunity the world juniors are. When the championships are played from Dec. 26 through Jan. 5 in Ottawa, Howson will let rookie Nikita Filatov play for Russia; Lombardi will send rookie Oscar Moller to play for Sweden. Losing those players may hurt Columbus and L.A. in the short term, but having them play against elite peers on such a big stage is a smart investment.