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NHL: April 18, 2007

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It's time for the Devils GM with the itchy firing finger to put up, or apologize to Claude Julien. It's time for Lou Lamoriello to do the coaching he appointed himself to do. One option would be to break up the Devils' top line and paste Patrik Elias on Vincent Lecavalier, and perhaps sic John Madden on Martin St. Louis, moving Jay Pandolfo alongside Scott Gomez. -- New York Post

Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello is two losses away from beginning a search for a new head coach, if he hasn't already begun. And while Pat Burns is not campaigning for the job, the former Devils coach believes he would be physically capable of coming back next fall. -- Newark Star-Ledger

A popular but laughable rant among Calgary Flames fans these days is calling for Jim Playfair to be replaced by Darryl Sutter. It's their answer to everything. And, to be honest, it's getting a little old. -- Calgary Sun

The Coyotes are on to Wayne Gretzky. "I'll be blunt about this," said Coyotes CEO Jeff Shumway. "When I started holding meetings in December, I was stunned that we didn't seem to have a plan. There wasn't a vision of what it means to be a Coyote." It was amateur hour uncovered. Gretzky's commitment and misguided priorities are a large reason why the Coyotes are in this mess. -- Arizona Republic

Is Montreal owner George Gillett upset enough to sell the Canadiens? Donald Beauchamp, the Canadiens' vice-president, said the team is not for sale. But two websites in Austria are reporting that Gillett has been involved in "top secret" negotiations with Dietrich "Didi" Mateschitz. -- Montreal Gazette

Chicago coach Denis Savard is signed through the 2007-08 season. He should have his contract extended at least through 2008-09 to show the players who are here now and those who might be coming that the Blackhawks are committed to him. -- Daily Herald

The doctor was as chilling as he was direct. Go back out on the ice again, Tampa Bay's Rob DiMaio was told, and your safety can't be guaranteed. Go back out again and get hit, and you might die. That was just a week ago. He almost certainly will never play hockey again, not after the concussion he suffered in late September during an exhibition game at Montreal. -- Tampa Tribune

Teemu Selanne says he will wait until after the season before considering whether he'll return for a 15th year in the NHL. Selanne is a bargain for the Ducks, who are paying him a base salary of $3.75 million this season. -- Los Angeles Times

Ducks winger Brad May punched Wild defenseman Kim Johnsson in the face. May drew a match penalty and could face a suspension as the NHL was expected to review the incident today. Johnsson suffered a head injury, according to Wild officials, and went to a nearby hospital for observation.

-- Los Angeles Times

Wild chairman Bob Naegele Jr. invested $16 million more in player payroll this season to improve his roster. He isn't ready to say more money needs to be invested to make his team a serious Stanley Cup contender. Naegele reiterated that his team is not currently for sale. He did add, however, that the status is "one day at a time." -- St. Paul Pioneer Press

Nils Ekman -- a major disappointment in his own right during the regular season -- replaced Erik Christensen, opening the game on a Penguins line with Maxime Talbot and Colby Armstrong. And while he never was singled out for criticism, Christensen surely was one of the guys to whom coach Michel Therrien was referring when he talked about players who were easy to miss during a review of the game tapes. -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Already in a hole with Colin White battling a bad back, the Devils are reduced to hoping that Brad Lukowich can return here from delivery-room duty in New Jersey in time for tonight's vital Game 4 against the Lightning. Lukowich left the team here yesterday to be with his wife for the delivery of their second child. -- New York Post