For the most part NHL vice president Colin Campbell has done an
outstanding job in his first year as the league's dean of
discipline, but he went overboard when he suspended Canadiens
forward Shayne Corson for six games last week. In a match
against the Canucks on March 27, Corson lost his cool and
high-sticked Vancouver defenseman Ed Jovanovski. After the
ensuing altercation between the two players resulted in their
being penalized, Jovanovski made some nasty comments to Corson
as they were being led to their respective dressing rooms.
Corson then stormed into the Canucks' room to demand an apology.
Jovanovski refused, and Corson departed without further
incident. Campbell suspended Corson one game for the slash and
five games for entering the Vancouver room. That seems
especially severe considering that the Flyers' Eric Lindros had
only received a two-game ban for his vicious slash to the eye of
Rangers center Petr Nedved that same day....
Bruins center Joe Thornton, the No. 1 selection in the 1997
draft, is on the verge of becoming a star. Thornton, who
struggled as a rookie last season, is finally using his size
(6'4", 230 pounds), skill and speed to his advantage. Credit
Boston coach Pat Burns for nurturing the 19-year-old Thornton,
who had 16 points in his last 20 games through Sunday....
Defenseman David Cullen, a co-captain of NCAA champion Maine, is
an undrafted free agent who's getting lots of attention around
the league. The first cousin of former NHL center John Cullen,
David, 22, has emerged as a reliable puck-moving backliner....
The Canadiens must be kicking themselves for being forced to
trade forward Vincent Damphousse to the Sharks. After failing to
come to terms on a contract extension with Damphousse, a
soon-to-be-unrestricted free agent, Montreal dealt him on March
23. Since arriving in San Jose, the 30-year-old Damphousse, who
scored only 12 goals with the Canadiens this season, had seven
in six games with the Sharks. The difference? Instead of using
the former 40-goal man on a checking line, San Jose has played
him with scorers such as Jeff Friesen and Joe Murphy.