Oilers restricted free-agent holdout Bill Guerin may be sitting
home for a long time if his agent, Bob Murray, insists on
comparing Guerin, a righthanded-shooting winger, with Hurricanes
holdout Keith Primeau, a lefthanded-shooting center. General
managers and coaches place a much higher value on big two-way
pivots (Primeau is 6'4" and 210 pounds) than on wingers....

The Rangers were the first NHL team to travel with a portable
satellite dish so their coaches could watch whatever games they
wanted in their hotels. The Red Wings have recently followed

Look for crease-crashing forwards Tomas Holmstrom of the Red
Wings and Ryan Smyth of the Oilers to benefit greatly from the
new rule doing away with video review of goals for crease
infractions. Those players had 15 and seven goals, respectively,
wiped out last season because they were caught with their skates
in the crease....

Referees note that during games in which they're the lone ref
(strangely, there will be two referees in only 700 of the
league's 1,148 games this season), they have to skate more,
position themselves differently and retrain their eyes. Wouldn't
it be helpful if the NHL kept referees in a one-official
rotation for several games at a time instead of bouncing them
from one- to two-referee matches?...

Mighty Ducks tough guy Jim McKenzie lost a lot of respect among
his peers last week when he pummeled Stars backliner Darryl
Sydor, who rarely fights....

So far this season three young defensemen have stood out for
playing with maturity beyond their years: 24-year-old Nolan
Pratt of the Hurricanes, and 22-year-old Christian Laflamme and
25-year-old Jason Smith of the Oilers. They have read the rush
well, played physically in the slot and moved the puck crisply
out of their end.