Scouting Reports

October 15, 2000

The NHL has two new teams (the Columbus Blue Jackets and the
Minnesota Wild), two groundbreaking coaches (the Blackhawks' Alpo
Suhonen and the Penguins' Ivan Hlinka, the first European head
men) and a new director of officiating (Andy Van Hellemond), who
will preside over an unprecedented era in which two referees will
oversee each game.

The league is still searching for a new ambassador (perhaps a
young stud like the Lightning's 20-year-old Vincent Lecavalier or
the Bruins' 21-year-old Joe Thornton?), a post vacated when Wayne
Gretzky retired 18 months ago. The Great One is also onto
something new: running a team. That is, if his deal to buy 10% of
the Coyotes finally closes, as expected.

Even the contenders have a fresh look. The heretofore creaky
Stars are becoming more youthful, the Blues and the Maple Leafs
have added veterans, and the Devils have a new owner. In the end,
though, the champion will include the oldest defenseman in the
game, 39-year-old Raymond Bourque, whose Avalanche will upend the
Leafs to win the Stanley Cup, the oldest team trophy in pro
sports.

How They'll Finish

EASTERN CONFERENCE

ATLANTIC DIVISION SI'S
RANKING

1. New Jersey Devils* 4
2. Philadelphia Flyers* 8
3. New York Rangers* 13
4. Pittsburgh Penguins 17
5. New York Islanders 22

NORTHEAST DIVISION

1. Toronto Maple Leafs* 2
2. Buffalo Sabres* 9
3. Ottawa Senators* 14
4. Boston Bruins 19
5. Montreal Canadiens 23

SOUTHEAST DIVISION

1. Washington Capitals* 7
2. Florida Panthers* 16
3. Carolina Hurricanes 26
4. Tampa Bay Lightning 27
5. Atlanta Thrashers 29

WESTERN CONFERENCE

CENTRAL DIVISION

1. St. Louis Blues* 3
2. Detroit Red Wings* 6
3. Chicago Blackhawks 20
4. Nashville Predators 25
5. Columbus Blue Jackets 28

NORTHWEST DIVISION

1. Colorado Avalanche* 1
2. Edmonton Oilers* 15
3. Calgary Flames 21
4. Vancouver Canucks 24
5. Minnesota Wild 30

PACIFIC DIVISION

1. Dallas Stars* 5
2. Los Angeles Kings* 10
3. San Jose Sharks* 11
4. Phoenix Coyotes* 12
5. Anaheim Mighty Ducks 18

*PLAYOFF TEAM

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Toronto over New Jersey

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Colorado over St. Louis

STANLEY CUP FINALS
Colorado over Toronto

Fast Facts and Insider Rankings on the following pages were
written by David Sabino and Pierre McGuire, respectively.

COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID E. KLUTHO

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)