Since the Canadiens' Patrick Traverse was knocked cold for two
minutes following a clean hit into the boards by the Islanders'
Michael Peca in Montreal on Jan. 10, some NHL players have been
calling for teams to stop using seamless glass, which has little
give. Some Canadiens met with NHL Players' Association legal
counsel Ian Pulver, who told them that the union was pushing the
NHL for standardized flexible boards and glass, the kind that
the Stars have at their new arena....
Speaking of safety, more players need to wear visors. Last week
three players were hit with high sticks and either suffered an
eye injury (the Blues' Scott Young and the Maple Leafs' Gary
Roberts) or barely escaped one (the Oilers' Anson Carter). The
excuse that wearing a shield hurts productivity doesn't
wash--Toronto's Mats Sundin started wearing a visor again this
season and is having a career year (26 goals through Sunday)....
Philadelphia players were not upset to see wing Jan Hlavac
traded to the Canucks last month. Some Flyers thought that
Hlavac was not team-oriented....
Blackhawks general manager Mike Smith did a classy thing
recently when he lent veteran Steve Dubinsky, 31, to the
Predators' farm team in Milwaukee instead of shipping him to
Chicago's minor league affiliate in Norfolk. Dubinsky, who was
unsure if he wanted to continue playing, was reluctant to leave
his family and play 900 miles away in Virginia....
The reason the Capitals have played much better lately, despite
the absence of injured stars Jaromir Jagr and Peter Bondra, is
the goaltending of Olaf Kolzig. After a slow start Kolzig, who
entered last weekend ranked 40th in save percentage (.897), has
heated up, finishing the week with a shutout of the Panthers.