In The Crease

Feb. 04, 2002
Feb. 04, 2002

Table of Contents
Feb. 4, 2002

Winter Olympic Preview

In The Crease

Mighty Ducks general manager Pierre Gauthier raised a lot of
eyebrows last week by faxing to every other NHL team a list of 10
Anaheim players he said were available in trades. Gauthier's
counterparts were surprised that he'd send such a list, because
in their minds that devalued the players. Those made available
included goaltender Steve Shields and wing Jeff Friesen, both of
whom Gauthier acquired for franchise player Teemu Selanne last
March; defenseman Jason York and wing German Titov, who were
signed as free agents over the last two years; and right wing
Marty McInnis.... The Senators are dangling Radek Bonk, because
some in the Ottawa organization feel he isn't a true No. 1
center. There's also the feeling in the Ottawa front office that
if Bonk were dealt, defenseman Zdeno Chara, who now defers to the
more experienced Bonk, would assume a leadership role for the
Senators. Insiders say the hardworking Chara would provide an
excellent role model for the rest of the team.... The Canucks'
Brent Sopel has been among the highest-scoring defensemen in the
league since late December (16 points in 14 games with a +15
rating through Sunday). Last summer he was told by the coaching
staff to get stronger, so he lifted weights, adding 25 pounds to
his 6'1", 205-pound frame. Coach Marc Crawford then thought that
Sopel had put on too much muscle and that his play was suffering
because of a lack of flexibility. Since the start of the season
Sopel has dropped 15 pounds, to 215, and he's been one of the
best-kept secrets in the NHL.... The Coyotes sent a positive
message to their fans last Friday by acquiring sniper Brian
Savage from the Canadiens for wing Sergei Berezin. Savage, who
had 14 goals at the time of the deal, will be an unrestricted
free agent at season's end, but Phoenix, which isunexpectedly
battling for a playoff spot, took a chance that it could re-sign

This is an article from the Feb. 4, 2002 issue Original Layout