BLUELINES: Cup laughs with Rafalski

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  • When brought the Stanley Cup to a private party at a Wisconsin restaurant, an uninvited guest gaped at Stanley. The man asked Brian's wife, Felicity, for a coffee cup until he realized what the Cup really was. "I apologize," the man said. "I thought it was an ornate coffee urn!"
  • -to-Edmonton seems to us more like fantasy league stuff than NHL reality. If you read between Glen Sather's lines, it sounds like the signing should persuade Mess to return to Manhattan. We think he will.
  • If you need two more reasons why will return to the , try these: 1. He's a mere seven points behind Gordie Howe on the NHL all-time points list; 2. Glen Sather never would talk Mess into retiring.
  • Marketing lessons should be offered by the . Get this: Minnesota already has sold 16,500 season tickets for 2003-04.
  • We hear that the would love to buy out , which gives you an idea how far the one-time ace has slid in Bob Clarke's estimation.
  • on moving to Tinseltown: "L.A. is more Sergei's speed." To which Sergei replies, "Lifestyle is the least part. I want to play for a contender, a good organization, and play really good hockey, the way I've been used once or twice as a Red Wing."
  • faithful should circle January 12: That's when Cam Neely's No. 8 is retired.
  • Green Jacket and all, Masters champion Mike Weir and lost in a playoff to Wayne Gretzky and Ian Leggatt at the Great One's celebrity golf tournament which raised almost $400,000.
  • What's with the influx of players wanting a stake in ownership? is looking to become yet another NHLer to invest in a team, yet this one is not the NHL kind. Domi, who played (in exhibition games) for the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts, is seeking to bail out the floundering franchise with a group of investors.
  • Give the ' marketers credit. Despite too many non-playoff years, the fans are responding. Renewals and new sales reach 9,000. And it isn't because Darryl Sutter just signed .
  • remains one of the most intriguing of the unsigned. Supposedly he's considering more than a single offer.
  • simply won't go away. He's living in Santa Fe, New Mexico and still going for his substance-abuse program classes. The Calgary Herald's George Johnson reports that Theo is engaged to a woman he met in Albuquerque. Fleury insists that come November — when he's eligible for reinstatement — he'll try for another NHL comeback. "I'm not going to give up," Theo insists. We won't argue with that; but which GM will be convinced that Fleury has straightened out?
  • Sidney Crosby, the 15-year-old Canadian whiz-kid, has people talking about him as if Sid's the next Wayne Gretzky. The Great One asserts that Crosby could be the one to break some of his records. Hey, worst case, he could be another .
  • A major — yet little discussed — factor in 's free-agent future is physical. Joe's muscle injury suffered in the third round of the playoffs (vs. Ottawa) hadn't healed when the finals were over. A check-up will be in order before signing.
  • At least one Boston media type is campaigning to have spend his farewell year in Beantown.
  • One goaltending duet that bears watching is Atlanta's and . If ever Lord Byron needed a reason to be motivated, it's because not-so-passive-Pasi could oust Dafoe from the top spot. This will be a most interesting challenge for our pal, coach Bob Hartley.
  • Likeable Leon Stickle — he put in 27 years as an NHL linesman — returns to Bettman, Inc. as a Supervisor of Officials. Stickle had been the Central Hockey League's Director of Hockey Operations.
  • Hamilton will join Hershey as the 's AHL co-affiliate.
  • Man On The Spot For 2003-04: Unquestionably coach Dave Lewis.
  • Grant Fuhr won inaugural NHL Drive Fore The Goal golf outing.
  • wanted to return to the but Craig Patrick had other ideas. That's why Moran is back in Beantown.
  • Congrats to Wings GM Ken Holland, one of five inductees into the British Columbia Hockey Hall of Fame.
  • In dedication of their season to Roger Neilson, commemorative patches will be worn by Sens skaters.
  • Mike Babcock will have plenty of challenges in 2003-04. One of the most interesting will be trying to turn , who failed with both the and , into an NHL defenseman.
  • Bill Daly, Gary Bettman's right-hand-man, is becoming more and more front-and-center in NHL-NHLPA negotiations. The league's exec VP and chief legal officer claims a CBA deal might be possible without a salary cap or luxury tax. Perhaps we'll soon learn just what the solution might be.
  • on playing in his first major amateur golf tourney: ¿In any sport, whether you play professional or not, you always want to be competitive. This is my first year playing in serious tournaments. I want to learn what I have to do better." Known as "The Hockey Maven" in both local and national circles, Stan Fischler is one of the most outspoken authorities on the game of hockey. Fischler can be seen offering NHL analysis on "MSG SportsDesk" and on Fox Sports Net's "Regional Sports Report — New York Edition." Fischler also provides studio interviews and pre- and post-game features and reports for both the and on FSN. His columns appear regularly on MSGNetwork.com.
  • Tagged: Tie Domi, Bruins, Flames, Blackhawks, Red Wings, Devils, Islanders, Rangers, Senators, Flyers, Penguins, Sharks, Ducks, Predators, Jets, Darren McCarty, Sergei Fedorov, Joe Nieuwendyk, Brian Rafalski, John LeClair, Ian Moran, Jarome Iginla

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