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BLUELINES: Peca reacts to insinuations

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  • is on the offensive, defending the Isles¿ dressing room against insinuations that it was divided last season. ¿Those charges,¿ says the captain, ¿always happen when a team doesn¿t achieve the success it would like to.¿ Peca claims he¿s been re-assured by Mike Milbury and Charles Wang that he won¿t be traded.
  • Speaking of Wang, the Isles owner still appears interested in bidding for the NBA Nets, assuming that they¿re still for sale.
  • Toronto forward figures he needs to beef up to avoid injuries. Result: The Leafs prodigy is up to 234 pounds.
  • D-Day (as in Decision Day) for is due soon. Some believe that Glen Sather already has the answer — and it is affirmative that No. 11 will return as a Ranger. Others question why Mess has taken so long before telling his boss. A minority of savants suggest that Mark should have been more forthcoming, more quickly. We still figure Mess to be back and that Sather already has figured it out. We did an informal, unscientific poll of Ranger fans. The question was: ¿Yes or no, do you want Messier back as a Ranger?¿ The answers were split right down the middle. Go figure.
  • Detroit appears interested in .
  • The NHL got a scare when the Stanley Cup was briefly missing in Kosice, Slovakia. was prepared for his day of celebration, but the Hall of Fame officials arrived sans Cup since it had missed the connecting flight from Vienna before eventually being retrieved.
  • GM Larry Pleau on ¿s arbitration award — and why arbitration is based solely on stats: ¿Pavol had great stats but although he had great stats, our team hasn¿t done better.¿ Makes sense.
  • ¿Captain Dave¿ (Dave Andreychuk), ¿The Dynamic Duo¿ (Vincent Lecavalier and ) and ¿Mighty Marty¿ (Martin St. Louis) are some nicknames you¿ll hear at games. The club is using a superhero/comic-book theme for its marketing campaign that¿ll cross over to player introductions and game telecast graphics.
  • Des Moines may be the next site of an AHL team, particularly if Calder Cup champ Houston fails to draw better than it has.
  • New assistant Jacques Laperriere was the one Islander staffer that Mike Milbury considered keeping when Peter Laviolette was dumped. In the end Mike wanted a completely new set-up under rookie coach Steve Stirling. Laperriere will be a hands-on helper to whiz-kid defenders Paul Martin, David Hale, Matt DeMarchi and . Of Martin, his rep, Jeff Solomon, says his client ¿is built in the mode of a .¿
  • Speaking of Milbury, Mike shook up a meeting of NHL game night producers with a catchy opening line, ¿You¿re all a bunch of pains in the ass!¿ After getting the appropriate laugh, Mad Mike then held them captive for an hour explaining his likes and dislikes of game-night productions. As it happens, the Isles have the only game night gal, Jill Nicolini, who starred on ¿Married By America.¿
  • Another classy move by Dave Andrews, a special guy. The AHL boss — though on vacation — made a point of driving a long, long distance for the funeral of Trevor Ettinger in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia.
  • goalie says this about his Mom watching him play: ¿She¿s up there playing goalie with me, making saves, kicking shots away. My wife can¿t sit with Mom. She said she gets all bruised up.¿
  • Don¿t be surprised if Grant Fuhr looks very polished on stage during his Hall of Fame induction. ¿I don¿t like to make speeches, but this is important so I thought if I started working on it early, I¿d get it right,¿ says Fuhr.
  • The Canada Sports Forum, being held next month in Hull, Quebec, will bring together many business faces, including NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, agent Don Meehan, et. al.
  • Kudos to Kevin Shea at NHL.com for his documentation of the Stanley Cup¿s travels this summer. We love reading his ¿ Cup tales.
  • After rejecting Ottawa¿s two-way contract offer, AHL sniper will try his luck in the Russian Elite League.
  • Congrats to Don Helbig of Cincinnati, recipient of the AHL¿s Ken McKenzie Award for team executive who best promotes his club.
  • Neil Smith got his biggest boost yet for the Toronto GM job in caloumn by the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons.
  • Wayne Bonney, a NHL linesman for 24 years, has been hired as the Central Hockey League¿s supervisor of officials.
  • Slava Fetisov is urging Russian millionaires to buy an NHL franchise. ¿It wouldn¿t hurt to have our own, wholly Russian team in the National Hockey League,¿ says Fetisov. ¿It would stir up more interest.¿
  • The buzz over young Canadian phenom Sidney Crosby will travel over to Breclav, Czech Republic, where he will be debuting on the international scale for Team Canada in the Junior World Cup.
  • Ex-NHLer Ron Murphy is on the mend after a series of injuries that nearly killed him. At one time a quadriplegic, Murph now maneuvers in a wheelchair.
  • Sorry to hear that old pal, , had the last year of his contract bought out by the .
  • The ¿ , badly hurt in a July 24 car crash that crushed his pelvis, is not expected to play this year. Mike O¿Connell believes Girard can come back for the 2004-2005 campaign. 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: Bruins, Devils, Islanders, Rangers, Senators, Sharks, Blues, Lightning, Maple Leafs, Capitals, Scott Niedermayer, Robert Lang, Dave Andreychuk, Nik Antropov, Mike Dunham, Michael Peca, Paul Martin

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