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BLUELINES: Burns rips Montreal media

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  • Pat Burns still gets miffed at some Montreal media snipers. Says Burns: "I heard some guy said, 'Oh yeah, he doesn't want to talk to us now, but when he had the microphone, he didn't want to shut up.' But when I had the microphone, it was my opinion. I never asked any of them about their opinions. When I was working (radio), I made my comments myself."
  • One of the best quiet stories of the year is 's emergence as a useful two-way center. The 1999 overall top pick is justifying Don Waddell's confidence in the 22-year old. "It takes four to five years for a draft pick to develop," says Waddell. "Others may have doubted Patrick, but we really didn't. He just had to stay healthy and get experience."
  • Our monthly Vigilance Award goes to Andy Van Hellemond, who, during a recent Isles-Flames game, immediately phoned Nassau Coliseum to say that a disallowed goal should have counted. Unfortunately his call came too late. No matter. Andy is earning his money.
  • Bob Gainey says he's ready for his next challenge. "I'm 48 and I think I have another project to do somewhere, somehow," says Bob, valued leader in several quarters. "By the new year I'd have to get it narrowed down." Bob still could land in Toronto, where he's a Ken Dryden favorite.
  • The have begun inducting former players into their Den of Honor; the first being Florida's original captain, Brian Skrudland. According to ex-mate , Brian "jumped like a little girl when killed a rodent to begin the Year of the Rat in 1996." Next up for the Den: John Vanbiesbrouck, who also will be inducted into Miami's Sports Hall of Champions.
  • Jiri Slegr really screwed up his NHL career. He could have been a Red Wing, but balked at Ken Holland's good offseason offer. Now he's with Avangard Omsk of the Russian Extra League, playing for his former coach, Ivan Hlinka. Meanwhile, got the spot that could have been Slegr's.
  • How did wind up in Vancouver? According to one whisper, some Colorado players — while sitting in a night club after a game — were boasting how they intimidated the . The buzz made the papers and the Malik-Langdon trade came a few days later. Every Canuck is tickled to have Darren on his side.
  • One of 's closest pals in the entertainment world is actor/hockey nut Tim Robbins. The two recently dined in Manhattan.
  • 's mild injury to his good knee last week would have been avoided had he been wearing a -type skate. The openings are so small on the Devil's skate support, a stick blade could not intrude as it did with Peca.
  • Elvis has left the building, and he was spotted at Canuck 's marriage to longtime companion, Tammy. It's noteworthy because, a) It took place in Las Vegas; and b) An Elvis Presley-impersonator handled the wedding. "Elvis married us," says the defenseman. "And he was great. He sang a few songs and walked my wife down the aisle. Our cabby was the witness."
  • Brian Hayward, one of the most underrated good goalies during his NHL stint (1982-1993) tells us that Anaheim's is the real deal.
  • Quote of the Week: "I would trade everything professionally to be part of a Cup," says .
  • Ken Hitchcock on his new approach to the game: "I enjoy it more now. I don't look at the wins as a relief anymore from the mounting responsibility. I look at it as fun."
  • 's return to Ottawa means John Muckler will deal a backliner.
  • NHL execs are hopeful that Gary Bettman gains a propaganda edge in the public opinion battle over the 2004 CBA. They like the fact that the Commish has been proactive, trying to push Bob Goodenow to early negotiations against the NHLPA boss' wishes. As one league suit tells us, "Gary is offering to talk; Bob refuses. Who do you think looks better in this case?"
  • One of the genuine unsung heroes of developmental hockey is Springfield, Mass.-based veteran amateur coach Gary Dineen. He's currently making a player out of Jordy Hart, the 19-year-old, 6-1, 190-pound defenseman who comes from superb stock. His dad is ex-NHLer Gerry Hart. Among other Dineen products are and .
  • We hear that J.P. Parise's kid, Zack, is a high school phenom in North Dakota.
  • Brian Sutter on top Calder Trophy candidate, : "He keeps me on my toes; that's the fun part of him. Tyler has an answer for everything and about 10 percent of it is relevant to what we're actually talking about!" When Brian talks, you'd better listen.
  • For the first time in more than a decade, Bettman, Inc. signed on with its own outside ad agency, Grip, Ltd. of Toronto, for TV commercials. A clever spot currently running has a handsome male fan ditching his pretty female dinner date to watch a game on TV — in the men's room.
  • Our man in Raleigh, , on : "He's improved his lateral quickness from post to post. Weekes' key improvement is his limitation of rebounds. My only knock is that sometimes he loses his 'point of center' and that's when he'll give up a weak goal. Actually, Kevin's biggest 'problem' is Carolina's weak offense."
  • Although becomes an unrestricted free agent in July, he's already indicating that he'll do what he's done before — remain a Bruin. Don is a throwback; loyalty to the ' crest is important to him.
  • Easton has a new one-piece Synergy stick being tested by NHLers, including and . It incorporates silicon in the blade, and was created in response to complaints that the original reacted too harshly when receiving passes.
  • This wisp of wisdom from Vancouver Province columnist Tony Gallagher, "Can you remember a time when so many penalties that simply aren't penalties have been whistled?" 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, Flames, Blackhawks, Red Wings, Hurricanes, Stars, Devils, Islanders, Rangers, Flyers, Penguins, Blues, Canucks, Ducks, Panthers, Blue Jackets, Bill Guerin, Jason Woolley, Patrik Elias, Mark Parrish, Jeremy Roenick, Chris Drury, Scott Mellanby, Kevin Weekes, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Tyler Arnason, Andy McDonald

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