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BLUELINES: Keenan back at MSG?

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  • Mike Keenan has done wonders in Florida, but that doesn't eliminate whispers that he could wind up behind the ' bench next fall if: 1. Glen Sather wants him; 2. ownership is willing to allow Mike to move and, 3. Keenan would like a Broadway re-run. Figure a YES for 2 and 3 and "maybe" for 1.
  • If, somehow, Scotty Bowman wants to eschew his cushy consultantship with Detroit, he'd be another candidate. Insiders tell us that Scott has too good a deal — does nothing but gets paid — with the Wings to forsake it. But some figure the ' challenge and load of stars could change his mind.
  • Despite the Calgary denials, many believe that a reasonable deal for still could be made. And it would be one that might even satisfy ' fanatics. One interesting question: Would Glen Sather give up and for JI?
  • It's nice that Phoenix media suggests that the would want Barrett Jackman and for , but Larry Pleau isn't likely to agree.
  • The emergence of as a first-rate backup means the have the option to deal either Burke, 36, or , 26.
  • If, as Wayne Gretzky states, no player is an untouchable on Phoenix, it'll be interesting to note how many calls Michael Barnett receives for . Or .
  • Could get a more ringing endorsement than the one delivered by Ken Hitchcock? "Eddie," says Hitch, "could play as long as (Leafs' goalie icon) Johnny Bower."
  • Too bad will be sidelined through the trade deadline. He'd have been the perfect fit on ex-teammate 's wing. As a result, it's doubtful that Mike Milbury will make any meaningful additions — except maybe a — to his squad. Nor does Mike have to make a move at this point, unless someone calls about .
  • According to some Arizona estimates, the ' three-year losses will exceed $60 mil!
  • The America West Hockey League has already set new attendance records league-wide, already surpassing 300,000 attendees.
  • The 2004 All-Star Game in St. Paul may feature an Old Time Hockey Heroes game. So many ex-NHLers live in the Twin Cities area, that Bettman, Inc. may decide that the fans would rather see them instead of the young stars.
  • on why goaltenders rarely have roommates on the road: "Maybe it's the naked stretching."
  • Our condolences to the family of Jim Gordon, the legendary ' play-by-play man who recently passed away after a long illness. The Gordon-Bill Chadwick MSG broadcasting team was a classic.
  • If continues to play better than , how can the high command give Cujo the nod in the playoffs?
  • Speaking of Cujo, remember when Pat Quinn was taken to task for letting Cujo go to Detroit and not signing and <— neither of whom has as many goals as Nik Antropov?
  • Why is Marc Crawford successful? Recently he benched Todd Bertuzzi for a period. As our man in Vancouver, Ron Spence, notes: "It's not everyday a coach will bench a top-five scorer."
  • No fewer than 208 former ECHL players have graduated to the NHL. Chris Schmidt (Kings) is the latest.
  • Bobby Orr is worried about the trickle-down effects of violence kids are seeing in the NHL. "I'm not talking about taking the passion out of the game. But we have to forget about the NHL example at this level. Too many of our young players are leaving the game because they're scared." Excellent point!
  • If and when the 'Canes trade blueliner Glen Wesley — who is unrestricted this summer — Jeff O'Neill will be the only player left on their roster from before they decamped Hartford for North Carolina in 1997.
  • At age 37, Toronto's Gary Roberts, with a newly-signed contract extension, may play beyond the current dotted line — health permitting. GR says, "I want to play when I'm 40. Brad McCrimmon said: 'Robs, make them cut the last skate off of you.'"
  • Best bargain in the NHL? How about the Islanders' Jason Blake at $600,000.
  • At age 23, Minnesota's Pascal Dupuis is emerging as the league's most underrated forward. The winger is en route to a 20-goal, 50-point season, all for $350,000.
  • Phoenix coach Bobby Francis suggests that the lack of a playmaking center is responsible for Tony Amonte's disappointing season. "When Tony played with Alex Zhamnov, he had a guy with a left-handed shot who looked to pass first and shoot second. We don't really have somebody like that."
  • Disney is filming its version of the 1980 Miracle on Ice. It'll be called "Miracle," starring Kurt Russell as Herb Brooks. After meeting Herb, Russell says, "He's very inventive with a creative hockey mind in a very disciplined, tough Midwestern body. Brooks reeks of that thing that's indefinable — he's a winner." Ryan Walter is the flick's technical advisor.
  • The 2004 AHL All-Star Game has been targeted for Grand Rapids' Van Andel Arena, Feb. 8-9.
  • The jury on Tony Granato will be out until February 2004 — and not a moment sooner.
  • Lindsay Berra — Yogi's granddaughter — writes hockey for ESPN's magazine. She's just back from St. Paul, doing a feature on Marian Gaborik. Few realize that Yogi skated practices with the then AHL St. Louis Flyers in the late 1940s.
  • Some doubt Roman Cechmanek's ability, but Jacques Martin is not one of them. Ottawa's coach — a former goalie — tells us Cechmanek ranks on the top 10 goalie list in the league. As for Roman's indefinable style, Martin shrugs, "All that matters is whether he can stop the puck."
  • Gordie Howe continues to set records. Last week, Mr. Hockey participated in the largest ever signed bobble head doll giveaway at a Vancouver Giants game. The promotion honored Gordie's wife, Colleen, who is suffering from dementia. The game will help raise awareness about dementia and help raise funds for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.
  • Howe's pal and former teammate, Bill Gadsby is the subject of a soon-to-be-completed bio.
  • Privately, but emphatically, some managerial types would like to see Wayne Gretzky take a more vigorous, pro-ownership stance against the NHLPA. They feel that The Great One could help tilt the balance of public opinion as Mario Lemieux already has in stating the precarious fiscal state of his Penguins.
  • The only surviving member of the East Coast League's "Original Five" teams, Johnstown's Chiefs, just played its 1,000th ECHL game. Neil Smith is part-owner of the club.
  • Not that it's going to hasten any move of Owen Nolan, but former teammate Jeff Friesen tells us that the Sharks captain would be an asset to anyone.
  • 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 Islanders and Devils on FSN. His columns appear regularly on MSGNetwork.com.
    Tagged: Flames, Red Wings, Hurricanes, Kings, Devils, Islanders, Rangers, Flyers, Penguins, Sharks, Blues, Maple Leafs, Canucks, Coyotes, Panthers, Jets, Wild, Slava Kozlov, Glen Wesley, Ed Belfour, Bobby Holik, Alexei Yashin, Shawn McEachern, Brian Boucher, Gary Roberts, Curtis Joseph, Sean Burke, Marian Gaborik, Pascal Dupuis, Jarome Iginla, Jamie Lundmark, Jason Blake, Manny Legace

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