Posted: Wednesday October 26, 2005 12:38PM; Updated: Wednesday October 26, 2005 5:07PM
New glove for the Eagle
Five Hall of Famers who should be buying a ticket to get in just like the rest of us
Anyone who has watched Toronto goalie Ed Belfour waving as pucks flew past his glove hand knew he was having trouble adjusting to the new size restrictions. This week, he finally acknowledged that publicly, adding that he expects to have a new catcher in his hands this week.
Along with several veteran netminders, Belfour has seen his numbers balloon this season (3.37 GAA, .889 save percentage). Part of that can be attributed to the increase in quality scoring chances, but there also have been a number of mental lapses on his part as well.
As a player who spends hours worrying over the smallest detail of his equipment, Belfour's unhappiness with the catcher probably has had a bigger impact on his overall game than simply a few muffed stops. If he finds peace of mind with the new mitt, his performance could improve dramatically.
Jersey looking to deal
On Monday, the Devils waived forward Krzysztof Oliwa and, more importantly, his $836,000 salary. This will be the first of several moves by Jersey needed to clear room for Patrik Elias and his $4.18 million cap hit.
Elias, the team's top center, is out while recovering from hepatitis. Team officials are putting no official date on his return, but the end of November is looking like the best-case scenario.
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If the Devils are fortunate enough to find takers for the overly compensated Viktor Kozlov ($1.75 million), Vladimir Malakhov ($3.6 million) and/or Dan McGillis ($2.2 million), they'd be thrilled to take a bag of pucks and a mean-looking bus in exchange.
Memo to Bruins/Oilers: Make this trade
Ever notice how some teams just seem to enjoy trading with one another? The Bruins and the Oilers have enjoyed just such a symbiotic relationship, completing several major and minor deals over the last decade or so.
Now might be the time for another. The Oilers desperately need scoring and the Bruins have an asset in Sergei Zinovjev who might fit the bill. The 5-11, 182 center seemed small during a 10-game stay with the Bruins in 2003-04, but his slick skating, fast-thinking style seems perfectly suited for the new game.
Currently starring for Ak Bars Kazan of the Russian league -- and seemingly unwilling to play for the Bruins -- Zinovjev could be had for a mid-round draft pick. The B's might then package that pick with another asset to acquire help for their struggling blueline.
Sidney's untold contributions
For proof that Sidney Crosby already is one of the most dangerous players in the league, you have to look beyond his rookie-leading point totals (2-10-12 in nine games) to a number you won't find on any official stat sheet: six. That's the number of Panther penalties The Kid drew over the course of his 25 shifts with his drive and creativity in Tuesday's game against Florida.
Ward to step back in
Despite two strong appearances in relief -- including that sensational 44-save performance against Ottawa -- don't expect Gerber to hold on to the top job in Carolina much longer.
Although the Swiss vet was brought in from Anaheim to be the No. 1, rookie Cam Ward will be back as the starter as soon as he recovers from an arm injury, suffered early in the first period against Washington on Oct. 21.