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IN THE CREASE
Pierre McGuire
March 30, 1998
Could this be the start of a trend? Recently the Canadiens have successfully used defenseman Craig Rivet as a forward on a checking line. The minor leagues are filled with undersized defensemen who can skate and who are skilled enough to play forward. With the NHL's talent pool already shallow and with more expansion on the way, there's a need for talented players. Don't be surprised to find teams dipping into the minors and using small but skilled defensemen up front....
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March 30, 1998

In The Crease

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Could this be the start of a trend? Recently the Canadiens have successfully used defenseman Craig Rivet as a forward on a checking line. The minor leagues are filled with undersized defensemen who can skate and who are skilled enough to play forward. With the NHL's talent pool already shallow and with more expansion on the way, there's a need for talented players. Don't be surprised to find teams dipping into the minors and using small but skilled defensemen up front....

Black-hawks center Jeff Shantz is tough. On March 14 he had three teeth knocked out with a stick and never missed a shift. The next day he had his ear sliced when he was hit from behind and driven into the boards, and he missed only about seven minutes getting sutured. Then four nights later Shantz tore his left anterior cruciate ligament and skated off the ice without help. He'll be out the rest of the season....

Two players who will be unrestricted free agents in July and should be on every team's shopping list: forwards Scott Young of the Mighty Ducks and Benoit Brunet of the Canadiens. Both are strong defensively, can chip in offensively and have been regulars on teams that have won the Stanley Cup. They might not be big names, but they are players who help you win....

Injuries have crushed Anaheim this year, and general manager Jack Ferreira may be the fall guy. He's a good hockey man with an eye for finding talent, having selected wing Paul Kariya fourth overall in the 1993 draft despite his diminutive size, stolen wing Teemu Selanne in a trade for defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky and center Chad Kilger, and made other good deals to get useful players like defensemen Dmitri Mironov and David Karpa and forward Travis Green. Says one Mighty Duck player about the team's injuries this season, "We have had so many players through here this year that there have been nights when I would look at our roster and have to ask the trainer who some of the guys were."

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