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IN THE CREASE
Pierre McGuire
December 27, 1999
Don't be surprised if Oilers general manager Glen Sather ends up running the Rangers next season in place of Neil Smith. Wayne Gretzky, who retired from New York last April, has the ear of Rangers majority owner Charles Dolan, and the Great One is a staunch supporter of Sather, who coached him in Edmonton. Sather has had difficulty working with the Oilers' unwieldy new 37-man ownership group, while the Rangers were only 12-15-4-2 through Sunday despite having spent nearly $70 million on free agents last summer....
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December 27, 1999

In The Crease

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Don't be surprised if Oilers general manager Glen Sather ends up running the Rangers next season in place of Neil Smith. Wayne Gretzky, who retired from New York last April, has the ear of Rangers majority owner Charles Dolan, and the Great One is a staunch supporter of Sather, who coached him in Edmonton. Sather has had difficulty working with the Oilers' unwieldy new 37-man ownership group, while the Rangers were only 12-15-4-2 through Sunday despite having spent nearly $70 million on free agents last summer....

The Minnesota Wild, which enters the NHL next season, has already sold 13,500 season tickets and leased all 64 luxury suites at the New St. Paul Arena. The Wild isn't just marketing itself in the Twin Cities but also in North and South Dakota, northern Iowa, Wisconsin and Manitoba....

The best defenseman in the NHL this season? The Blues' Chris Pronger, who has continued to be dominant at stopping the opposition and has also picked up his offensive game (four goals and 19 assists in 32 games)....

With hard-hitting defenseman Derian Hatcher sidelined six to eight weeks with a lacerated right calf, the Stars may try to acquire the Devils' physical backliner Lyle Odelein, who can be a free agent in July and is on the block....

If the widespread perception that there are many more injuries than usual in the NHL is true, then the league may want to consider its grueling schedule. This week, for example, the Red Wings were to play back-to-back games in Anaheim and San Jose on Sunday and Monday, and then fly cross-country to Carolina to play on Wednesday. Three games in four nights in three cities is too much....

Why isn't Bernie Federko in the NHL Hall of Fame? In 14 seasons with the Blues and the Red Wings, Federko had 1,130 regular-season points and 101 more in the postseason. There are players enshrined in the hall whose production can't come close to matching that.

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