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IN THE CREASE
Pierre McGuire
February 21, 2000
Look for 30-year-old Avalanche center Joe Sakic, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, to try to hammer out a long-term extension that would keep him in Colorado for the rest of his career....
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February 21, 2000

In The Crease

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Look for 30-year-old Avalanche center Joe Sakic, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, to try to hammer out a long-term extension that would keep him in Colorado for the rest of his career....

Hockey observers were surprised last week when the red-hot Capitals (15-3-4-0 in their last 22 games through Sunday) picked up 32-year-old wing Joe Murphy, who was waived by the Bruins because of repeated acts of insubordination toward coach Pat Burns. However, Washington general manager George McPhee promised the players already on the Caps' roster that if Murphy acts up and spoils team chemistry—he has a reputation for being irritatingly eccentric—he will be out the door in a hurry....

Last week the Canadiens suspended defenseman Vladimir Malakhov for one week because he broke the provision in his contract prohibiting him from skiing, a particularly bizarre act considering he hadn't played a game this season after injuring his right knee in September. But by revealing his misstep, Montreal, which was planning to deal Malakhov (an unrestricted free agent this summer) after he returned to the lineup, which he did last Saturday, hurt its bargaining position....

The expansion Columbus Blue Jackets, who will begin play next season, will be the only NHL team to have its practice facility directly connected to its arena. The Blue Jackets hope to use the 700-seat facility, which will cost $7.4 million, to attract fans to practices....

One reason the Blues (34-15-6-0) remained atop the Central Division despite a plethora of injuries was the outstanding work done by Greg Gilbert, the coach of St. Louis's farm team in Worcester, Mass. The Blues' roster has eight players who were under Gilbert's direction in the minors.

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