Others have. When the struggling Kings acquired him from the Canucks on Feb. 15 for future considerations, it marked the third time Potvin had been traded in two years. He began this season with Vancouver and was booed so harshly for his poor play that his wife, Sabrina, couldn't bear to sit in the stands. After he arrived in L.A., Potvin lifted the Kings into a playoff spot by going 13-5-5 with a 1.96 goals-against average down the stretch. In the postseason he raised his game to match the stakes.
L.A., a solid club that has been undermined by shoddy goal-tending for years, acquired Potvin out of desperation. Potvin can become a restricted free agent this summer, but the Kings can retain his rights by offering him a 10% raise over the $2.7 million he made this season. "When we got him, we wanted to see how he played before deciding whether to retain him," G.M. Dave Taylor said late in Game 6. Then he grinned and noted the 0-0 score and the Kings' improbable success. "You can draw your own conclusions."
Hasek and Jagr Moving On?
Clubs Can't Afford Their Stars
This postseason might turn out to be the last time fans see Sabres netminder Dominik Hasek and Penguins wing Jaromir Jagr in their respective teams' uniforms. Given Buffalo's wealth of goal-tending prospects, the Sabres would seem unlikely to exercise a one-year, $9.5 million option on the 36-year-old Hasek, who made $7.5 million this season. Buffalo's prospects include Hasek's backup, Martin Biron, 23, who had five shutouts as a rookie in 1999-2000; Mika Noronon, 21, who spent most of the season with the Sabres' AHL affiliate and was The Hockey News's minor league prospect of the year in 1999-2000; and Ryan Miller, 20, a sophomore at Michigan State who won the Hobey Baker Award this season and plans to return to college this fall.
Jagr, 29, has two years left on a contract that will pay him $9.5 million a season, but his future in Pittsburgh is cloudy because a number of players, including star forwards Alexei Kovalev and Martin Straka, become restricted free agents this summer. Kovalev and Straka, both 28, tied for fifth in the league in scoring, with 95 points. Last week the Penguins' owner and star, Mario Lemieux, hinted that Jagr, who has won four straight scoring titles, might be traded, saying, "We have a budget next year that we have to stick to."
Hasek and Jagr, whose respective performances over the last several seasons have made them well worth their salaries, will certainly be in the Hall of Fame one day. Less certain is where they will play next season.