More on Fedorov

You know it, the journalist that gets every trade rumor right writes again…

Larry Brooks!!! Also, some interesting stuff…

Dunham was supposed to be an Oiler?

More troubles between Bettman and Goodenow.

Troubles in Cat Country.

Also, a little dramatic preview of Rangers vs Flyers. http://www.nypost.com/sports/53372.htm

SERGEI Fedorov’s future in Detroit is now very much in doubt.

Slap Shots has learned the 32-year-old center has rejected a five-year, $50-million offer that has now been taken off the table.

If he doesn’t sign with the Red Wings by July 1, Fedorov will be an unrestricted free agent.

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Those close to Gary Bettman have told Slap Shots that the commissioner has come to recognize that his image as a war-time consigliore has become counter-productive to the, uh, peace process. As such, Bettman is now seeking to dial down the public dialogue over the CBA in the aftermath of his polarizing address in Buffalo last Monday and instead is trying a back-channel approach to get discussions started with the NHLPA.

If he’s serious, Bettman would help the cause by telling ownerships across the continent to stop complaining about how bad business is. Maybe Bettman could direct ownerships to stop lying about how rising player salaries are responsible for rising ticket prices.

Somewhat odd, isn’t it, that club personnel can give as many speeches as they want about the rotten CBA and state of financial affairs – wonder if say, the Rangers, would be free to talk about how great the system is? – but are fined substantially for even mentioning rotten officiating?

And on the other side of the aisle, maybe, just maybe, union boss Bob Goodenow – publicly circumspect on all of this unless provoked – might actually deign to spend a day with Bettman and hear what the commissioner has to say.

If Bettman says, “Hard cap or no deal,” then Goodenow can quickly excuse himself, and justifiably so.

Hey there, Darius Kasparaitis, you may step right up and begin to stake claim to the bonus for hits in your contract.

Slap Shots has learned that arbitrator Joan Parker has ruled in favor of the NHLPA in the grievance against the NHL regarding the league’s unilateral elimination of four statistical categories (hits, blocked shots, giveaways and takeaways), finding that the maintenance of these stats had become a binding practice relied upon over the last five years to determine player salaries.

Ms. Parker directed the NHL to “forthwith resume” its recording of the statistics, further ordering the league and the PA to meet in order to determine how the stats would be applied this season relating to bonuses and salary arbitration cases.

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Peter Laviolette might be insulted by Pat Burns’ previous declaration that the Devils are held to the highest standard of the three New York-area clubs, but that doesn’t alter the accuracy of the observation. If not, why was Laviolette celebrated last year for the very same accomplishment that got Kevin Constantine fired: a first-round loss? The Devils have established a benchmark of excellence over the last 10 seasons unmatched in the East, matched in the West only by Colorado and exceeded only by Detroit. That’s not opinion. That’s fact.

Glen Sather can be challenged on numerous personnel decisions, but the GM sure does seem to have an eye for goaltenders. The line goes from Grant Fuhr and Andy Moog to Bill Ranford and Curtis Joseph to Tommy Salo . . . and now to Mike Dunham. We’re told that Sather tried hard to acquire Dunham from the Devils prior to the 1998 expansion draft, but that Lou Lamoriello demanded Georges Laraque and a second-rounder in return. Dunham, of course, went to the Predators, with the Oilers subsequently dealing Mats Lindgren to the Islanders for Salo.

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The reason, an informant whispers, it took as long as it did for Atlanta GM Don Waddell to hire Bob Hartley had nothing to do with an extensive search or contract negotiations with the coach, but rather with Colorado GM Pierre Lacroix’s initially unacceptable compensation demands.

If it’s a fan’s game, maybe someone from the league office would like to explain why Ilya Kovalchuk, arguably the most electrifying player in the NHL and only the league’s third-leading goal-scorer (25 through Friday), isn’t going to the All-Star Game.

So the Oilers this year were looking to move Todd Marchant, and now the impending Group III is pretty much an untouchable. That’s OK; the bidding begins at 12:00:01 on July 1.

Five weeks ago when the Bruins were 19-4-3-1, the question in Boston was whether Robbie Ftorek would lose his third straight 1-vs.-8 first-round playoff matchup after having done so in 1999 with Devils (against Pittsburgh) and last year with the B’s (against Montreal). Now, with the Bruins 3-14-1 in their last 18, the question is whether his team – not to mention the coach, himself – will make it to the tournament at all.

After games such as the 12-2 loss to Washington last week in which teenager Stephen Weiss was pounded by Brian Sutherby without a teammate coming to his aid, how well is it going these days between GM Rick Dudley and coach Mike Keenan in Florida?

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Finally, Panthers defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh was a surprise selection by the fans to East’s starting lineup for All-Star Game that will be played in Florida. Slap Shots has learned that the election result was certified by Katherine Harris.

Drama, Lindros vs Clarke.

    http://www.nypost.com/sports/rangers/53371.htm


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