Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Red Wings Spread Green

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Red Wings Spread Green

Article excerpt

Central Division

One reason the Red Wings will win the division this season is management loyalty. The club continues to lock up all its good players, including Sergei Fedorov - who got a four-year, $12 million deal. Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom will earn $2.15 million over the next three years and Mike Sillinger will get $1.2 million over three. . . . Stars GM-coach Bob Gainey gave center Neal Broten a mini-vacation so he could return to Minnesota and visit his family. But when Neal returns, will anybody notice? Oddly, his brother, Paul Broten, was asked to stay with the team through the holidays.

Blackhawks coach Darryl Sutter keeps imploring center Jeremy Roenick to shoot more. He scored just twice in 14 games before breaking through against the Blues on Sunday. Has he been getting good chances? "Not really," Sutter said. . . . The Jets recalled goaltender Mike O'Neill to light a fire under goaltender Bob Essensa, who has struggled. . . . The Leafs hope Dave Andreychuk's knee injury, suffered Monday night, isn't serious. They are in a 2-6-2 rut, and their poor depth is catching up to them.

Pacific Division

Ex-Blue Cliff Ronning is the latest Canuck to center sniper Pavel Bure, who is showing signs of escaping a season-long rut. Ronning has a tendency to overhandle the puck, which is why GM-coach Pat Quinn has usually deployed him with big, lesser skilled wingers. Canucks holdout Petr Nedved has started playing for Team Canada in its pre-Olympic schedule. . . . The weekly Tomas Sandstrom-Jimmy Carson watch continues in LA, where Kings executives are struggling to get on the same page. Coach Barry Melrose continues begging to reacquire Marty McSorley, and the Kings wouldn't have much trouble getting him - and his five-year, $10 million deal - from the Penguins.

The Sharks, who suddenly can't win a game, desperately need winger Pat Falloon to become a big-time scorer. . . . Ex-Blues goaltender Guy Hebert has lost 11 times as a Mighty Duck, but nine have come by one goal. …

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