Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cross-Checking around the Nhl

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cross-Checking around the Nhl

Article excerpt

CENTRAL DIVISION

So what if the Blackhawks don't have any other centers - speculation persists that the club will deal Jeremy Roenick. He becomes a free agent this summer, and he has had no meaningful contract talks with the club. On other fronts, defenseman Steve Smith has overcome back troubles, but 'Hawks ruffian Bob Probert has vanished in the last dozen games. . . . With Bob Bassen out because of a knee injury and Mike Modano sidelined because of an abdominal muscle pull, the Stars are thin at center. That's only one reason why they are in the hunt for exiled Islanders center Kirk Muller.

After a 6-1 loss to Florida, the Leafs rededicated themselves to defense and went on a 4-1-3 tear. Defenseman Larry Murphy is the fourth-highest scoring defenseman in the NHL, behind Denis Potvin, Ray Bourque and Paul Coffey on the career list. ` . . . All the rumor mongers have Al MacInnis heading out of St. Louis in a cost-cutting moves, but the Blues scoff at the scuttlebutt. . . .

PACIFIC DIVISION

The Sharks are offering Pat Falloon, Mike Rathje and Arturs Irbe around the league. GM Dean Lombardi denied that he covets Sabres goaltender Dominik Hasek and would be willing to pick up his big contract. Though Lombardi and director of player personnel Chuck Grillo have let their goaltending situation become comical, both have been offered five-year contract extensions. . . . Now that Oilers defenseman Igor Kravchuk is back from a bruised knee, he is on the trade mart. Why? He won $900,000 in salary arbitration and GM Glen Sather can't sit for that.

Flames winger Gary Roberts is intent on returning this season, which is why he decided to have another neck operation. He hopes to return by Christmas. . . . Kings goaltender Kelly Hrudey can't seem to get over his ankle injury, but given Byron Dafoe's play, nobody in LA cares.

NORTHEAST DIVISION

Buffalo actually has a surplus of offensive defensemen, which is why Alexei Zhitnik's name keeps coming up on the rumor mill. But that was before it was discovered Tuesday that defenseman Garry Galley will be sidelined 10 days to two weeks because of a left shoulder injury. …

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