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Penguins

What's this we see? A Devils-Blues final

| Sunday, Jan. 7, 2001

The year has turned. We're officially into the new millennium, and the crystal ball is spinning. Let's slow it down and take a look inside.

Hmmm, what's this I see•

  • Why, it's Peter Bondra, celebrating another goal. He's still in a Washington Capitals sweater. As much as the Capitals wanted to trade him and as badly as he wanted to go, they made a good choice by keeping him.

  • I see sun. I see Cactus Trees. I see a lush, green golf course. I see the Phoenix Coyotes swinging the clubs, and it's only May 1. Must have been another first-round playoff loss. I guess the ownership situation didn't get resolved quickly enough. The bickering between Keith Tkachuk and Jeremy Roenick probably didn't help. Neither did a lack of depth.

  • Whoa. There's a strong fume coming out of this ball. It's clam chowder, by jimney. We're in Beantown, watching a first-round playoff series. Mike Keenan and Bill Guerin must have arrived just in time to save the Bruins' season. Who would have thought this club would make the playoffs•

  • Another scent. Is that liniment• Yup. I see gauze, too. It's an MRI machine. Must be Montreal, where the Canadiens get decimated by injuries every season, and you know what• They still don't have a buyer. Wow. This fabled franchise still hasn't been sold.

  • No. 8• No. 8• It's 88. Eric Lindros. He's playing in the NHL. He's wearing a blue sweater. A little blue, a little yellow, with a musical note as the logo. Bet you never thought you'd see that, either, huh•

  • Something's wrong with my crystal ball. Paul Kariya's skating for Anaheim and Teemu Selanne's not with him. I thought GM Pierre Gauthier said he wasn't trading Selanne. Selanne's new phone number just flashed across the screen. Begins with area code 212 (that's New York).

  • Speaking of which, we're in the Big Apple, and the New York Rangers are sitting in their dressing room, dejected after missing the playoffs again. How'd they do that after adding Mark Messier and getting phenomenal seasons from Brian Leetch and Theo Fleury• What's wrong here• Must be the defense. Now I see GM Glen Sather at a news conference. What's he saying• Sounds like he went out and got another defenseman. He better get another while he's at it.

  • Oh my. I can't believe this. The Colorado Avalanche are getting upset in the first round of the Western Conference playoff. Say it ain't so. Who's beating them• It's the Edmonton Oilers. Sounds a little fishy, but Tommy Salo's the kind of goalie who can pull an upset, and the Oilers have the speed to counter the Avalanche.

  • Spinning, spinning, spinning. Now I see the New Jersey Devils again representing the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup final. Lou Lamoriello's shrewd trade-deadline moves must have done it. That isn't Rob Blake I see in a Devils sweater, is it•

  • And who's that team on the ice with Devils• St. Louis• Must be. I see Pierre Turgeon, No. 77. Clear as day. Chris Pronger. The action is intense, but every time I get a glimpse of the winner's podium, the picture fades. Oh well, we'll have to wait and see to find out who wins.

  • Finally, we see the Toronto skyline. Gosh, Lake Ontario looks nice. There's Mario Lemieux in a new Versace tux, stepping to the podium for ... the Hart Trophy• And there's his buddy, Jaromir Jagr. He's in a Hugo Boss, and he's getting the Art Ross Trophy again.

    I see that every year.

    Rumor mill

    Expect Chicago Blackhawks coach Alpo Suhonen to be a leading candidate to coach the Finnish Olympic team in 2002, or at least to be on the staff. Finnish players are openly backing Suhonen's candidacy. ... While many in the Toronto media have already anointed Eric Lindros as a Maple Leaf, don't be so sure. Don't be surprised if he winds up in the Western Conference. Flyers GM Bob Clarke wants to acquire somebody soon because of the uncertainty surrounding John LeClair's back.

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