Week In Review after the games played on Saturday, March 3rd, 1990


THE NHL : The Have-Nots Will Try to Become Haves


February 28th, 1990


As Tuesday's NHL trading deadline grows near, the list of names of players expected to be on the block grows longer.

Most prominently mentioned are goalie Ken Wregget of the Philadelphia Flyers, defenseman Reijo Ruotsalainen of the New Jersey Devils, center Peter Stastny, goalie Greg Millen and defenseman Michel Petit of the Quebec Nordiques, and defenseman Paul Reinhart of the Vancouver Canucks.

Those few teams without a shot at the playoffs are the ones most likely to deal, and a good bet to move is Petit, who publicly asked to be traded recently.

A Frenchman asking out of Quebec? The predictable reaction was a round of boos from the home folks every time Petit touched the puck his next time out.


The old and the restless: This country might be intrigued by the Donald vs. Ivana Trump saga, but in Canada, the No. 1 real-life soap opera is Harold vs. Yolanda.

For the uninitiated, that's Harold Ballard vs. Yolanda Ballard. Harold is the 86-year-old owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who was recently declared mentally incompetent by a judge. Yolanda is his long-time companion, who, unable to lure him to the altar, had her last name legally changed to his. She used to be Yolanda MacMillan.

In Toronto, newspapers don't bother with a last name. "Yolanda" is sufficient identification.

One Toronto sports section runs a Yolanda box with Maple Leaf games, keeping the team's record when she is in attendance.

A recent story at the top of the front page of the Toronto Star described the latest battle:

"Harold Ballard told his lawyer, Rosanne Rocchi, that 'We should try to have (Yolanda) either committed or arrested.' When Yolanda protested, saying she wanted to stay with Harold to 'keep him alive until he was 102,' Ballard reportedly said he 'did not want to live until he was 102 if it meant that he had to live with her. It would be better to be under the sod.' "

"Rocchi said she was called to Toronto General Hospital, where Ballard had gone for a checkup, and arrived to find Ballard and Yolanda fighting in the lobby.

" 'I have never seen Mr. Ballard so upset,' Rocchi said. 'He was hitting Yolanda with a cane and moving his wheelchair away from her. He informed me that he wanted Yolanda out of his life.' "

Add Ballard: Police were called to the Ballard household on a tip there were weapons in the house. Police discovered a dozen guns reportedly issued to cashiers at Maple Leaf Gardens during the Depression. The guns had so much rust on them, the triggers wouldn't move.


Lost weekend: First the Pittsburgh Penguins go to Montreal Saturday and get thoroughly whipped by the Canadiens, 6-1.


Then they go to Quebec Monday night and get beaten by the league's worst club, 6-4.

Finally, the Penguins get on a charter flight and return home in the early morning hours Tuesday. But because of a mixup, all their equipment remains on the charter and is shipped back to Quebec.

There was one bit of good news. Without anything to use for Tuesday's scheduled practice, the team was given the day off.


Them's fightin' words: The Kings' Wayne Gretzky has long been a voice of reason in the violent world of hockey, always speaking out for peace in our time.

But not everybody agrees that fighting is an unnecessary evil of the league. Take the Calgary Flames' Tim Hunter, for example.

"I don't care how much press (Gretzky) gets," Hunter told the Associated Press. "I don't think it should change because of Gretzky. It's been part of the game for a long time and it's going to be a part of the game for a long time to come."


The next Great One? Eric Lindros, a 6-foot-4, 220-pounder, is already being talked about as the league's next great superstar, although he is only 16.

When Lindros made his debut recently with Oshawa of the Ontario Hockey League, some scalpers got up to $20 for $6.50 tickets.

And concessionaires were getting $12 for Lindros T-shirts.


But how about that free trip? When word that the Kings are about to get their own plane reached left wing Luc Robitaille, he quipped, "What about my frequent flier mileage?"

Robitaille added that the $5-million purchase by owner Bruce McNall would be great for the team. "The best thing would be like on a Thursday night on the road," Robitaille said. "We could get home that night, rest up Friday and come out feeling great for a Saturday game. I think it could make a big difference over a long stretch.”


March 1, 1990 | Strat Wire

Tuesday’s trade deadline is an opportunity for some teams

The NHL trading deadline is imminent and we have some very interesting possibilities as we have teams looking to gain any edge they can entering next month’s playoffs.

We have a few teams who are all but out of it.  Pittsburgh and Detroit have already made some blockbuster moves this season.  Will they unload some more roster players to a contending team?  There doesn’t seem to be a lot of rumors to go on there.  Pittsburgh’s case seems exceptionally muddy judging by the positive steps they were taking prior to Mario Lemieux leaving the lineup due to his back injury.  Detroit had made a huge trade in November to bring in Jimmy Carson, however Carson has been out of the lineup for months, and the Red Wings feel they have the core to continue last season’s success.

The Rangers are an interesting case.  On paper, any neutral observer would consider them to be out of contention, especially since neither New Jersey or Philadelphia are hemorrhaging points, while the Rangers are not seeming to be adding them.  After adding Bernie Nicholls at the all-star break in January, the Rangers have added a bona-fide scoring threat to anchor their top line.  There are heavy rumors that they may ADD another scoring threat at the deadline to complement Nicholls’ creativity.

That brings us to the Nordiques.  Currently, the only team who has been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.  This team is now entering a deep rebuild, and aging stars like Peter Stastny and Michel Goulet will almost certainly be dealt to playoff teams.  Other players are on the block as well, such as Michel Petit, who recently went public with his “request” to be traded.  Tony McKegney could be on the move.  Goalie Greg Millen, who previously refused to report to Quebec after a trade from Quebec likely agreed to play with a *wink *wink that he would be dealt this season.  There are many playoff teams who would view Millen as an upgrade between the pipes.  Quebec will be looking for draft picks and futures.  The next few drafts look really good, and the Nordiques are the favorite to land teenage phenom Eric Lindros, who would be the centerpiece to a rebirth of the Nordiques.

Stastny and Goulet as youngsters in the 80-81 campaign


The Vancouver Canucks, once thought to be a team looking to offload some of their talent, have been the NHL’s surprise team so far this season, and may even add a piece to their playoff run.  They are currently dueling with the Oilers in a battle for the last playoff spot.

Many teams are one or two parts away from a playoff run, as this season has been very competitive.  Every division is tightly contested.  There are rumors that the Blues, Blackhawks, Devils, and Capitals may be very aggressive in the market.  The Bruins have already added to their team bringing in Brian Propp from the Flyers.


Al Iafrate Hit to Be Reviewed by the League

Al Iafrate took Sheldon Kennedy down into the corner harder than was necessary, drawing the ire of the Detroit Red Wings and their fans Friday night.  NHL Vice President Brian O’Neill is expected to review the incident, but a suspension is not anticipated

Watch The Hit Here


Flyers Ship Propp to Bruins for a Pick

Gary Milers Philadelphia Daily News

March 3rd, 1990

The Philadelphia Flyers, in what General Manager Bob Clarke called a move that "should help us down the road," Friday traded 11-year veteran left winger Brian Propp to the Boston Bruins for Boston's second-round draft choice in the NHL's June entry draft.

Propp, 31, is the second-leading goal scorer in Flyers history and the second Flyers veteran to be traded to Boston in the past two months. The Flyers traded center Dave Poulin to the Bruins on Jan. 16 for center Ken Linseman.

In a prepared statement, Clarke said Propp no longer fit into the Flyers' youth movement but that he could help the Bruins in their Stanley Cup aspirations. 




February 26th, 1990

Vancouver Canucks acquire Cash

Pittsburgh Penguins acquire Doug Smith


March 3rd, 1990

Hartford Whalers acquire Jeff Sirkka      

Boston Bruins acquire Steve Dykstra


Boston Bruins acquire Brian Propp

Philadelphia Flyers acquire 1990 2nd Round Draft Pick



Trading Deadline:  March 6th


Team Spotlight: The Quebec Nordiques – Pre Fire Sale




NHL Standings

                This week, we had 2 more teams clinch their tickets to the postseason, locking in 6 of the field of 16 so far in the first week of March.

                Montreal has won 10 of their last 11, including a perfect 3-0-0 this week on the road to claim the top spot in the NHL, pulling 4 points ahead of the Bruins, who were 0-2-0 this week.  Montreal came up with a big 3-2 victory Thursday night at the Boston Garden.  Jumping back, we have the Whalers 10 points behind 2nd, and the Sabres chasing the Whalers 5 points out of third.  Quebec brings up the rear of the NHL with only 33 points, 11 behind the NHL’s 20th place team the Detroit Red Wings.  A goal-differential of -116 is more than double the worst in the NHL.  It’ll get worse before it gets better, as Quebec is set to trade some of their best veteran performers this Tuesday.

                Washington is pulling away in the Patrick Division, while the Islanders and Flyers are neck and neck for 2nd place.  The Devils, slow and steady, are 5 points back of the Flyers, but have a 14 point cushion on the Rangers for the 4th and final playoff spot in the Division.  The Capitals clinched their playoff spot this week, while the Islanders and Flyers will not be far behind them, as the Rangers’ playoff window is rapidly closing (and without Lemieux, the 47-point Penguins’ window is considered shut).

                The Blues also clinched their playoff spot this week, as they are cruising to the largest Division lead in the league, 13 points ahead of the second place Maple Leafs.  Toronto is still involved in the dog fight for 2nd place as them, Chicago, and Minnesota are within 2 points of one another.  The Red Wings are almost eliminated, sitting 18 points out of the playoff picture with 13 games left to play.  In one scenario, they would need to win all their remaining games, while Minnesota goes a paltry 4-10-0.

                The Smythe Division screws have been tightening over the past few months as the Flames and Jets are within a point for the top of the Division.  The Kings are comfortably in 3rd, while the Oilers and Canucks are neck and neck for the final playoff spot.  2 Points separate the teams and they meet tomorrow night in a showdown in the Northlands Coliseum.  A pre-season cup favorite is going to be pushed to the limit as less than a month remains in the regular season.

                As of now, it really looks like the teams who will be on the outside are: Quebec, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, and Detroit, with Edmonton and Vancouver fighting to the last week.  Common sense says Edmonton will prevail, but they are blowing every opportunity to pull away.



Now on to the NHL’s league leaders through the NHL’s 20th week of action.

Adam Oates has pulled 6 points ahead of Wayne Gretzky and Bernie Nicholls




All smiles in St. Louis as Brett Hull has jumped into the NHL goal lead, to join his NHL points-leading teammate Adam Oates









Curtis Leschyshyn was a +2 this week to improve to a -55 on the season



Dave Manson became the NHL’s first to 300 Penalty Minutes


Mike Ramsey Leads the Way for the Defense-First Sabres





100 Faceoff minimum



100 Faceoff minimum





Dino Cicarelli scored 2 more game winning goals this week to pull into a share of the NHL lead with Cam Neely







Paul MacLean has scored goals with great efficiency this season

Minimum 65 shots on goal



Ron Scott has proved to be a more than adequate fill-in for Kelly Hrudey


Minimum 125 Shots Faced



Minimum 650 Minutes Played



Stephane Beauregard has stabilized a goaltending situation in Winnipeg as they chase the Smythe Division title

Minimum 10 Games Played








Game of the Week:

Hockey Nite In Canada Drama

                The Red Wings and Maple Leafs faced off Saturday night on the feature game of Hockey Nite in Canada and the second half of a home and home series.  Toronto had taken the previous meeting 5-3 in Joe Louis Arena, and they were looking to strengthen their hold on second place.

                The Leafs jumped on Detroit quickly.  Just 45 seconds into the game, Ed Olczyk was left alone near the side of the net, and Brad Marsh was able to slide the pass over through traffic onto Olczyk’s stick and he easily beat Tim Cheveldae to take the 1-0 lead.  Just a few minutes later, Rob Ramage took a 5 minute major penalty to give Detroit a 5 minute powerplay.  Steve Chiasson took advantage by intercepting a clearing attempt and beating the tired penalty killers for the goal.  Gerry Gallant scored his 24th later in the period for the Red Wings’ first lead of the game. 

                Toronto came out with ferocity early in the second period, and it would pay off with 3 straight goals by Damphousse, Olczyk, and Kurvers.  The Leafs were maintaining pressure in the Detroit Zone and held a 39-24 advantage on the shot clock for the game.  Joey Kocur was set up for a powerplay marker with 8:46 left in the second to bring the resilient Red Wings to within 1 at 4-3. 

                Steve Chiasson scored his second of the game, set up by Yzerman and Gallant to tie the score at 4.  Toronto had 15 3rd period shots and could not beat Cheveldae.  In the losing seconds of the third, Garry Gallant hauled down Gary Leeman who would have had a breakaway.  Leeman was awarded a penalty shot by referee Mick McGeough to the dismay of the Detroit Red Wings who nearly got penalized for arguing.  Leeman attempted to go high glove-side on Cheveldae, but the Red Wing goalie flashed his glove up to snag the potential game-winner out of mid-air to send the game to overtime.

                Right at the start, Mark Osborne stole the puck from Joey Kocur and set up Rob Ramage with a nice pass deep in Detroit’s zone.  Ramage powered the puck underneath Cheveldae’s right pad for the overtime game-winning goal.  Toronto sweeps the home and home series with Detroit, putting them on the cusp of punching their ticket to the playoffs.  “We felt we played very strong against a team who is much better than their record indicates” said Toronto coach Doug Armstrong. “We are in the home stretch and are focusing on one game at a time, one period at a time.  Put enough good shifts together and good things will come, like opening the first round of the playoffs in Maple Leaf Gardens.”


The Leafs celebrate



Cam Neely hangs onto his Molson 3-Star Points Lead, but the lead is fading




Darren Puppa holds the narrowest of Margins over Patrick Roy, but the two Adams Division rivals have run away from the pack


3 Stars of the Week:

Ciccarelli scored the game-winning goal in 3 consecutive Capitals games

  1. Dino Ciccarelli – Washington Capitals
  2. Ilka Sinisalo – Philadelphia Flyers
  3. Joe Nieuwendyk – Calgary Flames

Dino Ciccarelli did his part this week to help the Washington Capitals continue their run to the top of the Patrick Division. Ciccarelli had 2 game-winning goals this week, and 3 game-winners in a row back to last week.  He had 21 shots in 4 games, 5 goals, 3 assists, and was a +6.  The Capitals had a perfect 4-0-0 week.  A decisive first star performance this week by Dino Ciccarelli.


The Flyers also had a great week as they look to clinch an unlikely playoff spot.  Ilka Sinisalo’s 2 game-winning goals this week helped Philadelphia post a 3-0-1 record this week.  Sinisalo had 3 goals and 2 assists, and also added a few takeaways to contribute on the other end.  Sinisalo claims this week’s second star.


The Flames were also unbeaten with a 2-0-1 record, thanks in large part to the play of their first line center Joe Nieuwendyk, who is this week’s 3rd star.  In 3 games, Nieuwendyk had 3 goals and 4 assists and was a +3.  He had 2 hits and was over 55% in the faceoff circle this week.  After a tough 7 game losing streak, this week the Flames re-established themselves as the team to beat in the Smythe Division (if not the NHL).



The Blues had an efficient week with the man advantage, jumping from 3rd to 1st in the NHL












There are rumors that Bob Probert could be reinstated this month and finish the season.  Do the Red Wings need more physicality?







Producing the most shots, while allowing the 5th least shots per game, the Flames have the best shot differential







Dave Taylor and the Los Angeles Kings are setting the pace for offense




A rare quiet moment in Maple Leaf Gardens, which has been filled to over 98% capacity this season






This Week In the News


It was once again a very quiet week in the international news stage



March 2nd

The Hunt for Red October Released in Theaters, opening in 1,225 locations and grossed $17 million in its opening weekend.  It opens at #1 at the box office.



“Escapade” by Janet Jackson has taken over the #1 spot in the Billboard 100!