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in the Crease
Pierre McGuire
March 11, 2002
Bruins center Joe Thornton, who was suspended for three games last week for cross-checking the Hurricanes' Rod Brind'Amour in the face, had been warned numerous times this season by members of the NHL brass to drop his stick during confrontations. Team Canada insiders say that Thornton's irresponsible use of his stick was one of the reasons he didn't make the Olympic team—Canadian officials were concerned he might take a bad penalty at the wrong time....
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March 11, 2002

In The Crease

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Bruins center Joe Thornton, who was suspended for three games last week for cross-checking the Hurricanes' Rod Brind'Amour in the face, had been warned numerous times this season by members of the NHL brass to drop his stick during confrontations. Team Canada insiders say that Thornton's irresponsible use of his stick was one of the reasons he didn't make the Olympic team—Canadian officials were concerned he might take a bad penalty at the wrong time....

Don't be surprised to see 41-year-old Dino Ciccareili, who retired before 1999-2000 after scoring 608 goals, back in the league this season. During the Olympic break Ciccareili skated with 10 Red Wings at informal practices in Orlando with the Detroit staff looking on. Wings coach Scotty Bowman says that Ciccareili, who was slowed by a back injury when he left the game, looked healthy. One team that might be interested in signing him is the Rangers....

It's a shame that Herb Brooks, who coached the U.S. to the 1980 Miracle on Ice and then to a silver medal in Salt Lake City, doesn't have a regular job with USA Hockey. Following the 2002 Games, Brooks was back scouting for the Penguins instead of working to build interest in the game in the U.S., which he is uniquely qualified to do....

Remember the name Chris Bala. He was the 58th player selected in the 1998 draft by the Senators and has been burning up the AHL recently as a rookie left wing with the Grand Rapids Griffins (21 goals in 60 games through Sunday). The 6'1", 180-pound Bala, who graduated from Harvard, has fine speed and is an excellent finisher.

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