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  I Heard Things
by Jim Iovino, Ace Reporter

Draft dodging

With the midway point of the season come and gone, there are several teams out there who are thinking more about the 1998 draft instead of the playoffs. With that in mind, the Central Scouting Bureau released its midseason ranking of the top junior players around the world.

And the top player on the CSB list, and the person most likely to succeed in the senior class, is Vincent Lecavalier. Lecavalier is the 17-year-old center LCS first told you about in Issue 84, the Lost Issue. Lecavalier, 6-foot-4, 180 pounds, has scored 26 goals and 36 assists for 62 points in just 31 games with Rimouski of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

David Legwand is ranked second by the CSB. Besides having a cool last name, Legwand is a center for Plymouth in the OHL. He is considered a good playmaker and a pure goal-scorer. Sounds suspicious, but what the hell do we know. We've never heard of the kid. Legwand has scored 59 points in 30 games.

Third on the list is Michael Heinrich, a right wing with Barrie of the OHL. Heinrich has 26 goals in 39 games. The man says he has "great breakaway speed from the blue line." Does that mean he's slower than wood in the other half of the ice?

Fourth is Mathieu Biron, who was recently showcased on Hockey Night in Canada's Future Watch. Biron is huge. He's listed at 6-foot-6 and 212 pounds. But rumor has it that he's not clumsy or anything, which is a good asset. He plays for Shawinigan of the QMJHL. It's fun to say the word "Shawinigan".

The next six players on the list are Bryan Allen (D, Oshawa), Manny Malhotra (C, Guelph), Rico Fata (C, London), Ramzi Abid (LW, Cicoutimi) and Martin Skoula (D, Barrie).

The 1998 draft is supposed to be as good as the 1997 draft. Of course, the draft is always a guessing game and we won't know how good it will be until several years later.

The next Ken Dryden?

Sergei Fedorov finally got his 1997 Stanley Cup ring from the Detroit Red Wings, but it could be a lot longer before the city of Detroit, or any other city, sees him in an NHL jersey. Fedorov recently said he is willing to sit out the entire season so he gets the right contract.

Fedorov told a local Detroit TV station last week that he'll do what it takes to get what he wants.

"There's been precedence -- back in the early or late '70s when Ken Dryden sat out one year, and, boy, did he make the money," Fedorov said. "I can see myself doing that. Why not? Because it's not about money. Because it's about what I believe in."

Fedorov reportedly wants a four-year, $24 million deal. The Red Wings supposedly offered $20 million over the same time frame.

Much to do about Knuckles

"Right now, I like Alex Selivanov the person, but I don't like Alex Selivanov the hockey player. He has to learn to play for the team, not play for himself."

Jacques Demers
Talking about the poor performances of Alexander "Knuckles" Selivanov

All Star Uniforms

Have you seen the commercials on FOX that are promoting this year's All Star Game? Let me just say that they're pretty lame. They are calling it World War III on ice and all this other crap. Come on, it's an All Star Game! It'll probably be as lame as most others. The players don't want to get hurt, so they're not going to take it seriously.

Anyway, the jerseys for the game might not be as putrid as in years past. The league got rid of the purple, which was the best thing it could have done. Instead, the World Team will wear light blue and white sweaters while the North American Team jerseys will be red and white. The light blue and white are representative of the colors of the United Nations, while the red and white are both prominent colors on the Canadian and American flags.

Both sets of jerseys will have the NHL logo on the chest and each player's national flag will be in the form of a patch on the jersey.

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