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Sliding Flames fire popular coach Gilbert

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 4, 2002

DENVER -- Greg Gilbert was a popular coach, the kind who inspired players to work harder and had a great relationship with the front office. He just didn't win enough.

The Flames fired Gilbert and assistant Brad McCrimmon on Tuesday after winning one of their past 12 to end one of the worst months in team history. Calgary was 3-9-1-1 in November.

General manager Craig Button said assistant GM Al MacNeil will serve as interim coach.

"Greg liked the players, and the players liked Greg, but the coordination and what a team needs to do to be successful -- it was slipping," Button said. "Ultimately, that's the coach's responsibility"

Gilbert, 40, played for four teams in 15 NHL seasons. MacNeil won the Stanley Cup as Montreal's coach in 1971, his first in the league, and is 134-108-53 in four seasons.

MacNeil won Tuesday 2-1 over host Colorado on goals from Craig Conroy and Oleg Saprykin. Roman Turek stopped 30 shots for the Flames.

BLUE JACKETS: Defenseman Duvie Westcott was recalled from Syracuse of the American Hockey League and defenseman Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre (sprained MCL) was placed on injured reserve.

CAPITALS: Dainius Zubrus will miss 4-6 weeks after surgery to remove a bone spur from his right hand.

DEVILS: The team suspended rookie center Mike Danton for failing to report to the minors. He was assigned to AHL Albany on Friday after complaining about playing time.

PANTHERS: Left wing Peter Worrell received a 10-day jail sentence, one year of probation and a five-year suspension of his driver's license after pleading no contest to driving under the influence. Judge Joel Lazarus ordered Worrell to report to jail on April7, one day after Florida's regular-season finale. He also must pay a $500 fine. Worrell, 25, after being arrested June 16 was charged with DUI property damage, leaving the scene of an accident and criminal mischief.

PENGUINS: Dick Tarnstrom, the league's leading scorer among defensemen, will miss 2-4 weeks with a broken left foot.

Tuesday's games

BLUES 4, BRUINS 0: Fred Brathwaite had 33 saves and Keith Tkachuk and Scott Mellanby each had a goal and an assist for St. Louis, which snapped Boston's eight-game home win streak.

RANGERS 5, BLUE JACKETS 3: Pavel Bure had a hat trick and assisted on Eric Lindros' winner 10:47 into the third for host New York. Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch left after bruising his left ankle and did not return.

RED WINGS 2, MIGHTY DUCKS 1: Curtis Joseph made 29 saves and Brett Hull and Sean Avery scored for host Detroit. Hull has seven goals in his past 10 games.

ISLANDERS 2, CANUCKS 1: Alexei Yashin scored with 1:32 left to snap visiting Vancouver's best win streak ever at 10. Chris Osgood is 8-0-3 unbeaten in his past 11 starts against the Canucks and is 11-1-4 against them overall.

HURRICANES 2, PREDATORS 1: Rod Brind'Amour and Erik Cole scored for visiting Carolina. Hurricanes goalie Arturs Irbe, filling in for injured starter Kevin Weekes, stopped 24 shots.

CAPITALS 4, PENGUINS 1: Jaromir Jagr scored his 13th goal of the season and Olaf Kolzig made 16 saves for visiting Washington.

SHARKS 3, COYOTES 2 (OT): Teemu Selanne tied the score with 3:24 left in the second and got the winner with 42.6 seconds left in overtime for visiting San Jose in Cap Raeder's coaching debut.

OILERS 2, WILD 1 (OT): Mike York scored 1:29 into overtime for host Edmonton. A goal by Minnesota's Pascal Dupuis tied it in the second.

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