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Cash-strapped Senators could file for bankruptcy today

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 8, 2003


OTTAWA -- The Senators, unable to pay their players last week, might end up filing for bankruptcy.

TSN in Canada reported Tuesday that an official announcement could come as early as today. The Ottawa Sun reported the Senators would file for protection from their creditors in Canada and the United States and receive a short-term cash infusion from the league.

NHL spokesman Frank Brown said the league had no comment until the team took action.

The Penguins are the only franchise in the four major American pro sports leagues to file for federal bankruptcy protection in the past 29 years. They did it in 1974 and 1998, with the second filing leading to Mario Lemieux taking over the club.

After the Senators failed to pay players on Jan. 1, team owner Rod Bryden met with commissioner Gary Bettman to come up with a plan to help a team struggling financially but succeeding on the ice, with the second-most points in the league.

Bankruptcy protection allows a company to continue operating and prevent creditors from going after the team's assets.

Jackets fire coach

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- General manager Doug MacLean wanted to see more progress in the Blue Jackets' third season. So he fired coach Dave King and gave himself the job.

At 14-20-4-2, the Blue Jackets have the second-worst record in the West.

"Dave was certainly preaching the right things. There just wasn't a consistent performance," said MacLean, also the team's president. "I was extremely patient the last 21/2 years."

King, who came to Columbus after three seasons as an assistant in Montreal, was 64-106-21-13 as the franchise's only coach.

MacLean will be the interim coach for the rest of the season. He plans to hire a permanent replacement during the offseason.

OILERS: Center Mike Comrie is out indefinitely after breaking his right thumb in Monday's 5-5 tie at San Jose.

PANTHERS: Goaltender Wade Flaherty was recalled from San Antonio of the American Hockey League.

WILD: Goalie Manny Fernandez is expected to miss a month with a sprained left knee.

Tuesday's games

ISLANDERS 6, PENGUINS 3: Dave Scatchard scored a career-high three goals including two in the second, which was New York's second four-goal period in as many home games.

Mario Lemieux scored for Pittsburgh in the second but left later in the period. It was unclear when the captain/owner was injured. The center has a league-high 68 points this season.

"I just felt a little pop," he said. "It's just a strain, but I won't know until I get up (today) and see how it feels and really go from there."

Scatchard finished his first career hat trick with his 13th goal of the season early in the third.

Also, Islanders forward Brad Isbister sat out with a sprained right ankle, and the Penguins recalled goalie Sebastien Caron from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL.

DEVILS 3, CANADIENS 2: Slump-ridden Joe Nieuwendyk scored twice in a 3:13 span in the third to lead host New Jersey.

Referee Kerry Fraser took away an apparent Montreal goal early for incidental contact with Devils goalie Martin Brodeur. He also allowed Nieuwendyk's winner into an open net at 9:49 to stand, though Jeff Friesen knocked over Canadiens goalie Jeff Hackett as he was playing the puck to the left. Montreal's coaches yelled at the referees as they left the ice.

MAPLE LEAFS 5, BRUINS 2: Alexander Mogilny scored the go-ahead goal with 6:06 left for Toronto, which extended its home unbeaten streak to 11-0-1. The Maple Leafs tied Boston for second in the Northeast Division despite missing Mats Sundin, Mikael Renberg, Gary Roberts, Nik Antropov, Shayne Corson and Karel Pilar because of injuries. Bruins forward Joe Thornton sat out with an infected elbow.

HURRICANES 3, THRASHERS 3: Dany Heatley scored twice but host Atlanta squandered two leads. Arturs Irbe stopped three breakaways as Carolina erased 2-0 and 3-2 deficits. Sami Kapanen deflected in a shot from the blue line for the tying goal with 9:04 left. The game was played before 9,061 at Philips Arena, the smallest crowd in Thrashers history.

FLYERS 3, SABRES 2: Justin Williams scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third for Atlantic Division-leading Philadelphia, which has won four straight and was coming off a 4-2-1 road trip. Ales Kotalik scored both goals for visiting Buffalo.

PREDATORS 2, BLUES 1 (OT): Andy Delmore scored a power-play goal with 16 seconds left in overtime for host Nashville. Delmore also scored Nashville's other goal and leads all defensemen with 12 power-play goals.

STARS 7, KINGS 4: Jere Lehtinen had his second career hat trick and Darryl Sydor scored two power-play goals, helping host Dallas Stars stretch its unbeaten streak to a season-best seven. Dallas, which missed the playoffs last season, leads the league with 57 points.

FLAMES 4, AVALANCHE 2: Craig Conroy and Jarome Iginla had a goal and an assist each for visiting Calgary, which is unbeaten in five games under new coach Darryl Sutter. Calgary had 17 shots, but still scored four goals for the third time in five games.

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