By DAMIAN CRISTODERO
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 28, 2001
Islanders goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck felt he was wronged, so he decide to make it right by taking it out on New York Post reporter Barry Baum.
Baum wrote a story last week which said Vanbiesbrouck told friends he wanted to be traded to a playoff contender before the March 13 trade deadline.
According to reports out of Ottawa, where the incident took place, a number of Islanders players confronted Vanbiesbrouck and demanded an explanation. Vanbiesbrouck, who wasn't quoted in the article, was upset and hustled Baum into the Islanders' locker room after the team's morning skate for Tuesday's game.
He berated Baum for 10 minutes in front of the team, coach Butch Goring and team vice president of communications Chris Botta. Neither Botta nor Goring reportedly did anything to stop it.
While writers and players often disagree over stories, differences are usually settled in a civil manner.
"If you ask me, I have no problem with the way John handled it," Botta said.
However, Vanbiesbrouck never denied the central point of the story, that he told friends he wanted to be traded.
Goring, who didn't condone Vanbiesbrouck's actions, said he had no idea what the goaltender had planned.
"Sometimes things are said in the media that you don't have any control over," Goring said. "In fact, most of the time we don't have any control over what is said and we have to deal with it in our own way."
SHARKS-OILERS FEUD: It began in December when San Jose's Bryan Marchment felled Oilers star Doug Weight. It continued Monday, when Marchment and Oilers tough guy Georges Laraque dropped the gloves. It resumed Wednesday, when Marchment dropped Edmonton's Mike Grier with a slash. By the end of San Jose's 6-1 win, Laraque was looking for anyone willing to fight.
After the final horn, Sharks wing Todd Harvey got into a shouting match with Oilers coach Craig MacTavish.
"The game's 6-1," Harvey said. "I don't know what kind of message they're trying to send. A few of the guys were a bit bitter, but that's hockey."
TUCKER-RAY FEUD: Nobody will reveal exactly what Sabres tough guy Rob Ray said to the Maple Leafs' Darcy Tucker in a Jan. 20 game in Toronto. Whatever it was, it prompted Tucker to grab a stick and charge to the Sabres locker room yelling, "I'm going to kill you," and challenging Ray to step outside -- literally.
Ray apparently insulted Tucker's linemate/brother-in-law Shayne Corson.
"It was so low," Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn said, "If I'd have been on the ice, I would have hit Ray over the head with my stick."
ENERGIZER PRONGER: A Jan. 19 MRI of Chris Pronger's left knee showed the Blues defenseman needed arthroscopic surgery. Yet Pronger played back-to-back games the next two nights against the Canucks and Predators.
Pronger had the surgery on Tuesday, it took 20 minutes. He is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
"The scary part," teammate Al MacInnis said, "is that he played like he didn't need anything done."
Said Pronger: "It's something we need to take care of now before it becomes a problem. It's one of those things you can play with, but as the wear and tear of the season goes on, you don't want it to become a problem in the playoffs when everything counts."
OZOL-NO: Carolina defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh, after going minus-3 against the Kings Jan. 20 in his first game back after recovering from a knee injury:
"Everybody was moving so fast, I didn't really have a clue for a period of time what was going on. The first time I touched the puck I was surprised how fast everyone was going."
ODDS AND ENDS: Flyers forward John LeClair is expected out another eight weeks because a staff infection has settled into the L-3 space of his spine, where he had disk particles removed Oct. 21. ... Flames center Daniel Tkaczuk and wing Dwayne Hay sustained concussions in Tuesday's loss to the Coyotes. Ten Flames have had concussions in the past two months. ... Detroit defenseman Larry Murphy, 39, played his 1,600th game Wednesday against Nashville. He trails only Gordie Howe (1,767). ... Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios is hoping for a late-February return from ACL surgery on his left knee. ... Sabres goalie Dominik Hasek said he is not so sure this will be his last season. He also wants to play for the Czech Republic in the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. ... The New York Post reported the Kings would trade defenseman Rob Blake to the Devils for forward Scott Gomez and three prospects: goalie Ari Ahonen and defensemen David Hale and Matt DeMarchi.
-- Information from other news organizations was used in this report.