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Slap shots

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 18, 2001


BUDDING NATURALIST?: This probably is more information than you want, or need, to know, but Nashville forward Scott Walker likes to be naked in his hotel room on road trips. Amazingly, he doesn't mind talking about it.

"The main reason I do it is because it keeps my room empty of guys," Walker said. "Guys always want to hang out in my room and sit on my bed, and I'm wanting to relax.

"So I just take off all my clothes, sit on top of the sheets, and anybody who wants to come sit beside me, that's fine. It usually keeps my side of the room pretty clear because all the guys sit with Fitzy (captain Tom Fitzgerald) on his bed.

"It's also a good way to get the remote from people. You just start walking toward them and they drop the remote and go the other way."

CHECK IT OUT: Carolina's 25-year-old Swedish rookie, Nic Wallin, never had been to the United States before training camp and has been a wide-eyed tourist as the team travels the country.

His favorite cities are New York and Los Angeles.

"I don't know what it's like for Ron Francis," Wallin said of the Hurricanes' elder statesman, "but for me it's so exciting. Everything is new to me. It's the chance you have if you play in this league."

TWO REASONS TO SMILE: After a difficult pregnancy, Krista Deadmarsh, wife of Avalanche wing Adam Deadmarsh, gave birth Feb. 9 to twin girls: Madison and Alexis.

Deadmarsh was told during the second period of the Flames game his wife was in labor. He left to be present for the births.

The babies were born six weeks prematurely, but everyone is healthy and doing well. "Now that everyone is doing great, it's even hard to talk about it because it's such a good feeling. We're so excited, it's beyond words," he said.

SWEATER WEATHER: Oilers forward Anson Carter was nicknamed Cassius Carter after Monday's row with Los Angeles' Kelly Buchberger. Carter, who never has had more than 31 penalty minutes in a season, caught Buchberger with two heavy blows.

"He taught me something," Edmonton heavyweight Georges Laraque said. "His sweater came over his head, something that would have left me in a panic. But Anson said there is a trick to fighting that way. He said you grab the other guy by the neck and throw over with your hand."

EXCUSES, EXCUSES: Toronto forward Gary Roberts said the fitness tests players took Monday contributed to giving up a goal in the opening two minutes of Wednesday's game against the Blue Jackets.

"It's been my experience that the first game back from them, you have heavy legs," he said.

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