Antlers in Patrick's future?

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:12 AM ET

James Patrick is hanging up his skates again and this time it's for good.

Patrick, the Winnipegger who spent last season playing in Germany for the Frankfurt Lions (DEL) after initially retiring and taking a job as an assistant coaching job with the Buffalo Sabres, says he's got the playing bug out of his system.

"I had fun playing but with my body, I can't do what the young guys can do anymore," Patrick, a veteran of 1,280 NHL regular season and another 117 Stanley Cup playoff games, said yesterday. "I'm glad I did it but it's time to move on."

It's possible Patrick could join Scott Arniel as an assistant coach with the Manitoba Moose or perhaps replace him as an assistant coach with the Sabres.

"It's something I would definitely consider, but I don't know what's going to happen," said Patrick, when asked specifically about a potential Moose opportunity. "I've thought about it but we'll see how things play out."

Arniel, who was unveiled as Moose head coach yesterday, planned to start working today and hopes to have his coaching staff in place in the near future.

FORMAT CHANGE: The Moose remain in the AHL's North Division with the Toronto Marlies, Hamilton Bulldogs, Syracuse Crunch, Rochester Americans and Grand Rapids Griffins. The AHL announced it will continue to use the best-of-seven divisional semis and finals before the conference final and subsequent Calder Cup final.

However, if the fifth-place team in the West has more points than the fourth-place team in the North, a crossover will be used.

The AHL is also incorporating a modification of a rule it used two seasons ago, whereby a defending player (other than the goalie) clearing the puck over the glass from within the defensive zone will be penalized at the discretion of the referee.

CLOUTIER FALLOUT: The Vancouver Canucks trading former starting goalie Dan Cloutier to the Los Angeles Kings for a second round pick in 2007 and a conditional draft pick in 2009, leaves Mika Noronen and reigning Moose MVP Wade Flaherty to battle for the backup job behind Roberto Luongo.


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