SUN Hockey Pool

Bend it for Peckham

JOHN SHORT

, Last Updated: 7:30 AM ET

The NHL rule that limits the number of players a team can call from the minor system late in the season must be changed.

It's unfair to fans and young players that prospects who might be part of an organization's future can't be put on display in the last month or so.

Theo Peckham is a good example.

He was called up from Springfield because of injury, but he can't be kept here because either Ladislav Smid or Mathieu Roy will be fit to play today against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Peckham is big, strong and physical. The Oilers have too little of those attributes throughout their lineup. What's more, Craig MacTavish says the young defenceman did a good job against Columbus.

It would be interesting to see the second-round draft choice in a live performance at Rexall Place, but unless another defenceman gets hurt, there's no chance.

So he'll stay in the minors until next spring. His development may be delayed because of this useless rule.

Far better is the Major League Baseball regulation that allows teams to add 15 players in the last month or so of a regular season. The prospects get a chance to flaunt their skills and - more important - the customers get a chance to see them in action.

I suppose the Oilers could create an injury, but MacTavish and Kevin Lowe would never shade a rule. Or would they?

HOOP DREAMIN'

Every spring, the old pattern repeats itself. Most folks around here don't mention the NBA for 10 or 11 months in a row, but they come out of the woodwork in time for playoffs.

Always in the forefront (or fore-court) is the Steve Nash issue.

How good is he on the all-time scale?

At 34, is there enough tread on the Canadian standout's tires to let him win a title with the Phoenix Suns? The nationalism issue is raised, too.

What are chances that he'll change his mind and give Team Canada one more gift of his talent and character?

Unfortunately, time and the wear-and-tear on Nash's back make it clear that he won't return.

Although he has too much class to talk about it, the fact that Team Canada treated his old friend Jay Triano with little respect when Leo Rautins was named head coach probably has a bearing on the situation, too.

The only true international standout on this year's roster is Philadelphia 76ers starter Samuel Dalembert, who has impressed everybody with his effort and performance in Olympic qualifying attempts.

For awhile last week, after he was put on waivers by the New Jersey Nets, it seemed possible that former first-round pick Jamaal Magloire would join up, too - but it won't happen, and that's a disappointment.

In the first place, Magloire, who's a mature 29 and should be at his peak, isn't interested.

In the second place, Rautins has equal disdain for the idea - "even if Magloire begged to play."

A couple of years ago, during the event we used to call Klondike Days, the former first-round draft pick told me face to face that he was anxious to play for Canada's national team.

He never did. Now he never will. Too bad for Canada. And too bad for Magloire.

Just checking ... should Golden Bears basketball coach Don Horwood be named to the Canadian sports hall of fame - and if not, why not?


Videos

Photos