Dryden's comments fire up Clarke

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:35 AM ET

Bob Clarke is having enough problems getting this year's Philadelphia Flyers in winning form without having their past deeds dredged up as part of the Liberal party leadership race.

The Flyers GM was incensed that Grit candidate and former Montreal Canadiens goalie Ken Dryden took "cheap shots" at the Flyers, likening the Habs' defeat of the Broad Street Bullies in the 1976 playoffs to his party's quest to knock off Stephen Harper's Conservatives.

"It is not relevant to anything," Clarke told the Ottawa Citizen. "He thinks he looks good? He looks like an idiot saying something like that."

Clarke also mocked Dry-den's penchant for verbosity during his time as president of the Leafs.

"If you ask him the time, he'll build you a watch," Clarke said. "You didn't dare ask him a question because you had to stand and listen to him spout off for half an hour."

Dryden said he respected his Team Canada 1972 teammate's pride in his team, but maintained "only twice in my life I have felt as if I was on a mission against an opponent. The first time was against the Flyers, the second is in terms of beating Stephen Harper and the Conservatives."

Clarke said his father and grandfather were staunch Liberals back in Manitoba, but he would vote Conservative if he still lived here.

Buffalo the good

The terrible snowstorm that blanketed Buffalo brought out the town's Good Samaritans, not to mention a couple of big crowds. As one writer noted, HSBC Arena was one of the few places in town that remained open, lighted, warm and had lots of beer. About 18,000 took in the game against Philadelphia.

"Maybe Lindy and I can have a candlelight dinner," joked Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock, recalling how he and Sabres coach Lindy Ruff exchanged unpleasantries in the playoffs last year.

"It's not right to ask a guy out and then not actually call him," Ruff teased through Buffalo reporters.

"After his comments last year, I lost his number," Hitchcock replayed.

The Sabres were playing in Detroit when the storm hit, but before their plane ride home, management went out and bought 10 generators, knowing many players had small children and pregnant wives.

The good old days

During the summer, former Leafs assistant general manager Bill Watters hosted a reunion of the 1990s club hierarchy that included club president Cliff Fletcher (now with Phoenix) and assistants Mike Kitchen (now coaching the Blues) and Mike Murphy (NHL vice-president, hockey operations).

"Give us an hour or two and we'll have won that (1993) series against the Kings and beaten Montreal for the Cup," Fletcher quipped.

Unless Felix Potvin is successful in latching on with another club, every full-time Maple Leafs player on that 1993 Western Conference finalist team is now retired.

Ice chips

In addition to Jose Theodore returning to Montreal tonight, reluctant Oilers defenceman Chris Pronger hosts his old team Wednesday when Edmonton visits Anaheim ... Ex-NHLer turned motivational speaker Ryan Walter is promoting a new board game, Trade Deadline Hockey, which "puts the player in the role of GM to keep a professional hockey team within the salary cap by out-maneuvering your opponent."

It launches this month for about $30 ... Can a leopard change his spots? Brenden Morrow of the Dallas Stars has just two penalty minutes through six games, after getting a team-high 183 last year ... After years of residing 'round the corner from Maple Leaf Gardens, the NHL Players Association has moved its headquarters to 20 Bay St., giving it better access to visiting teams at the ACC and adjoining team hotels. The NHL's Toronto office is at 50 Bay St, the Leafs are at No. 40 ... The Arrowhead Pond on Anaheim is now the Honda Center.

Oilers new dress code

The Edmonton Oilers have a new dressing room tradition, voting the player of the game and giving him a garish old leather coat with a fur trim, straight out of a bad '70s hoodlum movie.

"There's no explaining some guys tastes in what they wear to and from the rink," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said.

No risk to Forsberg

Flyers' Peter Forsberg will be sidelined for a couple games with a left wrist injury, but his Thursday night mishap against the Tampa Bay Lightning is not as serious as first believed.

Trainer Jim McCrossin accompanied Forsberg to a hand specialist yesterday in Orlando, Fla., which revealed he has a sprained left wrist and a contusion of the wrist.

"We are very fortunate that the injury is what it is," McCrossin said. "Right now Peter is in a wrist splint to help the wrist relax and heal better."

Leaner and meaner

Tyler Arnason, whom the Senators hoped would be a boost to their playoff depth last year, came back to Ottawa with the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, denying he was out of shape last spring and a hindrance to the team. Arnason is off to a great start with the Avs.

"I really didn't like the way I was treated here. I just wanted to come back and prove myself a player because they kind of said I wasn't," Arnason said.

"I was in shape when I got here, but then maybe living in the hotel got to me, maybe I put on a few pounds. But I think I've been in good shape over my whole career, pretty much.

"They can say whatever they want. I don't really care."

Arnason suspected coach Bryan Murray didn't want to monkey with his first-place lineup.

"I don't know how badly he wanted another player in his lineup before the playoffs," Arnason said.

"Maybe he was happy with his team. They had a great year last year.

"Things didn't go well, so I think he just decided to go with the squad he had."


Videos

Photos