Face of the Flyers

ROB TYCHKOWSKI

, Last Updated: 10:46 AM ET

Some people rolled their eyes when, just days after GM Bob Clarke walked away from the Flyers citing "burnout," they hired him back as senior vice president.

Not Paul Holmgren. The Flyers were a mess when he took over, and he's really turned their fortunes around at the deadline, adding enough solid building blocks to give a sad sack team hope for the future, but he says Clarke is still a very valuable member of the team.

"In my opinion Bob Clarke is the Flyers," he said. "It's great for me having him around because he's a good friend of mine and he has a wealth of knowledge and experience about the NHL. He's a good guy to bounce ideas off of or to just sit back and talk with. Some of the stuff he's going to do for us moving forward is going to be really beneficial.''

SLATS ALL FOLKS

Since 1993 - 14 years ago - Glen Sather's teams have won a grand total of two playoff series (1997 and 1998 in Edmonton). They've missed or bowed out in the first round six times in his final eight years in Edmonton and he's zero for five in New York. And people had their noses out of joint because Mark Messier didn't have experience ... All in all, it's been a bad year for the Original Six. There's every chance that five of them could miss the playoffs this year ... Chris Pronger declined to give the details on how he broke his toe, but we can safely assume it wasn't from putting the pants on in the family ... For all of Denis Savard's flash as a player, he's old school, and can't wait until the Hawks add six-foot-six, 238-pound Dave Koci to their lineup this week. Chicago's only had 24 fights this season (20th in the NHL), but Koci should remedy that in a hurry. He has one assist in the AHL this season, along with 212 penalty minutes (including 20 fighting majors) in 38 games.

LOUD AND NOT SO PROUD

Leave it to the fans at MSG. After falling behind early to the St. Louis Blues, the Garden faithful began chanting "We suck!"... In keeping with league policy to blow off infractions that result in injuries, the NHL issued no fine or suspension to Detroit's Brett Lebda for a slash that broke Scott Nichol's hand on Tuesday. Nichol will miss two weeks ... More bad news for the Preds. Despite chasing down first overall and a possible Stanley Cup, they can't even find a company willing to buy the naming rights to their rink. Gaylord Entertainment pulled out early, so it's back to Nashville Arena. That's a pretty grim sign if you're Gary Bettman. Wish I'd thought of that: From the New York Times, after a game in which the Rangers pounded 57 shots at Rick DiPietro and had another 25 blocked. "The Rangers had the puck in the Islander end so long, DiPietro's 15-year deal threatened to expire." ... Or this from Fox Sports' Al Strachan: "In Anaheim, you can buy a package of four game tickets, four hot dogs and four Pepsis for $46. In Toronto, they have the same deal - except for the Pepsis and game tickets."

SETTING THINGS STRAIGHT

Jeremy Roenick is trying to set the record straight after his untimely whining before the deadline. "I love playing for Wayne (Gretzky)," he told Phoenix reporters. "The guy's an icon. I respect him immensely. You may not see that by some of the stuff that I say, but I've always been a complainer and that's not going to change."... How ridiculous was that Forbes magazine ranking of the top GMs in sports? Well, on the hockey side of things, Mike Milbury, who ground the Isles into the ground before losing his job, made the list ... Tampa's Vinny Lecavalier ran into big Shane O'Brien in practice Monday and fell to the ice with the wind knocked out of him. "Vinny said he couldn't breathe and I told him, 'Vinny, for what it's worth, while you were down, neither could I,' " said GM Jay Feaster.


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