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Cashman Out As Flyers Coach

Associated Press

Wayne Cashman is out as coach of the slumping Philadelphia Flyers, demoted to an assistant and replaced by Roger Neilson, a hockey nomad if ever there was one.

With the team on a 4-8 skid, the Flyers on Monday removed Cashman 61 games into his rookie season - the shortest coaching stint in Flyers’ history.

“We hope for the best, you know,” said injured Flyers star Eric Lindros. “We weren’t playing too tough, but at the same time our record wasn’t too bad.”

Neilson, an assistant with the St. Louis Blues, becomes an NHL head coach with his seventh team. No one in NHL history has coached more teams, and Neilson knows all too well the burden of expectations.

In 1991-92, he led the New York Rangers to a first-place regular-season finish, then got fired the next season. He coached the Florida Panthers, an expansion team, within a point of the playoffs in their first two seasons, and still lost his job months later.

His other head coaching jobs were with Toronto, Buffalo, Vancouver and Los Angeles. He reached the finals once, with Vancouver in 1982.

His record with his six teams is 367-320-126. Now his next project is Philadelphia, whose record is 32-30-9.

Hasek, Sabres near deal

Dominik Hasek and the Buffalo Sabres are nearing an agreement on a long-term contract that would make him the highest-paid goaltender in NHL history.

Hasek confirmed the Sabres offered him a contract. A team source told the AP that Hasek would average between $7 million and $8 million per season, including a large signing bonus.

“It was a pretty good offer,” Hasek said. “I was pretty pleased, but there are still some things we have to discuss. There’s a good possibility I will sign a new contract within two weeks.”

Biggest glitch in negotiations is whether to keep a no-trade clause that currently exists from a deal he signed in 1995. Hasek demanded the clause then to ensure he would stay in Buffalo.

On the ice

Esa Tikkanen had two assists in his Washington debut and Peter Bondra scored twice as the Capitals put together their first winning streak in six weeks by defeating the visiting Calgary Flames 5-2 on Monday night.

At New York, Wayne Gretzky’s goal with 1:05 remaining in regulation lifted the New York Rangers into a 2-2 tie with the New Jersey Devils. New Jersey extended the team’s unbeaten streak to 11 games (8-0-3) and tied the idle Dallas Stars for the NHL lead in points with 86.

At Denver, Stephane Richer scored twice, including the winner at 3:47 of the third period, as the Tampa Bay Lighting won for the first time in 11 road games with a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

At Chicago, Dean McAmmond scored with 42.2 seconds left in overtime as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 despite blowing a three-goal, third-period lead.

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