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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Penguins fire coach Olczyk, hire Therrien

Associated Press

Former player Eddie Olczyk was out and disciplinarian Michel Therrien was in as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ coach Thursday, and a couple of minutes of practice quickly revealed the differences between the two.

There were no sloppily run drills, no casual puck shooting, no scrimmages that looked like pickup games. It was time for hockey boot camp.

It was culture shock for a team that has prided itself on developing creative players and not systems. But the Penguins’ 8-17-6 record was a bigger shock to a franchise convinced it has Stanley Cup-contending talent.

Since Olczyk moved from the TV booth to behind the bench in 2003-04, the Penguins were 31-68-14 with losing streaks of 18 games and nine games. They played so badly while losing eight of their last nine that rookie star Sidney Crosby suggested they all but quit.

“Penguins owner-captain Mario Lemieux practiced, the first time since being hospitalized Dec. 7 with a rapid heartbeat, and expects to play tonight against Buffalo.

Bettman announces rise in salary cap

The salary cap for NHL teams will rise next season, from the current $39 million to between $40 million and $45 million, commissioner Gary Bettman said.

Bettman presented the news to owners at the end of a two-day meeting at a north Scottsdale, Ariz., resort. He projected overall revenues of just more than $2 billion.

If the cap goes to $45 million, the maximum salary for a player would rise from $7.8 million to $9 million.

On the ice

Hurricanes 2, Blue Jackets 1: At Raleigh, N.C., Rod Brind’Amour scored twice and Martin Gerber made 25 saves to help Carolina hold off Columbus.

Stars 2, Senators 0: At Ottawa, Marty Turco earned his second shutout of the season, and Brenden Morrow scored his 10th goal to lead Dallas over Ottawa.

Canucks 5, Flyers 4: At Philadelphia, Anson Carter scored twice in the third period, leading Vancouver to a victory over Philadelphia.

Bruins 3, Wild 2: At St. Paul, Minn., Marco Sturm scored his fourth goal in six games since coming to Boston, sparking a win over Minnesota.

Thrashers 3, Devils 2 (OT): At East Rutherford, N.J., Marc Savard scored a power-play goal with 5 seconds left in overtime as Atlanta beat New Jersey.

Predators 5, Blackhawks 3: At Nashville, Tenn., Pekka Rinne stopped 35 shots in his NHL debut and Nashville beat Chicago.

Panthers 3, Red Wings 2 (OT): At Sunrise, Fla., Olli Jokinen scored a power-play goal 1:36 into overtime, giving Florida its first win over Detroit since Dec. 1, 1996.

Lightning 3, Coyotes 1: At Glendale, Ariz., Vincent Lecavalier netted a short-handed goal, and Fredrik Modin also scored to lead Tampa Bay past Phoenix.

Oilers 5, Canadiens 3: At Edmonton, Alberta, Ethan Moreau’s power-play goal with 1:23 left in the third period led Edmonton past Montreal.