The Michigan Daily
Friday, February 18, 1983
THE SPORTING VIEWS
ngs drivinfor playoffs.. .
. . no reason for them to miss
By JIM DAVIS
WAY BACK in 1978, the Detroit Red Wings last made the National
Hockey League playoffs. Now, five years later, the Wings have a chan-
ce to end the post-season famine for Detroit hockey fans.
Through Tuesday night's 7-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, the
worst team in the league and Toronto's win over St. Louis Wednesday, the
Wings are two points ahead of the Maple Leafs in the race for the fourth and
final playoff 'spot in the Norris Division. Twenty-two games are left on the
Red Wing schedule, twelve of which are at Joe Louis Arena. And all it will
take to make the playoffs, according to head coach Nick Polano, is "a little
consistency, particularly at home, (because) we certainly don't win on the
road (five times in 30 games) on the road."
Polano is a member of the modern hockey regime in Detroit. New owner
Mike hitch hired Polano from Buffalo and Geperal Manager Jimmy
Devellano from the New York Islanders organization to try to instill some of
the spark this once-mighty franchise has been lacking in the last decade or
The defenseman-turned-coach realizes that the task won't be easy,
however, likening the Detroit organization to an old house. "When you buy
an old house, you have to fix something; like the roof. Then, as soon as that's
fixed, the plumbing goes. Then the wiring. There's always something to fix."
So far, Ilitch's newest franchise (other than pizzzerias) appears to be
*"going in the right directin toward being repaired. Building around a nucleus
of wingers John Ogrodnick, Mike Blaisdell, Danny Gare and Mark Osborne,
and defensemen Willie Huber and Reed Larson, Polano and Devellano
signed free agents Stan Weir, Reggie Leach and Colin Campbell this past
Then during the season, centers Dwight Foster and Ivan Boliriev were ad-
ded via the trade route. These veteran acquisitions give Detroit the league-
lead in gray hairs, with seven players over 30 years old.
But the Wings are anything but veteran at goaltender, where rookies
Corrado Micalef and Greg Stefan give the Wings inconsistent play marked
by flashes of brilliance, such as Micalef's 5-1-2 record in December. Polano
has recently added Gilles Gilbert to try to get some stability.
Though the Wings are still struggling, the players feel an expectant at-
titude on the Detroit club. Foster, who sparked Detroit during the December
hot streak, feels the Wings' problem is lack of goal scoring. "We have our
chances to score. We just can't get the puck in the net. We have to stick with
our system, though. It's gonna pay off."
Polano must also find a combination that will click on the power play.
Seldom has Detroit looked powerful with the man-advantage. It would also
be nice to see one of the goalies get hot during the stretch drive, not just for a
game or two, but for five or six.
Lately, the Wings have been showing signs of ending the slump that has
plagued them since New Year's Eve. The victory against Pittsburgh gave
Detroit three wins in its last-four games. Last night, Los Angeles came to
r town, a team not much better than the Wings. Another weak team, Hartford,
visits Joe Louis Arena on Sunday. Wins in games like these are a must.
The Wings hold their destiny in their own hands. If they start playing like
they should, veterans as well as youngsters, the players feel Toronto won't
be able to stop Detroit.
"I think we're gonna make it (the playoffs)," said Lofthouse. "If we can
get on a roll, there's no stopping us."
Can the Wings mount a streak in the next six weeks?
I think so.
By RON POLLACK
Bob Woolf has yet to sit down to the
negotiating table, but the Boston attor-
ney, acting as Anthony Carter's agent,
has already caused quite a stir with
Michigan Panthers' officials.
Woolf, who will meet with team of-
ficials for the first time today, has
angered members of the Panthers'
organization with his comments on
Wednesday that Carter deserves the
most lucrative contract in the United
States Football League.
"ACCORDING TO the pro scouting
reports, (Grambling's) Trumaine
Johnson was the best receiver in the
nation, and our offer is as good or better
than Trumaine got from the Chicago
Blitz," said Panthers spokesman Bruno
Kearns. "So I think that (Woolf) is put-
ting an astounding figure up front."
Woolf said that former North
Carolina running back Kelvin Bryant's
contract with the Philadelphia Stars is
worth $2.2 million over a four-year
period. Former Ohio State running
back Tim Spencer signed a similar con-
tract with the Chicago Blitz. The Pan-
thers' offer to Carter, meanwhile, is
believed to be worth $1.3 million over
Kearns compared Woolf to agents
Jerry Argovitz and Howard Slusher,
two men whose negotiating tactics he
"WE FEEL our figure is as good or
better than most in the USFL," he said.
"I don't know why Mr. Woolf would
make a statement like Argovitz and
Slusher would make. Argovitz has a
bad tendency to go to the media before
going to the negotiating table. I'm sur-
prised Mr. Woolf would say that (Car-
ter should be the league's highest paid
Panthers' general manager Jim
Spavital hinted that Woolf's comments
may be nothing more than a bargaining
"He hasn't told us anything," said
Spavital. "We have a package we'll
present to him. We have a lot of talking
to do. When you sit down face-to-face
with people, . things are often different
than what they say over thep
when you talk big money, you1
in to talk."
BUT SPAVITAL said he
negotiations with Woolf to b
tive. "We've got somebody
feel is competent and knows
The Panthers' GM expre
belief that Woolf's presence i
ter negotiations will speed up1
Prior to hiring Woolf last wee
called off three meetingsv
"I definitely think we're do
phone. So brass tacks now," said Spavital.
bring 'em Speed is certainly of the essence for
the Panthers in their pursuit of Carter,
e expects since the regular season begins for.
e produc- them on March 7 when they play the
there we Birmingham Stallions.
figures," "We hope to get a decision as soon as
possible, because training camp is
essed the nearing an end," said Spavital. "We
n the Car- have to get Anthony in shape and into
the talks. our offensive scheme of things. A wide
ek, Carter receiver has to be able to read more
with Pan- sophisticated defenses than in college.
If we sign him, we hope he can play iii
own to the the first game."
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