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The NHL / Chris Baker : Kings' Rating Better Than Record

January 01, 1986|Chris Baker

The Kings may have the second-worst record in the National Hockey League this season, but according to a confidential report prepared by the league, they aren't one of the worst teams in the league.

The report was prepared by the NHL to determine if the league was strong enough to expand. It was uncovered by the Winnipeg Free Press.

The NHL Board of Governors recently decided to put off expansion for at least a year.

The 21 teams were rated as very strong, strong, medium or weak. The ratings were based on an evaluation of the top 15 players on each team by Bryan O'Neill, the NHL's executive vice president.

Rated as very strong were the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers, the Philadelphia Flyers, Calgary Flames, Quebec Nordiques and Washington Capitals.

Classified as strong were the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders and Minnesota North Stars.

Rated as medium were the Chicago Black Hawks, Hartford Whalers, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks and the Kings.

Rated as weak were the Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Pete Rose is apparently trying to buy the engine of Pelle Lindbergh's wrecked Porsche Turbo, a Philadelphia newspaper reported.

Lindbergh was killed in an accident last November. The shell of the car was demolished but the specially modified engine was salvaged.

The Flyers' Derrick Smith was injured in a recent accident. Smith ran into the rear of a car on the Wilmington Bridge. There wasn't much damage in that initial accident, but as a police car stopped to investigate, another driver in a large car smashed into all three.

Smith suffered a sprained ankle and some cuts. The man that Smith had originally hit wasn't as fortunate. He was standing between cars and suffered two broken legs.

Smith missed two games because of the accident, but he is expected to be back in action when the Kings face the Flyers Thursday night at the Forum.

The Kings held a New Year's Eve party at a Beverly Hills estate.

The cost was $100 a person and included, dinner, drinks and dancing.

King Coach Pat Quinn and assistants Mike Murphy and Phil Myre decided not to attend, however, Quinn saying that he didn't want the players to feel intimidated by his presence. The players couldn't party too long, however, because they had a practice scheduled for New Year's Day at the Forum.

The Philadelphia Flyers will have the Kings' No. 2 pick in the 1986 NHL entry draft as a result of deals that brought the Kings Paul Guay and Joe Paterson, according to a Philadelphia newspaper.

When the Kings acquired Guay from the Flyers, the deal was for a No. 2 pick if he played in 40 games and a No. 3 pick if he didn't. However Guay was sent to the minors.

When it became apparent that he wouldn't play in 40 games, the Kings guaranteed the Flyers a No. 2 pick after acquiring Paterson last month.

If the Kings finish in 20th place, their No. 2 pick will probably be almost as good as a first rounder for the Flyers, who figure to pick toward the end of the first round.

The voting for the NHL All-Star game ended Tuesday and, barring any last-minute surges, it figures to look like a rematch of the 1985 Stanley Cup final between Edmonton and Philadelphia.

Five Edmonton players were the leading vote getters in the Campbell Conference and three Flyers are leading in the Wales Conference.

Center Wayne Gretzky of the Oilers had a big lead over Dale Hawerchuk of the Winnipeg Jets. Gretzky had 178,456 votes and Hawerchuk 51,052. Center Marcel Dionne of the Kings was fourth with 26,254 votes.

Defenseman Paul Coffey of the Oilers became the first player to pass the 200,000 mark. Coffey has 205,268 votes. Doug Wilson of the Chicago Black Hawks is second with 85,324.

Right wing Jari Kurri of the Oilers leads Detroit's Ron Duguay.

Edmonton goalies Grant Fuhr and Andy Moog are 1-2 in the voting.

Left wing Glenn Anderson of the Oilers also leads John Ogrodnick of the Detroit Red Wings.

Right wing Tim Kerr, left wing Brian Propp and the late Lindbergh of the Flyers are leading in the Wales Conference voting.

Defenseman Mark Howe of the Flyers is third behind Ray Borque of Boston and Rod Langway of the Washington Capitals.

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