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Bowman Makes Appearance; Red Wings Hoist Stanley Cup

October 17, 1998|Associated Press

The Detroit Red Wings hoisted a ninth Stanley Cup banner to the rafters of Joe Louis Arena in a loud and emotional ceremony before their home opener Friday night against the St. Louis Blues.

With injured defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov in attendance, the biggest cheer was reserved for Coach Scotty Bowman as stepped out of the tunnel, behind assistants Dave Lewis and Barry Smith.

It was the first time since mid-June that the players had seen Bowman, who is recovering from heart and knee surgery. Bowman, much thinner, smiled and waved.

Bowman had spent the day at a hospital undergoing a stress checkup. Results of those tests will determine whether he returns to coaching again. He wasn't behind the bench when the game started.

Bowman, turned 65 on Sept. 18 but has said recently that he is leaning toward returning for a shot at an unprecedented ninth Cup championship. That would break a record he shares with his mentor, Toe Blake.

Bowman also would earn $970,000 to coach, and a $200,000 bonus if he won another title. The alternative would be $250,000 for an unspecified front-office job.

It was a special moment for Konstantinov, who was on the ice with his teammates, enjoying what he missed a year ago because of brain stem injuries received in a limousine crash six days after the Red Wings had clinched their first Cup in 42 years.

Team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov, left partially paralyzed in the same crash, also was on hand for the ceremonies. The Red Wings had both their names engraved on the Cup as part of the 1998 team.

After the Stanley Cup was unveiled at center ice, team captain Steve Yzerman hoisted it over his head and led the players--plus the two men in wheelchairs--toward the north end of the stadium.

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The Washington Capitals traded for New York Islander left wing Tom Chorske and signed restricted free agent Sergei Gonchar, a defenseman.

Chorske, who has 114 goals and 115 assists with Montreal, New Jersey and Ottawa, was acquired along with the Islanders' eighth-round draft pick in 1999 for the Capitals' sixth-round selection next year.

Gonchar signed a two-year contract worth $3.3 million.

Left wing Chris Simon, suspended after a disagreement with Coach Ron Wilson on the bench during Tuesday's night game against Detroit, is expected to return today.

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The Ottawa Senators rewarded Roy Mlakar, president and chief executive, with a three-year contract extension through the 2001-02 season.

Under Mlakar, a former King executive who had one-year remaining on his current agreement, the Senators have made the playoffs the last two seasons, defeating the top-seeded New Jersey Devils in the first round last season.

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