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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

NHL Finds Way to Really Stick It to a Real Bad Guy

September 25, 1998|MAL FLORENCE

The "Baddest Man in Hockey" apparently has nowhere to go now.

Gary Coupal, banned for life from the Canadian juniors in 1994 because of a slashing incident, was released by the Philadelphia Flyers after they were told by the American Hockey League that Coupal would not be welcome with the AHL's Philadelphia Phantoms, a Flyer affiliate.

In 1996, Coupal was with Columbus, Ohio, of the East Coast Hockey League and was suspended for 49 games after he reached out from the bench with his stick and knocked Aaron Downey of Hampton Roads unconscious.

Last season, Coupal played for the Muskegon Fury of the United Hockey League. He broke a stick over his leg one night and tossed it into the stands, narrowly missing a fan and his young daughter. The league banned him.

If Coupal played football, he would seemingly be a perfect fit for the Raiders.

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Trivia time: Who holds the UCLA record for the longest run from scrimmage?

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Naughty, naughty: Kevin Helland, 37, was sentenced to 10 days in jail in Waukesha, Wis., for pushing an umpire to the ground.

He was playing in a church-league game.

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QB factory: If a young player aspires to be an NFL quarterback, he should consider playing for the University of Washington. When the season began Sept. 6, the Huskies had five quarterbacks on NFL rosters, more than any other school.

Husky quarterbacks in the NFL are Mark Brunell with Jacksonville, Warren Moon with Seattle, Billy Joe Hobert with New Orleans, Chris Chandler with Atlanta, and Damon Huard with Miami.

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Panic plan: The Washington Post's Tony Kornheiser on the Redskins' 0-3 start:

"The swings of football are so great that one game, the right win at the right time, can turn an NFL season around. So you don't want to push the panic button yet. But you know the room where the panic button is? Well, we've opened the door to that room, so we can find the panic button if we need it."

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Exodus: Steve Blass, former major league pitcher and Pittsburgh Pirate announcer:

"I don't think there's anybody left in the Dominican [Republic]. Everybody that was born there is now playing major league baseball."

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Looking back: On this day in 1962, Sonny Liston knocked out Floyd Patterson at 2:06 of the first round in Comiskey Park in Chicago to win the world heavyweight boxing championship.

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Looking back again: On this day in 1982, UCLA defeated Michigan at Ann Arbor, 31-27. The teams met again in the Rose Bowl game, with the Bruins winning, 24-14.

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Trivia answer: Chuck Cheshire, 93 yards against Montana in 1934.

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And finally: Florida Marlin Manager Jim Leyland, 53, on deciding whether to remain with the team in 1999: "You've got the emotion of liking the players so much, and then you've got the emotion of getting your rear kicked so much."

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