Originally created 09/24/98

Hockey roundup



Milos Holan's brave attempt at an NHL comeback has ended with his release by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

Holan, 27, a Czech defenseman, struggled to regain his health after being diagnosed three years ago with granulocytic leukemia, a form of blood cancer.

He had his immune system purposely destroyed to undergo a bone marrow transplant in February 1996 and during eight months in the hospital he lost 50 pounds.

His hockey career seemed over. But he slowly regained his strength and asked for and was granted a tryout with the team he'd played sparingly for during the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons.

"I want to make this hockey team," he said after showing up for training camp earlier this month.

On Wednesday, president-general manager Pierre Gauthier had to tell Holan he didn't make the team.

"Milos has made great strides in overcoming his illness and is an inspiration to everyone in this organization," Gauthier said in a news release. "We are grateful for all of his hard work and wish him and his family all the best."

Bruins

Jason Allison has rejected the Bruins' latest contract offer.

Assistant general manager Mike O'Connell said there are three offers on the table: one year, one year plus an option, and three years.

"The choices are 1, 2 or 3, or don't play for us," O'Connell told the Boston Globe. "We don't feel there's any need to go any further.

"He can pick the one with security, some security, or no security. We feel we're giving him good options and the ability to make a good living."

Agent Bob Gerow said Allison will begin looking at playing in the IHL or in Europe.

"It would be nice if another team in the NHL would sign him to an offer sheet or (if Boston would) trade him, which Mike said they won't do," said Gerow.

Predators

David Legwand, the second player taken in the entry draft, has been sent home from the Nashville Predators' training camp due to mononucleosis.

"No determination has been made on his status and he will be re-evaluated at a later date," general manager David Poile said in a two-sentence news release.

Penguins

Holdout center Petr Nedved, who missed last season in an ongoing contract dispute, has rejected the Pittsburgh Penguins' latest offer of $17 million to $18 million over five years.

Nedved, who says he'll play for the IHL's Las Vegas Thunder until his NHL situation is resolved, and general manager Craig Patrick spoke this week for the first time since last season. Nedved is in the process of replacing agent Tony Kondel with Michael Barnett.

Blackhawks

Chicago left wing Reid Simpson will miss four to six weeks after breaking his right hand in a fight with Boston right wing Aaron Downey.

Avalanche

Colorado coach Bob Hartley likes the two-referee system.

"They should be able to pick up the cheap shots from behind," says Hartley. "That should be the solution for guys getting injured from behind.

"I like what I see. I also feel it improves the commumication with the coaches because there's always one referee close to the bench. That should speed up the games."

Each team is playing its first five exhibition games and 20 regular-season games (10 at home and 10 on the road) from Oct. 16 through Feb. 28, 1999, with two referees. One referee works the remaining 62 games and any playoff games.

Canucks

The Canucks signed forwards Brad May and Bill Muckalt on Wednesday.

May, a seven-year NHL veteran, agreed to a two-year contract worth $1.5 million each year, which is what he earned last season.

Muckalt, a rookie from who helped the Michigan Wolverines win the U.S. college title, had been seeking a first-year deal worth about $850,000. Terms were not disclosed.

May, 26, was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres last year along with a third-round draft pick for forward Geoff Sanderson. He played in 27 games for Vancouver, scoring nine goals and adding three assists.

Muckalt, 24, was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as the best college player in the United States. He had 32 goals and 35 assists in 46 games with the Wolverines.

Sharks

Bernie Nicholls, a veteran center known for his leadership in the locker room, has re-signed with the Sharks.

Nicholls, who became an unrestricted free agent in the off-season, had six goals and 22 assists in 60 games for the Sharks last season. He had five assists in the postseason against Dallas, tying him for first on the team in points.

Over 17 years in the NHL, Nicholls has 475 goals and 732 assists in 1,207 games, ranking him seventh among current NHL players in points. A three-time all-star, Nicholls has also played for the Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, New Jersey Devils and Chicago Blackhawks.