Originally created 10/10/01

Lynx notebook



Augusta Lynx coach Jim Burton skipped practice Tuesday morning at Augusta Ice Sports Center and spent the day in his office furiously working the telephone.

With less than 72 hours to go before the start of the season, Burton is searching for at least one more skilled forward to bolster his lineup.

While Burton has been looking for upgrades throughout training camp, his search intensified Tuesday after learning center Patrick Yetman might miss Friday's season-opener at home against the Greensboro Generals.

Yetman became violently ill during Tuesday's workout and complained of abdominal pains. He was taken to a local hospital for tests.

"The guys told me he was OK, and then, all of a sudden, he was dry heaving over the side of the boards," Burton said. "We thought it might be appendicitis at first, but now they think he might have a kidney stone."

Defenseman Martin Lapointe, who took a slapshot to the side of his head in Monday's preseason game at Columbia, also left the ice during practice Tuesday after complaining of dizziness.

Lapointe needed seven stitches Monday to close a two-inch gash in front of his right ear. He was to undergo tests Tuesday to determine if he suffered a concussion.

"We're OK on the blue line, but we need some help up front," Burton said. "Especially if Patty can't go Friday."

Meanwhile, Burton spent the day talking to coaches around the league about possible trades. He also is keeping a close eye on the league's waiver wire, as a flurry of moves are being made as clubs pare down their rosters to the 20-player limit.

Opening rosters must be submitted to the league today.

Among the players released by clubs on Tuesday are second-year winger Doug Sheppard, who led the Roanoke Express in scoring last season (30 goals and 69 points in 69 games) and center Brad Holzinger, who scored 20 goals and 59 points in 66 games with the Dayton Bombers last season.

The Lynx were close to signing forward Dean Stock, who was released by Manchester of the American Hockey League last week, but Stock instead signed with the expansion Reading Royals on Monday.

Burton also said the team has no interest in re-signing center Paul Vincent, who was second on the team in scoring last year but was released one week before the start of training camp.

"That's not going to happen," Burton said. "For a lot of reasons I'm not going to talk about publicly, we're done with him."

As for possible trades, the Lynx possibly could trade one of the goaltenders - former first-round pick Craig Hillier or second-year pro Cris Classen - who are vying to make the club.

"I've got to decide which goalie I want to keep by (today)," Burton said. "The other one is a guy I might be able to trade."

SWINSON ILL: Defenseman Wes Swinson literally gutted it out during Monday's exhibition game vs. Columbia.

Swinson had a fever of 102 and vomited three times on the bench during the game. He also suffered several cuts on his hand as the result of a fight with Columbia's Clint Way.

"I was dying out there," Swinson said. "No way I should have played a preseason game that sick."

HELMET FLAP: The ECHL struck a deal with CCM to make the equipment manufacturer's new X-ray series helmet the official helmet of the league. The deal requires a minimum of 51 percent of the players on each team to wear the helmets this season.

However, players around the league are unhappy with the fit and feel of the helmet. Many teams, including the Lynx, have refused to use them.

Teams have complained the helmets were flying off players during preseason games.

Lynx trainer Brian Patafie said he will receive a modified version of the helmet from CCM in the coming weeks and that he will comply with the league's deal if the players like them.

Patafie is one of four trainers who suggested modifying the helmets at the professional hockey trainers' convention in Palm Springs, Calif., this summer.

"Macon and Columbia wore the (original) version this weekend, and they're no good," Patafie said. "The new one won't look as tacky and the foam (padding) on the inside is better."

The X-ray helmets - designed to target the youth hockey market - are transparent and come in several colors, including red, blue, black and purple.

Lynx captain Scott Morrow says the problem with the original version is that the padding is to hard.

"It will save you from a broken neck if you go crashing into the boards, but when you're just taking regular hits to the head that come when you're battling on the ice, it gives you a headache," Morrow said.