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Minute by Minute - Quick Hit News

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The news is changing every minute, so let's try to get caught up and review a few headlines.....

Good Luck Sami!

It was announced yesterday that ex-Whalers, Canes, and Flyers, Sami Kapanen was retiring from the NHL. Sami will be playing for his own team in Finland next year.

It was a joy to watch Kapanen play. He always skated hard and he never took a shift off. I remember that he helped to get the Hurricanes on the NHL map when he made the All-Star team and won the "fastest skater" competition.

Sami was traded to the Flyers for bust Pavel Brendl and defenseman Bruno St. Jacques in a deal which will never be on a Jim Rutherford highlight reel.

We wish Sami the best.

Maurice to Florida?

The Florida Panthers have asked for permission to talk to ex-Leafs and Canes coach Paul Maurice about their head coaching position. You might be asking, why are they asking permission when he was fired over a week ago?

Maurice still had a year on his contract, so technically he is still Maple Leafs property and is still getting paid, even though they fired him. Nice, huh?

Regardless, I would hate to see him under Jacques Martin in Panthers Country. If he does end up coaching Florida, do you think he would have to follow the company line and start calling the Hurricanes a "bunch of divers"?

Just say no, Paul.

Bye Bye Johnny

After weeks of rumor, innuendo, and unofficial reports of his demise, the Tampa Bay Lightning officially fired John "Torts" Tortorella today. This move should open the way for Barry "Melrose Place" Melrose to take over. I can't help but laugh over this move.

It should be interesting with "Gelrose" behind the bench again, but like him or hate him, Tortorella deserved better than the treatment he has received for the past month. He did help Tampa win the Cup, did he not?

Although things should end up all right for the coach because the latest rumor has "Torts" landing on his feet and taking over behind the bench in Ottawa.

In the meantime, ex-Sharks coach Ron Wilson is rumored to be the next Leafs coach. Fascinating stuff.

Should interim General Manager Cliff Fletcher make such a decision before the new GM is even chosen? Wouldn't it make more sense for a new GM to hire his own new coach? It seems like they are putting the cart before the horse with this move, but that is typical for Toronto, is it not?

Stay tuned for more of "As The Coaching World Turns"

Lighten Up Francis

Hurricanes assistant GM and NHL Hall of Famer, Ron Francis will be getting an "Honorary Doctorate of Letters" from Algoma University in his hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario on June 14th. It's another day and yet another award for a man who already has a ton.

Congratulations to Dr. Francis.

The Doobie Brothers