Bruins might be ready to deal Janney

November 24, 1991|By Mike Kiley | Mike Kiley,Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO -- There have been rumors Boston is ready to trade Craig Janney, despite the fact he is just 24 and posted a NHL-career best 92 points last season.

If a deal happens, Janney admitted he wouldn't mind breaking away from Mike Milbury. His former coach, now the Bruins' assistant general manager, has the ability to rankle players.

"I don't think they are happy with me," Janney said. "They have been talking about getting rid of me for a long time. Who knows, maybe it's for the best for both of us.

"I'm upset about treatment I've gotten from the organization the last couple years. I've been under attack by a lot of people and I've gotten no support from management.

"It's more Mike than (general manager) Harry Sinden. We've always butted heads in the past, Mike and I. From a personal standpoint we're fine. I really respct him as person. Me and him just disagree on the business aspects of hockey."

Agent Ron Salcer contended throughout the negotiations with the Chicago Blackhawks for his client, Ed Belfour, that a basic and indisputable fact was working against him. Goalies historically aren't paid as much as forwards or defensemen.

The latest salary figures support that argument, with only two goalies among the 35 players earning more than $750,000 a year. Adding in a $175,000 signing bonus to Belfour's $750,000 base, he is the second highest paid goalie at $925,000. Montreal's Patrick Roy leads the way with $1.2 million.

To show that timing is everything, consider Philadelphia's Ron Hextall is the third richest in this category at $725,000 and yet he took coach Mike Keenan to the Stanley Cup finals in 1987 along with the rest of the Flyers. Hextall won 37 regular-season games that season as a rookie.

Last season, rookie Belfour won 43 games during the regular schedule, was beaten in the opening playoff round by Minnesota, and yet recently signed a contract that carried him past Hextall's income.

Casey beat Belfour and helped the North Stars to the finals last May. For that he recently signed a four-year, $3.8 million contract, tying him for fourth highest in this year's salary structure with $700,000.

"You have a lot of major goalies out there who aren't making major money," Casey said. "I feel goalies are underpaid compared to the rest of the players."

Added Toronto's Grant Fuhr, long considered the NHL's best goalie: "Sometimes you look at guys who are paid more than you and wonder why. Soon as you get to playoff time, people always say a team will do well if they get the goaltending. But come contract time, they never bring the playoffs up."

Even though Quebec denies offering Eric Lindros $50 million for years, the moral of this story remains the Nordiques better suck it up and realize there is no way Lindros is going to play there.

"It's vindictive," Lindros said of his ongoing struggle with the club that drafted him last June. "The only story I'm interested in reading is my rights being traded."

He isn't going to have a sudden miraculous turnaround. He isn't going to wake up one morning and cave in.

Blackhawks coach Mike Keenan denies he would include Jeremy Roenick in a package that would bring Lindros to Chicago. But it is exactly a young talent of Roenick's stature and promise that Quebec should and would consider. The Nordiques have to give on the thought of keeping Lindros, who will go back in the draft in 1993 if the parties don't have a contract before then.

Keenan has been known to change his mind, too, which is why Blackhawks fans never should think the Roenick for Lindros deal is dead. Senior vice-president Bob Pulford says he has an oral agreement with Roenick that he won't trade him for Lindros before the 1993 draft.

Keenan was asked if Pulford's promise was binding to him, as well. "I'd honor whatever agreement Mr. (Bill) Wirtz made," Keenan said.

$ Interesting evasion.

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