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SLAP SHOTS

ARE YOU CRAZY?: While last week's Edmonton-Tampa Bay game featured two traded players (Drew Bannister and Jeff Norton) playing against their former clubs, it also marked the first time Petr Klima played against the Lightning since it traded him last summer.

Before the game, Edmonton assistant Bob McCammon sidled next to Klima and said, "Petr? Why don't you grab that (tough guy) Brantt Myhres on the first shift just to make an impression."

Klima quickly said, "Yeah, sure. It'll be a lasting impression. My career will be over."

SIGNING UP FOR 500: Before last week's Colorado-Pittsburgh game, 500-goal scorerMichel Goulet sent a couple of jerseys with signatures of all the 500-goal scorers to the Pittsburgh locker room.

He asked Mario Lemieux to sign them, as well as Joe Mullen, who was stuck on goal 499.

But Mullen said he didn't want to sign it until he got one more goal. Pittsburgh's equipment man, Steve Latin, told Mullen he was nervous about leaving such valuable jerseys in the locker room all game. After a brief argument, Mullen relented.

That night, Mullen became the first American-born player to score 500 goals in the NHL, beating Patrick Roy, no less.

"Maybe signing those jerseys was the pressure I needed," Mullen said.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW, THE RULE IS BAD: This in-the-crease rule has gotten out of hand. Need proof? Referee Steve Walkom asked for a video replay last week on an empty-net goal.

Calgary's Theo Fleury skated into the crease to chase down a puck and flipped it into the open net. After several minutes of review, the goal was allowed.

"Unbelievable," Fleury said. "That's not the intent of the rule."

WAKE UP AND GO TO SLEEP: Ever wonder how teammates room together on the road? Sometimes not that well.

Edmonton's Ryan Smyth was snoring up a storm after his nose hit the goal post in Philadelphia last week and broke a blood vessel. Roomie Bryan Marchment tried everything to get Smyth to stop.

Marchment said, "I banged the phone on the table, I flicked the lights on and off. I put a pillow over his face. He sounded like Fred Flintstone trying to suck a cat through the window."

_ TOM JONES

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