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SLAPSHOTS

WORD PLAY: The Flames acquired Robbie Niedermayer from the Panthers to provide a little offense, but in his first 11 games he has not found the back of the net.

The coaching staff isn't pushing too hard because Calgary is off to a great start. But Niedermayer's teammates have began teasing him a bit.

When Niedermayer skipped a recent practice, somebody put masking tape over his name on his locker and wrote "Nied-a-day-off."

WORD PLAY II: Chicago's Tony Amonte never misses an opportunity to take a shot at former Rangers coach Mike Keenan, whom Amonte blames for running him out of New York and bad-mouthing him to the media.

Asked to compare Kennan's style to that of Blackhawks coach Brian Sutter, Amonte let loose.

"Mike Keenan couldn't hold this guy's jock strap," Amonte said. "Keenan never coached. Keenan never coached the power play. Keenan never coached the penalty killing. He never had a system. He tried to motivate by intimidation. Brian is the most prepared coach I've ever seen."

BABY BOOM (OR BUST): St. Louis' Bill Guerin and his wife recently had their third child, a boy after two girls.

"I walk into the room and my wife gets pregnant," Guerin said. "I've got an electric collar on and she zaps me if I get too close."

_ Compiled by Damian Cristodero.

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