- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 1, 2001

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:
GETTING VOTES As far as fan voting for the NHL All-Star teams, it is immediately clear that Detroit Red Wing rooters are the out-and-out winners in the ballot-stuffing competition. Detroit players lead in every category but one where they are represented. Most are reasonably legitimate candidates, but it does lead to a few questions as to the legitimacy of the election process.
The Caps have no candidates for the North American team, but right wing Jaromir Jagr (Czech Republic) leads all wings for the World team, with Peter Bondra (Slovakia) seventh. Sergei Gonchar (Russia) is seventh among defensemen and injured Calle Johansson (Sweden) is 13th.
BAD TO WORSE It's bad enough that the Atlanta Thrashers (who will play host to the Caps on Thursday) have the worst record in the league, but things have reached record lows. During the past week, the third-year franchise:
mSuspended defenseman Petr Buzek indefinitely. Buzek (no points, minus-4) is seeking a new contract and when told one wouldn't be forthcoming, he said he wasn't mentally prepared to play. He now won't play until the Thrashers are mentally ready to have him back.
Sent the club's first-ever pick, center Patrik Stefan, to the minors to find his game. Stefan, one of those draftees who wore the "can't miss" label, is also pointless and minus-4 this season but has played only five games due to injury. In fact, he has spent a lot of time on injured reserve, which led to his demotion.
Dave Fay



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