- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Seen and heard last night at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.:
SAD NEWS The wife of Chris Ferraro, who is on the Washington Capitals roster but currently inactive, has been diagnosed with a very serious form of stomach cancer, according to an announcement made by the Portland (Maine) Pirates before a recent game. Chris and his twin brother, Peter, are in the Caps' system and have played for both teams this season.
Chris was recalled by the Caps Oct. 12 after his wife was diagnosed with the disease and has been undergoing treatment in Washington.
It is the second season in a row when the wife of a member of the Washington system has been diagnosed with cancer. Last season, Stefan Ustorf's wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, which is now reported to be in remission after surgery and treatment.
THEY'RE BACK For years, attending a game at Nassau Coliseum had been one of the most depressing experiences in the NHL, and the condition of the decrepit building was only part of the reason. The team was so bad that some fans insisted that by charging $6 for parking, management should refund at least half that sum if people also had to watch the team.
Last season against the Caps, the Islanders drew two crowds announced at about 8,500 even though it appeared only players' family and very close friends were in the building. One of those games was some special giveaway promotion. The arena was dirty and cold and the team slow and porous.
So it is unnatural to look down and see seats that have people in them, fans who are here to cheer the home team, not make fun of it. With the team going 7-1-1-1 through its first 10 home games, fans have come out of the woodwork to the tune of more than 14,000 per game to open the season. It reminds the occasional visitor of the days 20 years ago when Bossy and Goring and Trottier and Potvin made the rink 35 miles east of New York City the place to be.
A new team, a touch of paint and clean restrooms have brought the fans back.


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