- The Washington Times - Friday, March 22, 2002

Seen and heard last night at Air Canada Centre in Toronto:

WELCOME New players are normally reserved when meeting teammates. Not so Benoit Hogue. After 15 years in the league and stops with seven other teams, Hogue knows most players at least by sight, so introductions are hardly a problem.

He also knew his way around the Toronto Maple Leafs, having spent time with that organization. He greeted most of the Air Canada Centre workers by name as they passed the Capitals' dressing room yesterday before the morning skate.

Hogue, claimed off waivers Tuesday, was in the lineup.

NO DINO The rumors some of them possibly started by the subject himself that right wing Dino Ciccarelli was coming out of retirement at 42 seem unfounded. When the trading deadline passed Tuesday, rosters were frozen. That meant if the former Cap wasn't on somebody's roster by deadline time, it was wait until next season. Ciccarelli attended a Detroit mini-training camp in Orlando during the Olympic break and reportedly looked good enough to ponder a comeback.

IT'S OUR TEAM There is a cable TV channel you can subscribe to in Toronto called Leaf TV. It started during training camp last fall and is owned and operated by the people who own and run the hockey team. The channel shows games and practices live as well as anything else related to the team, looping the programming every four to six hours.

The day of the trading deadline, with the Toronto media already hot under the collar when the team stood pat, no official of the team would talk to reporters. General manager-coach Pat Quinn, however, did go on Leaf TV to present his side of the story, but there was no independent reporter to ask questions.

The media storm continues. The most popular sports radio station in town called the Leafs "cowardly" for not getting involved in the trading derby and then refusing to answer for it. Print reporters were referring to it as censorship.

Dave Fay

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