- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 5, 2003

Seen and heard last night at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, N.Y.:
MILLER OUT Kip Miller was a medical scratch after he aggravated an injury to a hand that kept him sidelined little more than a week ago. The first-line left wing was checked hard late in the third period of the Carolina game Sunday and aggravated an injury he originally suffered when he was slashed Feb.22 against Detroit. Miller missed the Montreal game two days later but had resumed playing. His current injury is thought to be short-term.
Miller is one point shy of joining three teammates with 50 or more points. Before the Sabres game, Jaromir Jagr had 69, Sergei Gonchar 54 and Robert Lang 52. Before this season, Miller's career best was 42; he now has 49 with 14 games to play.
With two players as medical scratches J.F. Fortin had back spasms the Caps have lost 80 man-games to injury this season, probably the lowest figure for Washington since the figure started being unofficially kept a dozen or so years ago.
The injury gave left wing Josh Green the opportunity to get back into the lineup, his first game since Feb.14. The healthy scratches were defenseman Rick Berry and wing Alex Henry.
BANNER TALES Some information on the 30 missing NHL banners that formerly graced MCI Center's ceiling is starting to surface. The information comes from numerous e-mails. Though most of the information was unsigned, it has been run past Caps sources who refused to be identified but confirm the basic facts.
It appears there is a fee involved to raise and lower the banners of the 30 NHL teams. The exact figure is in dispute but estimates range from $325 to $800 per Caps game. Washington Sports and Entertainment, Abe Pollin's umbrella organization that still controls MCI, would bill the Caps for the raising and lowering of the banners until the hockey team objected on principle.
Why not raise the banners once and for all and forget them? Because, a ranking Caps source said, the Washington Wizards objected to having them hang over their court, meaning they would have to come down after most Caps games.
TELLTALE SIGN A quick check in NHL press boxes these days clearly shows what event is next on the league calendar. The trading deadline is 3p.m. on Tuesday, and press boxes are full of pro scouts checking the talent, available or otherwise. There were 28 scouts in Toronto for the Maple Leafs-Panthers game on Monday night.
There were 16 scouts representing 13 teams in Buffalo. The object of their affection probably was not the Caps but the bankrupt Sabres, who might be conducting a fire sale.
Dave Fay

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