Berube's Aggressive Style Of Play Is Appealing To Simon

Posted: June 24, 1990

Chris Simon hasn't played a game for the Flyers yet, but he has already chosen the player he wants to emulate.

Simon, the Flyers' initial second-round draft pick and the 25th selection overall in the June 16 NHL entry draft, says that he admires Craig Berube

because the three-year veteran left winger isn't afraid to mix it up along the boards.

"He's the chief," said Simon, who shares an Indian heritage with Berube. ''He's my type of player. He's very aggressive, and he knows what to do when he gets the puck."

Simon, an 18-year-old, 6-foot-3, 200-pound left winger, may one day challenge Berube for a spot on the Flyers' roster. He was considered to be a risky pick by some draft watchers because of his limited history of scoring and a skating deficiency. Central Scouting didn't even list Simon on its pre- draft list of possible early-round picks.

But Flyers chief scout Jerry Melnyk said that Simon's potential outweighed the risk, and that at worst, Simon will provide some needed muscle along the boards.

Simon, a lefthanded shooter out of Wawa, Ontario, had 36 goals, 38 assists and 146 penalty minutes in 57 games last season for Ottawa of the Ontario Hockey League. He scored a team-high 15 power-play goals and had three three- goal games.

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Jaromir Jagr, the personable Czechoslovak left winger drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins as the fifth overall pick in the entry draft, told reporters in Pittsburgh last week that he wanted to wear No. 68 when he joins the team (he hopes) in January.

Jagr, in a show of nationalistic pride, said through an interpreter that the number refers to the year 1968. That was the year of the reformist ''Prague Spring," which was crushed by a Soviet-led invasion.

Although Penguins general manager Craig Patrick has expressed uncertainty over whether Jagr will be allowed to defer his country's mandatory military serivce, Jagr said at the draft that he expected to put off his service obligations until he is at least 28. At that time, Jagr said, military service may no longer be required.

Jagr said he expected to be available to the Pens after he competes for Czechoslovakia in the 1991 World Championships in January.

David Poile, the GM of the Washington Capitals, told reporters last week that he was not actively seeking to trade four players who were accused of sexual assault in May.

Dino Ciccarelli, Geoff Courtnall, Scott Stevens and Neil Sheehy are being investigated by the U.S. Attorney's Office and a Washington, D.C., Superior Court grand jury, which are looking into the allegation that they raped a 17- year-old girl in a limousine after a team party.

All four players have denied the accusation, and no charges have been filed yet.

There had been some talk in Calgary last week that new Flames coach Doug

Risebrough had been courting a Flyers' assistant coach in the hope of luring him away from Flyers head coach Paul Holmgren.

However, both Andy Murray and Mike Eaves said that they had not talked with Riseborough about leaving the Flyers and that they were awaiting a decision by new Flyers general manager Russ Farwell about their futures.

Murray and Eaves each have one year left on their contracts, and Farwell is evaluating the coaching staff.

Eaves, who played on the same Flames team with Risebrough, is scheduled to travel to Minneapolis next month to coach Team West in the U.S. Olympic Festival. The festival will run from July 5 to 15, and hockey will be played

from July 10 to 14.

Now that Bob Johnson has left the Amateur Hockey Association of the United States, Baaron B. Pittenger has taken over as executive director.

Pittenger, the former executive director of the U.S. Olympic Committee, was instrumental in developing the recent mutual drug-testing agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union. He is scheduled to take office July 1.

Johnson, probably the former front-runner to coach the U.S. Olympic team in the 1992 Games, left AHAUS this month to become the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Johnson's new job will probably preclude him from coaching the Olympic team.

Calgary Flames right winger Sergei Makarov, the 32-year-old winner of the Calder Cup as the NHL rookie of the year, was named to the Professional Hockey Writers' Association all-rookie team.

Other players named were centers Rod Brind'Amour of St. Louis and Mike Modano of Minnesota; defensemen Brad Shaw of Hartford and Geoff Smith of Edmonton, and goalie Bob Essensa of Winnipeg.

Superstar scorer Brett Hull was advised by his father, Hall of Famer Bobby

Hull, to turn his back on St. Louis and court other teams during his recent contract negiotiations. But the younger Hull said he never considered leaving the Blues, and earlier this month, signed a three-year deal worth about $5 million. "I was not set on my signing with any other team than St. Louis," said the 25-year-old right winger. "When I first came here, I fell in love with the city." Hull, in his third full NHL season, scored the sixth-highest goal total (72) in league history to set a one-season record for right wingers. . . . The Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers earned an estimated $5.9 million in playoff revenue and $3.25 million in profits this season after winning their fifth Stanley Cup in seven years.

With goaltender Ron Hextall embroiled in a messy contract dispute with the Flyers, it's interesting to note how some other goalies around the league view players' salaries. Asked if top goalies should be paid comparably to other top players in the NHL, 1990 Vezina Trophy winner Patrick Roy of Montreal said, ''All I want to see is that the goalies get what they deserve. I've never seen anyone win a Stanley Cup without a good goalie." How's that for a diplomatic response? . . . Steve Ryan, the head of NHL marketing, on the popularity of hockey in the United States: "In terms of attendance and the increased registration of kids playing the game in the U.S., hockey is the fastest growing sport in the country."

The Flyers wil conduct a summer hockey school at the Coliseum in Voorhees

from July 23 to Aug. 3 and from Aug. 6 to Aug. 17. The cost is $395 for both weeks. For information, call 215-465-4500 . . . The Prism-sponsored Flyers' alumni softball team will play an eight-game tour from July 22 through Aug. 4. The proceeds will benefit charities in the Delaware Valley.

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