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Sat., Nov. 4, 2006
by Scott Morrison


Each week, Hockey Night in Canada's Scott Morrison takes you behind Saturday night's Satellite Hotstove discussions.

Coaching woes aplenty: There may be unrest in Calgary and Chicago, but there isn't unemployment.

At least not yet.

Despite the Flames' slow start, the word is that general manager Darryl Sutter isn't about to give up on rookie head coach Jim Playfair. Sutter has publicly criticized his players in the past week and challenged them to be better. He has also been talking trade, with scouts watching a lot of the Philadelphia Flyers of late.

But it's believed Playfair will be given a while longer to turn around the team's fortunes.

Meantime, the Blackhawks entered the weekend having lost seven straight and with seven days off between games. General manager Dale Tallon isn't going to replace coach Trent Yawney, though a couple of more losses when they get back could change that. Yawney is putting his team through a mini training camp this week. Tallon is also talking trade and scouts have spent a lot of time watching the New York Rangers.

The Hawks have been decimated by injuries, with leading scorer Martin Havlat out with a high ankle sprain, Michael Handzus out for the year and goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin out until next weekend with a broken finger.

FLYER MESS: It doesn't get any better for the struggling Flyers, who this past week failed in an attempt to convince NHL executive Colin Campbell to sign on as general manager. Twice, owner Ed Snider went after Campbell. This, of course, was news to interim general manager Paul Holmgren, who found out about the Campbell offer from a reporter.

OTHER STUFF: NHL general managers will gather in Toronto on Tuesday with a variety of topics on the agenda, including the unbalanced schedule. There are GMs, led by Vancouver's Dave Nonis, who would like to play every team in the league. But there are others who either don't want any change, or Carolina's Jimmy Rutherford, who wants all conference games, no inter-conference play. At the end of the day, they will likely create a proposal of reducing division games from eight to seven, losing a conference game and playing the rest of the teams at least once ... Despite making a bad call that cost the Edmonton Oilers the tying goal Friday night against Dallas, referee Mick McGeough will not be disciplined by the league. "No chance," said NHL officiating chief Stephen Walkom ... Sabres goaltender Martin Biron isn't grousing, but he would like to play more ... Phoenix has inquired about San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, but the price would be defenceman Ed Jovanovski.

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