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  • Thursday, December 9, 1999

    Burke denies Snow offered to Islanders

     VANCOUVER (CP) -- An angry Brian Burke didn't mince his words Thursday in denying there's any deal in the works that would send Vancouver Canuck goaltender Garth Snow to the NHL New York Islanders for Felix Potvin.
     
     "I have not offered Garth Snow to the New York Islanders or to any other team in recent memory or talked about him with any other team in recent memory," snapped the Canuck's general manager.
     
     The New York Daily News said Monday the Islanders and Vancouver were close to a deal last week that would have Potvin go to the Canucks in exchange for Snow and a first-round draft pick.
     
     Other reports suggest left-winger Peter Schaefer could also be bundled up in a package for Potvin.
     
     "This whole thing came out of New York and I'm incensed about it," said Burke.
     
     "I have never offered Peter Schaefer to another team in a deal. We have two players that think they are being offered in deals who have not."
     
     Potvin's $2.7-million US salary is rich for the cost-conscious Islanders owners, especially with rookie Roberto Luongo showing signs he's ready for the NHL.
     
     There's no doubt the Canucks are struggling. After a fast start they have won just twice in their last 10 games and have fallen to ninth place in the NHL's Western Conference.
     
     Vancouver takes a 11-11-7-1 record into tonight's game against the Calgary Flames at the Canadian Airlines Saddledome.
     
     Burke blames Vancouver's problems on injuries to players like Mark Messier (knee), Alexander Mogilny (back), Mattias Ohlund (eye) and Adrian Aucoin (groin).
     
     "I don't think goaltending has cost us many games this year," said Burke.
     
     Still, after missing the playoffs the last three years, Burke acknowledges he's always looking for a player that can upgrade his team's talent.
     
     "A general manager's job is to try and upgrade the team at every position," he said.
     
     "Have I had discussions with other teams about goaltending, yes. Also about defence, about forwards. I don't think when you miss the playoffs you can have a long list of untouchables."
     
     There is debate about how much of an upgrade Potvin would be over Snow.
     
     Snow, 30, who missed several weeks this year with a broken finger, has a 3-4-2 record and 2.52 goals-against average.
     
     Potvin, 28, has struggled on a bad Islanders team since his trade to New York from Toronto in January. He has a 5-12-2 record and 3.14 goals against.



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