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11-16-2003, 04:29 AM
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NYI Newsday and Daily News 11/16/03 articles:

Scouts flocked to Islanders games this past week - even Atlanta Thrashers GM Don Waddell was in attendance for Thursday's 3-1 win over Montreal at Nassau Coliseum - and the players grew antsy. Mark Parrish, especially, figured he soon would be an ex-Islander, too. He was hearing Atlanta. Chicago and Dallas also inquired. A trade seemed imminent. Pulford then stirred the pot Friday night when he told Chicago reporters he had something in the works with the Islanders.

But before leaving for the trip Friday afternoon, Stirling already had spoken with Milbury about the situation. "We can't have this hanging over the team," he said.

"You're right," Milbury replied.

Stirling hoped to soothe his players' nerves after a week of unrest. He called them together at the morning skate and gave them the good news.

"I wanted it to come to closure and I asked Mike to do that," Stirling said. "We'll get some time to show what the team can do. We have a tough road trip and this will be a good test for us."

In the meantime, it appears the need to decrease the now-$41-million payroll isn't as critical as suggested earlier in the week.

A person with knowledge of the situation said the team didn't expect to shed all of the $1.4 million owed to Wiemer this season. Because that now is Minnesota's responsibility, the source said, "That gives Mike some breathing room right now."

NY Daily News:
Trade winds send Isles off course
Talk of possible deals with the Blackhawks involving Mark Parrish and others were everywhere. The Isles responded by coming out lifeless at the start, coming apart at the seams in the middle and coming back together far too late in an ugly 4-3 loss to the Predators.

Coach Steve Stirling had initiated a meeting with GM Mike Milbury and owner Charles Wang before the Isles (8-6-2-0 overall and 1-4-2-0 on road) left Friday for this four-game road trip - to discuss how salary-dumping trade rumors were hurting the team.

HAWKEYES: Waiving Jason Wiemer ($1.6 million) wasn't the end of the Isles' payroll-pruning. Chicago-area reports suggest the Blackhawks are willing to take one or more contracts off Milbury's hands. GM Bob Pulford reportedly remains interested in Parrish ($2.35 million) and Eric Cairns ($900,000) - as well as blueliners Hamrlik ($3.6 million) and Janne Niinimaa ($2.9 million), whom Milbury would prefer to keep. Rookie forwards Tuomo Ruutu, Pavel Vorobiev and/or Igor Radulov reportedly could be available in the right deal.

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