Clarke promises real hockey
By Jim Kernaghan, Free Press Sports Columnist
Up until the time exhibition games became "preseason" games in the sports vernacular -- about the same time used cars took on the more benign "pre-owned" -- their purpose was pretty straightforward.
It was for players to get into condition while showing team colours to the faithful. And turning a few bucks at the gate and the souvenir stand.
You might even see a star now and then. Mostly, you saw the upper echelon of players taking a few shifts while each team's hopefuls and rookies had it out.
However you want to term what the Brits call friendlies, the Philadelphia Flyers-Atlanta Thrashers game at the John Labatt Centre Sept. 17 will be deadly serious, promises Philly general manager Bob Clarke. It can hardly be anything else under the circumstances.