Glen Sather, Oiler general manager, said Tuesday that with nine of the best Soviet players now in the NHL, such exhibitions have lost their appeal.
Jimmy Devellano, general manager of the Detroit Red Wings, went a step further. "It's an unnecessary nuisance," he said, adding that Joe Louis Arena is sold out for Detroit's game against Khimik next week--but only because he included the game in the Red Wings' season-ticket package.
"The last thing a team needs is an exhibition game," he said. "If it was voluntary, we wouldn't play it. Nobody knows this bloody team. And this Russian thing isn't that big a deal anymore."
"We have a special situation," Poile said. "We went to Russia for our training camp this year. We think sending two teams to the Soviet Union is great and we think this game is great."
Trivia time: USC has had four Heisman Trophy winners--Mike Garrett, O.J. Simpson, Charles White and Marcus Allen. Four Trojans were runners-up for the award. Who were they?
Diamond in the rough: Baseball has St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Joe Magrane to provide wit and erudition; the NFL has defensive end Trace Armstrong. The first-round draft choice of the Chicago Bears was profiled by the Chicago Sun-Times recently.
Armstrong's heroes: "Japanese philosopher Miamoto Musashi, who wrote 'Book of Five Rings,' and anybody who overcomes adversity--kids in hospitals, families and even whole nations."
Armstrong's recommended reading: "Any of James Clavell's novels; 'Areopagitica' by Milton; 'Last of the Mohicans' by James Fenimore Cooper."
The best thing about being a Bear: "Being able to sleep through the winter and fishing with your hands."
The worst thing about being a Bear: "Hunting season."
Spotting a dark horse: Lute Olson, Arizona basketball coach, after the Wildcats were upset by Oregon State: "They've got everything you need. They've got good balance. They've got great quickness. The team to beat is not ourselves or UCLA at this point. I think it's Oregon State."
Slick performances: Mike Scioscia, Dodger catcher, who was the host of a golf tournament Monday at Industry Hills to benefit Casa Colina Hospital's rehabilitation programs, on the quality of play during the day: "From what I saw out there, the players were to the game of golf what the Exxon Valdez was to shrimp."
Trivia answer: Simpson, 1967; Anthony Davis, 1974; Ricky Bell, 1976, and Rodney Peete, 1988.
Quotebook: Glenn Healy of the New York Islanders, on the trade that sent the Islanders' Mikko Makela to the Kings: "What was Mikko contributing? We're giving up potential, but how long can you wait around for that?"