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The Hockey News

When did Martin Lapointe become Dr. Phil?

When a veteran like Lapointe is acquired, the chatter often references his ability to change the culture of the dressing room with his presence.

Certainly Lapointe is the kind of guy who commands respect; he’s a two-time Cup winner and one of the few guys in the league who seems like he could hold his own in an arm wrestling match with Rod Brind’Amour.

But last I checked, he’s still going to show up with shoulder pads and hockey sticks, not a couch and psychology degree.

I don’t know the situation in the Ottawa dressing room, but if players have completely lost confidence in the coaching or goaltending (or worse, both), what the heck can Lapointe do about it?

Solutions to those problems have to come from above.

Suitcase finds another suitor

Brandon ‘Suitcase’ Bochenski is on pace to make Mike Sillinger’s NHL career look like something TSN analyst Pierre McGuire might call ‘the personification of stability!’

Still more than a month away from his 26th birthday, Bochenski was peddled for the fourth time in his career yesterday, when Anaheim sent him to Nashville for future considerations.

Sillinger, who’s been traded a league-record nine times, didn’t get his fourth pack-your-bags call until he was the ripe old age of 27.

Bochenski should follow Sillinger’s lead and time his injuries such that they take him out of the equation come deadline day, as Sillinger’s hip ailment did this year.

Think of it as the NHL vagabond equivalent of the old ‘Philadelphia flu’ players used to get before games in The Spectrum back in the mid-70s.

No pool table for Cliff

It was pretty clear from watching Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher speak Tuesday afternoon that his deadline day was a little deader than he’d hoped for.

Fletcher sounded like a guy who had grand intentions of transforming his unfinished basement into a man palace, but in the end had to settle for building extra shelving for his wife’s walk-in closet.

Ryan Dixon is a writer and copy editor for The Hockey News magazine, the co-author of the book Hockey's Young Guns and a regular contributor to His blog appears Wednesdays and his column, Top Shelf, appears every second Friday.

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