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Campbell's Cuts: Out of touch

Reports out of Phoenix suggest the GM search is down to three candidates, but other sources in the hockey industry insist the final choice will be Chicago Wolves GM Kevin Cheveldayoff.

Should the Coyotes choose a 35-year-old GM with no experience at the NHL level, they'll do so at their own peril. This is not to suggest that Cheveldayoff will not be an excellent GM in the NHL someday, but to put someone lacking experience in a situation like that is setting him and the organization up for potential disaster.

Why not hire Cheveldayoff as an assistant GM and bring in someone with NHL experience, such as Neil Smith or Don Maloney? Maloney is reported to be one of the three finalists. John Weisbrod, most recently GM of the NBA's Orlando Magic, is also part of the final trio, but despite success at the minor league level with the Orlando Solar Bears of the now defunct International League, he also has no experience in the NHL.

Cheveldayoff, who apparently blew the Coyotes away during the interview process, undoubtedly has a great hockey pedigree. He has built several championship teams in both the IHL and the American League, but what the Coyotes need now, more than anything, is someone who has a textbook knowledge of NHL-caliber talentÂ…

In Columbus, the GM search continues at a snail's pace. The Blue Jackets have reportedly interviewed assistant GM Jim Clark, director of player personnel Don Boyd, Neil Smith and Chicago Blackhawks assistant GM Rick Dudley. There is talk, however, that Dudley could be in line to replace Dale Tallon as GM if the Hawks continue to falterÂ…

The Ottawa Senators have assumed the mantle of “Canada's team,” but you could argue the Anaheim Ducks are more Canadian than the Senators.

For starters, the Ducks have a Canadian captain in Scott Niedermayer.

Of the 20 players who dressed for Game 6 of the Western Conference final against Detroit, 13 are Canadian: Niedermayer, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Ric Jackman, Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Dustin Penner, Andy McDonald, Sean O'Donnell, Francois Beauchemin, Brad May, Chris Pronger, Rob Niedermayer and Kent Huskins.

The Senators, on the other hand, have a Swedish captain and of the 20 players who dressed for their Eastern Conference final clinching game, 12 are Canadian: Ray Emery, Chris Phillips, Wade Redden, Mike Fisher, Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza, Antoine Vermette, Chris Kelly, Chris Neil, Peter Schaefer, Dean McAmmond and Mike ComrieÂ…

An interesting bit of trivia for those of you interested in such things. If the Ottawa Senators do go on to win the Cup, they'll tie the New Jersey Devils as the lowest-finishing team ever to win the Cup.

During the lockout-shortened season of 1994-95, the Devils finished ninth in points in the league and went on to capture the CupÂ…

What is it with players refusing to touch the Prince of Wales Trophy and the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl for winning their respective conferences? Do these guys really believe that holding up the trophy and celebrating the accomplishment will hex their chances of winning the Stanley Cup.

I'm not talking about champagne and a victory lap here, but it would be nice to pick the trophy up and show it to the crowd. I would have thought Scott Niedermayer, who has won his share of championships, would have lifted it.

When it comes to this, I'll defer to Scott Stevens, who was asked why he lifted the Wales Trophy after the Devils won the Eastern Conference in 2003.

“Why wouldn't I? It's a nice trophy and a great accomplishment for us,” Stevens said…

Repeat after me: It's the Stanley Cup final, not the Stanley Cup finals. There's only one of them, folks.

Ken Campbell's Cuts appears regularly only on The Hockey News.com. Want to get the inside edge from Ken himself? You can reach him at kcampbell@thehockeynews.com.

One of THN's senior writers, Ken Campbell gives you insight and opinion on the world of hockey like no one else. Subscribe to The Hockey News to get Ken's expertise delivered to you every issue.

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