Michael Russo's short takes: Feb. 26

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 26, 2012 - 12:49 AM

Staying power

Stephen Weiss played his 614th game for the Panthers against the Wild on Thursday, a team record. If it had been up to Mike Keenan, he would not have made it.

In 2002, in a classic "Iron Mike" mind-game trick/power struggle illustration, "Mike sat me down on a plane from Minnesota to Chicago and told me, 'You better be our best player in Chicago, or I'm sending you back to junior,'" Weiss said. "I said, 'OK, absolutely.'

"The next day I get to the rink, and my bags are packed. Then [GM] Rick Dudley calls and says, 'Don't go anywhere.' I was like, 'Oh God, here we go.'"

Dudley rushed in from a scouting trip to intervene, and Weiss never left.

The high road

Jack Johnson has already won brownie points with his quotes about being traded to Columbus. While Jeff Carter was incommunicado for days after being dealt last June from Philadelphia, Johnson sounded like a pro after being traded for Carter from L.A.

"I'm excited to go a team that wants me and to play in a great sports city," Johnson told the Columbus Dispatch. "I want to be part of the solution there. I know they've had some bad breaks and some tough seasons, but it's going to be great when it turns around. Really, I don't think there is anything sweeter in sports than being part of a team when they get it turned around."

Blissfully ignorant

Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke stirred the pot on TSN Radio last week when he said he'd look to trade for a goalie because James Reimer and Johan Gustavsson have struggled.

"I'm sitting here and ignorance is bliss," Reimer said. "I know there are some comments floating around, but I have no idea what those comments are and I really don't care."

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