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января 2000 года.
Yushkevich in starring role. Once-troubled Leaf on top of World
By TIM WHARNSBY -- Toronto Sun
Following a five-hour flight to Edmonton from Boston, Dmitry Yushkevich rubbed the sleep out of his eyes with the news he will play in his first NHL all-star game.
Yushkevich, Pavel and Valeri Bure and Peter Forsberg were among the players added to the World team roster, which will play the North American team at the Air Canada Centre on Feb. 6.
"Wow," the Maple Leafs defenceman said when contacted by The Toronto Sun yesterday.
"I wasn't really thinking about it because I have been frustrated with the way we have been playing. This is a special day."
Yushkevich has come a long way in the past 34 months. On March 20, 1997, a cloud hovered over his future with the Leafs.
After being benched in a game against the Florida Panthers and then scratched for games against the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Philadelphia Flyers, Yushkevich intentionally missed a team charter flight to Pittsburgh.
He rejoined the team after he and coach Mike Murphy, with the help of general manager Cliff Fletcher, patched up their differences. Murphy admitted he swore at Yushkevich when he benched him against Florida.
"After each of my first three years in Toronto I told my agent I thought it would be better to move to another team," Yushkevich said.
"But that was the most difficult time. I thought I didn't play against Tampa Bay because there was a rumour I was going to be traded there. But then I wasn't traded, Larry Murphy was and I still was a healthy scratch against my old team, the Flyers. It definitely was a low point."
Adding to the confusing time was the distress being experienced by Yushkevich and his wife, Oksana, who was about to give birth to triplets.
But the triplets were born healthy and Yushkevich's career has taken a turn for the better.
In hindsight, Yushkevich is happy he didn't follow through on his "trade me" threats. The Russian peaked last season in the playoffs and now the fifth-year Toronto defenceman wants to remain with the Leafs for the rest of his career.
"I thought last year was my best season," Yushkevich said. "But people noticed me in the playoffs because of the Pittsburgh series when I went up against (the Pens' Jaromir) Jagr."
Yushkevich, 28, overcame a heated contract battle this season that forced him to miss training camp and the first three games of the season. He also had to deal with his father's death.
There were some glaring omissions on the World all-star team yesterday -- for instance, goalies Tommy Salo and Olaf Kolzig were chosen over Roman Turek and Arturs Irbe -- but the NHL is trying to give each team at least one all-star representative. Nashville Predators defenceman Kimmo Timonen was named but has a broken hand and will miss the game.
Other members of the North American team will be announced today