Cut, cut: Scene is repeated in Providence
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The NHL's Central Scouting Bureau came out with its first rankings of the season, and it was no surprise that Sidney Crosby, the phenom forward from Rimouski, was the top-ranked junior available for the 2005 draft (June 25-26 in Ottawa, if a new CBA is reached). The top-ranked NCAA skater, according to CSB, is Boston College freshman winger Dan Bertram. UVM's Joe Fallon is the top-rated NCAA goalie . . NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has called a dinner meeting with the league's 30 general managers in New York City for Dec. 2. Note to caterer: leave all long knives out of the cutlery drawer . . . The Bruins, the FleetCenter, and Banknorth have partnered with the United Way on a volunteer initiative to run in December. The initiative will encourage Causeway Street workers, those who have lost wages because of the lockout, to volunteer up to 59 hours and receive a stipend of $10 per hour. The program, according to Jacobs, will accommodate up to 100 workers, volunteering in places such as the Boston Food Bank and Rosie's Place. "It took a lot of work to pull it all together, and we're very excited about it," said Jacobs, who added that volunteers can begin enrolling today on FleetStreet. "United Way will do the actual steering of the volunteers, and they've got a long list of worthy programs where our people can help out." . . . If you're thirsting for some hockey talk, be sure to make your way tomorrow night (6-8 p.m.) to Morton's Steakhouse on Boylston Street for a Bruins Foundation Martini Tasting (note to fellow media: arriving as early as, say, noon today will not give you preferential seating). Among those on hand: Mike O'Connell, Mike Sullivan, John Bucyk, Bob Beers, and Gord Kluzak, along with NESN host Tom Caron. Raffle prizes, appetizers, and a special gift included. Cost: $40 ($30 for season ticket-holders). All proceeds to benefit the Bruins Foundation. Had such a bash been held in the Big, Bad Bruins days, the party wouldn't end until St. Patrick's Day when someone finally yelled across the bar, "Hey, Turk, heard anything about something called a lockout?"
Kevin Paul Dupont's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org; material from personal interviews, wire services, other beat writers, and league and team sources was used in this report.