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Burke: It wasn't a shot at Regier

It sure sounded like an insult when Brian Burke said last month that Darcy Regier is "really unreasonable" while talking trades. The Toronto general manager said Saturday that wasn't case.

Burke has not chatted with Buffalo's GM since saying the two talk different languages about players during trade conversations. The silence shouldn't be interpreted as hard feelings.

"It wasn't a shot at him anyhow," Burke said after the board of governors meeting. "It's just like trying to make a trade with a guy that's speaking Persian and you're speaking English. We made one trade, we made the Dominic Moore trade, so we made one trade. Some guys are trading partners and some guys aren't.

"I could never get on the same page with him as far as what players are worth, which means one of two things: Either he's [messed] up or I'm [messed] up. Or maybe we're both [messed] up."

Burke used a loud profanity rather than "messed," drawing laughs and attention from nearby observers.

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The biggest name in hockey -- Sidney Crosby -- isn't part of the All-Star festivities because of concussion problems. The Pittsburgh captain still made headlines.

Just before the start of Saturday night's skills competition, word came from Toronto radio host Bob McCown that Crosby also suffered two fractured vertebrae in his neck. Crosby has missed most of the past two seasons because of multiple concussions.

"The diagnosis of Dr. Robert S. Bray, a neurological spine specialist based in Los Angeles, is that Sidney Crosby had suffered a neck injury in addition to a concussion," the Penguins said in a statement. "Dr. Bray reports that the neck injury is fully healed. Those findings will be evaluated by independent specialists over the next few days. The most important goal all along has been Sidney's return to full health, and we are encouraged that progress continues to be made."

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The All-Stars were encouraged to use Twitter during the skills challenge, and Buffalo's Luke Adam obliged with repeated postings in Scotiabank Place.

"It was pretty fun," said Adam, who used his phone to send the tweets. "That's a first, the phone on the bench, phone on the ice. That won't ever happen again, I bet."

Adam, who was hesitant to take part in the hardest shot challenge, performed well. He had blasts of 96.4 and 98.3 mph to beat Carolina rookie Justin Faulk in their heat.

"I was worried," Adam said, "but jeez 98, that's a pretty good shot in my book. I'm pleased."

Boston captain Zdeno Chara stole the show, though. He entered with a record of 105.9 mph, broke it with his first shot of 106.2, then shattered that with an astounding blast of 108.8 mph.

"It's not even fair," Adam said. "That's unhuman, really. I don't know if anyone will ever come close to that.

The team of Buffalo captain Jason Pominville won the skills challenge relay. Pominville played the anchor role, needing eight shots to break four targets. In the final event, he finished second in the breakaway elimination to Tampa's Steven Stamkos.

Patrick Kane won the breakaway challenge. The most creative goal by the Chicago forward and South Buffalo native came when he donned a Superman cap and Clark Kent glasses. When he got near the top of the crease, Kane dived to his stomach, slid the puck from his left hand to his right side and reached out his stick to drag a shot into the net.

"I copied Dwight Howard of the slam dunk competition," Kane said. "It was a cool experience and cool when you think about some ideas that can actually work."

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Don Fehr, the head of the NHL Players' Association, earned notoriety as the baseball union leader who led the 1994 strike that canceled the World Series. The since-moved Montreal Expos were leading the league, which is likely the root of a debate Saturday between Fehr and a Montreal reporter.

"You probably know that you don't have that many fans among sports fans or baseball fans," the reporter said.

"I think I know what my reputation is, and I think my reputation is pretty simple," Fehr countered. "It is that we act in our constituent's interest in terms of what they want to do, and we've been reasonably successful in doing that. If that's a bad reputation, I can live with that."

email: jvogl@buffnews.com