Jean Pronovost is a Washington Capital today, an experienced NHL hand at right wing to help the push for playoff position in 1980-81.
If anybody acquired "for future considerations," as Pronovost was from the Atlanta-turned-Calgary Flames, could help the Caps over the top, this could be the man: 368 goals, 345 assists to a dozen campaigns (10 with Pittsburgh, two with Atlanta). Twice a 40-goal scorer, once 43, he peaked with 52 goals plus 52 assists for the 1975-76 Penguins. Last season 24 G, 19 A, and only 12 penalty minutes.
He'll be 35 in December, will Joseph Jean Denis Pronovost (brother of Marcel, hall of famer and now Detroit assistant coach), but Cap General Manager Max McNab comments, "He'll be a regular. We've been looking for a player of his caliber for some time now. He's a complete player, plays both ends of the rink, was Atlanta's leading defensive forward. We think that Jean has a lot left, at least a couple of good years."
There are healthy 35-year-olds and there are hurting 35-year-olds.
"I'm talking about the end . . . Conceivably this could be the end of my career," said Tom Seaver.
And he flew home from San Francisco to Cincinnati yesterday for examination of the right shoulder that has cranked its way through 238 victories, 2,928 strikeouts and three Cy Young awards.
That shoulder has been sore since early spring training -- "more than just an ache and it's not getting any better," said the erstwhile Tom Terrific. "The strength seems to have gone from my arm . . . There's no quick movement of the ball at the strike zone as there once was . . .
"I'm not helping myself, the people for whom I work for my teammates". . . .
Ironically, from the opposite Candlestick Park dugout came word from Willie McCovey that the Giant slugger would consider putting off his retirement, announced for July 10, until the end of the season if the team cannot adequately replace him.
"I made the right choice," McCovey said, "but I didn't know at the time (10 days ago) that Mike Ivie would retire or that (rookie Rich Murray would go into a bad slump." Going into last night's game, Eddie Murray's younger brother was in an 0-for-28 bind.
For now, though, Manager Dave Bristol is saying McCovey will start at first base Thursday against the Reds, in what might be his final home game. . . .
That prospective biggest unretiree of all, Muhammad Ali, will stage his comeback against WBC heavyweight champion Larry Holmes in Cairo, late September or early October, if we are to believe not only promoter Don King but Egypt's most prestigious newspaper, Al Ahram.
The early-autumn timing would make the bout part of national celebrations of the seventh anniversary of what Egypt considers victory over Israel in their 1973 war. Both presidents Jimmy Carter and Anwar Sadat have shown great interest in the bout, Al Ahram said.
Promoter King, in Minneapolis to promote Holmes' defense against Scott LeDoux this coming Monday night, went Al Ahram one better, saying you could count on Sadat, Carter and Menachem Begin, the Israeli prime minister, to attend the Ali-Holmes mixer in Cairo.
Begin's latest heart trouble aside, we'd better wait and see on this one; remember the scrub-out of Ali-Holmes in a 165,000-seat soccer stadium in Rio. While Al Ahram was saying in Cairo that the newspaper board chairman was signing contracts with King yesterday, King was hedging in Minnesota that "loose ends have to be taken care of," LeDoux, too . . .
Egypt also is having soccer's Cosmos over, in the latter part of October, for exhibitions -- and, that tour will be Franz Beckenbauer's NASL swan song. The all-time West German player finally has made up his mind on a long-standing offer from Hamburg S.V. and, winding up three years ($2.8 mil) in New York-New Jersey, will join that club on a two-year contract (plus a reported lifetime deal for promotional work with Adidas). . . .
In Buffalo yesterday for a physical was the Mr. Mean of NFL offensive linemen, Conrad Dobler. The Bills were having a look, and if satisfied, evidently were ready to trade all-pro guard Joe Delamiellure to New Orleans for guard Dobler and, maybe, Saint tight end Henry Childs. Delamiellure steadfastly insists on playing nevermore under Buffalo Coach Chuck Knox. . . .
The U. of Oregon will declare seven football players ineligible for next season because they received improper financial aid through a secret travel agency account, a university official has announced. First-stringers are involved, reportedly including quarterback Reggie Ogburn, as the Pac-10 eruptions continue.
Mike Lavin of De Matha, probably the high school pitcher of the year in the metro area, is among a flock of baseball signees newly announced by U. of Maryland. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound right-hander was unbeaten as a senior, with two no-hitters -- and turned down not only baseball scholarships from the likes of frequent ACC ruler Clemson but a Terrapin football grant, in favor of helping Jack Jackson start nicely on his third decade as coach.
P.S. -- Jean Pronovost unavailable for comment. He's on a Christian athletes' tour of -- would you believe -- Egypt.