They will be fielding the same questions forever, or at least until another U.S. Olympic team beats up on the Soviets.

The Olympic kids, Herb Brooks' 1980 gold medal-winning hockey team, have scattered and resurfaced all over the NHL three years after their Lake Placid victory.

By this time, most, if not all of them, are tired of talking about it.

"I really don't see or hear from any of the guys, except the ones you meet on other teams," said defenseman Bill Baker, a New York Ranger. Sometimes he does talk with Buffalo's Mike Ramsey, a hunting-fishing buddy, and, of course, there are his teammates, Mark Pavelich and Rob McClanahan, and Dave Silk, also in the Rangers' system.

But there is no formal network of communication with other former members of the team. Like a high school senior class that drifts apart after graduation, the Olympians are busy pursuing individual lives.

"You say hello to the guys when you see them," said Islander Ken Morrow, the only Olympian to enjoy a gold medal followed by three Stanley Cups. "But we're all over the place now, doing our jobs."

Morrow is indeed one of the lucky ones. By hooking up with the Islanders, just days after the Lake Placid triumph, he made the transition with a minimum of fuss, fitting in quickly and well with the team.

Goaltender Jim Craig, who encountered troubles trying to play for the Boston Bruins after being traded by the then-Atlanta Flames, recently signed with the Minnesota North Stars.

Steve Christoff started his professional career with Minnesota, then was sent to Calgary.

And Mike Eruzione, who chose not to attempt an NHL career at all, may have done the best of all. A television announcer on cable hockey telecasts, Eruzione seems to be everywhere at once. "You do see him all over," said Baker.

"It's fun," Eruzione said. "It's just fun."

Baker was with Montreal and Colorado (now New Jersey) before coming to the Rangers. "Herb's system here is great," he said. "Where I played before, I hated it. They'd tell you, dump it (the puck) in, and you were very confined. Here, I couldn't believe in practice that someone wouldn't yell at me for making some play."

Baker said he has noticed another change since the Olympic days. "Herb seems to have mellowed a bit, at least on the outside," he said. "You know he's just as intense inside, because you do see a couple gray hairs. But before, he used to yell in practice. We'd do drill after drill and wonder how many guys would do it before he'd flip out.

"Here, I've only seen him get mad once in practice," he said. "Maybe the atmosphere is more professional. He's a little mellower, but no less intense than during the Olympics."