New Jersey Devils center Pat Verbeek suffered a partially severed left thumb in a farming accident last month, the team said. Verbeek, 21, underwent 6 1/2 hours of microsurgery to reattach the top half of the thumb, which was severed while Verbeek was working on a fertilizer truck May 15 at his Sarnia, Ontario, home. He did not inform the Devils of the accident for a week and asked that the team not announce it.
Devils General Manager Max McNab said Verbeek is recovering well and is optimistic that he will be at training camp . . .
The NHL announced at its meetings in Toronto that it has allocated $500,000 for a far-reaching study concerning officiating of its games.
Also in Toronto, center Wayne Gretzky, defenseman Paul Coffey and right wing Jari Kurri of the Stanley Cup-champion Edmonton Oilers were named to the league's All-Star team.
Gretzky was a unanimous choice for the team, selected by 59 members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. It is the fifth consecutive season in which the 24-year-old Gretzky has been named to the first team.
Coffey was joined by Boston's Ray Bourque on defense. Philadelphia goalie Pelle Lindbergh and Detroit left wing John Ogrodnick were the other first-teamers.
The second team included Rod Langway of the Washington Capitals.