The 2003–04 NHL season was the 87th regular season of the National Hockey League. The Stanley Cup champions were the Tampa Bay Lightning, who won the best of seven series four games to three against the Calgary Flames. For the fourth time in eight years, the all-time record for total shutouts in a season was shattered, as 192 shutouts were recorded; the 2003–04 regular season was the first one since 1967–68 in which there was neither a 50-goal scorer, nor a 100-point scorer. This was the final season that ESPN televised NHL games, it was the final NHL season before the 2004–05 NHL lockout, the final season in which games could end in ties. The schedule of 82 games was revamped; the 30 teams played 82 games in a revamped format that increased divisional games from five to six per team, conference games from three to four, decreased inter-conference games to at least one per team, with three extra games. The alternating of jerseys was changed. For the first season since the 1969–70 season, teams would now wear their colored jerseys at home and white jerseys away.
The Phoenix Coyotes moved to a new arena in Glendale, after playing their first seven seasons at America West Arena. The 2003–04 season was one overhung by concern over the expiry of the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement, it would lead to the cancellation of the League's games for the entirety of the next season. During the entire season, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players' Association head Bob Goodenow waged a war of words with no agreement being signed. On September 26, just before the season was to begin, young Atlanta Thrashers star Dany Heatley crashed his Ferrari in suburban Atlanta; the passenger, Thrashers teammate Dan Snyder, was killed. Heatley himself was badly injured and charged with vehicular homicide. Entering the season, the two Stanley Cup favorites were the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference, who had won the Presidents' Trophy and come within a win of the Stanley Cup Finals the year before, the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference, despite losing legendary goaltender Patrick Roy to retirement, added both Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya to an star-studded lineup.
Neither of these teams, were as successful as expected, with Ottawa finishing fifth in their conference and Colorado finishing fourth, losing the Northwest Division title for the first time in a decade when the franchise was still known as the Quebec Nordiques. The greatest disappointments were the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, despite making it to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals the year prior and adding both Sergei Fedorov and Vaclav Prospal, failed to make the playoffs; the Los Angeles Kings failed to make the playoffs in large part due to a season-ending 11-game losing streak. In the East, the star-studded New York Rangers again failed to make the playoffs; the Washington Capitals, who were regarded as a contender stumbled early in the season and never recovered. The end of the season saw two of the most extensive housecleanings in League history, as the Rangers and Capitals traded away many of their stars and entered "rebuilding mode." The Capitals traded away Jaromir Jagr, Peter Bondra, Sergei Gonchar, Robert Lang and Anson Carter, while the Rangers moved Petr Nedved, Brian Leetch, Anson Carter and Alexei Kovalev to other NHL teams.
The most surprising teams were the Tampa Bay Lightning in the East and the San Jose Sharks in the West. The Lightning, who had a remarkable season with only 20 man-games lost to injury, finished atop the Eastern Conference, while the Sharks, who were in rebuilding mode after a disastrous 28–37–9–8 campaign the last season, came second in the West and won the Pacific Division. Two other teams that did better than expected were carried by surprising young goaltenders; the Calgary Flames ended a seven-year playoff drought backed by the solid play of Miikka Kiprusoff, the Boston Bruins won the Northeast Division by a whisker over the Toronto Maple Leafs with the help of eventual Calder Memorial Trophy-winning goaltender Andrew Raycroft. Goaltending was the story of the Presidents' Trophy-winning Detroit Red Wings as the return from retirement of legend Dominik Hasek bumped Curtis Joseph to the minor leagues. At the same time, long-time back up Manny Legace recorded better numbers than both veterans and won the starting job in the playoffs.
Of note is the fact that the Nashville Predators made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, though they were dispatched by a star-studded Detroit Red Wings team in the first round. The regular season ended controversially, when in March 2004, the Vancouver Canucks' Todd Bertuzzi infamously attacked and injured the Colorado Avalanche's Steve Moore, forcing the latter to retire. Detroit Red Wings won the Presidents' Trophy and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. For rankings in conference, division leaders are automatically ranked 1–3; these three, plus the next five teams in the conference standings, earn playoff berths at the end of the season. Note: CR = Conference rank. Note: CR = Conference rank. Note: CR = Conference rank. Divisions: AT – Atlantic, NE – Northeast, SE – Southeast Z – Clinched Conference.
Abd ar-Rahman Gaourang II was Mbang of Bagirmi from 1885 to 1918. He came to power at a time when the sultanate was in terminal decline, subject to both Wadai and Bornu; the Sudanese warlord Rabih az-Zubayr made him his vassal in 1893. Gaourang signed a treaty that made his sultanate a French protectorate in 1897. After the final defeat of Rabih in 1900 he ruled as a subordinate of the French in Chad until his death in 1918; the sultanate of Bagirmi was on the east bank of the Chari to the south of Lake Chad. In the 19th century Bagirmi, once a province of the Bornu Empire to the northwest, was now disputed between Bornu and the Wadai Empire to the northeast; the sultanate at this time was losing power. It paid tribute in slaves, to either Bornu or Wadai, or sometimes to both; the main source of income for the people of Bagirmi was slave raiding among the Sara people to the south. Abd ar-Rahman Gaourang was born to the Bagirmi ruling family around 1858. In 1871 Ali, the kolak of the Wadai Empire, captured the Bagirmi capital of Massenya.
The Wadai took "weavers, tailors, saddlers and princesses", including Gaourang. Gaourang was raised at the court of Wadai. In 1883 the sultan Youssouf, who had succeeded Ali, restored Gaourang to his throne, he became the 25th sultan of Baguirmi. In 1886 the Sudanese warlord Rabih az-Zubayr crossed the Chari, in 1887 started raiding southern Bagirmi for slaves. Gaourang without success. In 1891 Rabih sent messages to Gaourang asking for open trade and supplies of cloth for his soldiers. Gaourang was hostile due to the way that Rabih had treated his southern vassals, sent a defiant reply that invited war. Hostilities began at the start of 1893, Gaourang's forces were beaten in several encounters with Rabih's forces, they made a last stand at Manjaffa, the second capital of Bagirmi, besieged for five months of intense struggle. Gaourang appealed for aid to both Wadai; the Sheikh of Bornu, Hashimi bin Umar, refused to send help because Bagirmi had always resisted paying tribute and because he wanted to avoid engaging with Rabih.
Sultan Yusuf of Wadai, for whom Bagirmi was an important vassal state, who had lost much territory to Rabih, responded to the appeal. He sent a large force to help Bagirmi, destroyed by Rabih's army. Manjaffa capitulated, he would be a fugitive for several years. Rabih went on to invade Bornu, helped by leading Mahdists in Bornu and in the neighboring Sokoto Caliphate. In 1897 the French colonial officer Émile Gentil travelled via the Congo and Ubangi to the Chari, to Bagirmi, where he was told that Rabih had been responsible for the death of the explorer Paul Crampel. Gentil signed a treaty making Bagirmi a French Protectorate; the Sultan was expected to pay taxes to the French, although the treaty was not clear on how they would be raised and what the Sultan would be able to retain for himself. The treaty permitted slave raids on the left bank of the Chari. Dignitaries from Bagirmi and Kuti accompanied Gentil back to France, where Gentil was able to arrange for a military expedition to defend those territories against Rabih.
Rabih felt. He attacked the town of Goulfei, where he massacred all the population in punishment for the welcome they had given to Gentil, threatened Gaourang in his capital of Massenya. Gaourang, pressed by his supporters to abandon France and accept the sovereignty of Rabih, left Massenya and took refuge in Kouno with Pierre Prins, whom Gentil had left with Gaourang as resident. Rabih returned to his capital in Bornu, with more than 30,000 subjects of Gaourang as slaves; the French explorer Ferdinand de Béhagle met Gaourang in Kouno in July 1898. De Béhagle moved on and was received by Rabih at Dikoa on 14 March 1899. At first he was treated well. Rabih wanted to buy de Béhagle's rifles, when he refused threw him in prison; the former French naval officer Henri Bretonnet was sent to assist Gaourang. He reached Gribingui on 30 March 1899 moved on to N'Délé where he was the guest of Sultan as-Sanusi for three weeks. Senoussi warned Rabih of the approach of Bretonnet, Rabih at once began preparing his forces.
Bretonnet reached Gaourang at Kouno with a small force of 40 Senegalese at the end of June 1899. Rabih approached with an army of 8,000 men. On 14 July 1899 Bretonnet had to evacuate Kouno, at once occupied by Rabih. Bretonnet took refuge in the rocks of Togbao. Three days he and his men were killed at the Battle of Togbao by Rabih's supporters. Gaourang escaped. Ribah ordered the execution of de Béhagle on 15 October 1899; the incident made war between Rabih inevitable. Gentil now led the campaign against Rabih. On 29 October 1899 Rabih was defeated in the Battle of Kouno by forces led by Amédée-François Lamy and Gentil, was forced to flee north. Gaourang promised to join Lamy in an attack on Kousséri, which the French wanted to use as a base for operations against Rabih; the Battle of Kousséri took place on 22 April 1900, the French won decisively. Ribah was killed, his head was exhibited in the town. Lamy died, according to one version by fire from Gaourang's troops. If so, this must have been accidental.
With Rabih's defeat the French had connected their colonial possessions in West Africa to the Congo. After Rabih's death Gaourang was allowed to resume sovereignty over a part of his former sultanate, although the French had taken the delta of the Chari. In the treaty of 22 August 1900 Gaourang was invited to contribute to the expenses of occupation. Since his land had been reduced to pov
Resurgence & Ecologist is a British bi-monthly magazine covering environmental issues, engaged activism, philosophy and ethical living. It is edited by author Satish Kumar, it combines the former Resurgence, edited by Kumar, with The Ecologist, which in recent years has been published online only. Resurgence & Ecologist is published by the Resurgence Trust, an educational charity registered in England and Wales and based at Ford House, Bideford, Devon. Resurgence was founded in 1966 by John Papworth. Described as the artistic and spiritual voice of the green movement in Great Britain, contributors to Resurgence have included E. F. Schumacher, E. P. Thompson, Ivan Illich, R. D. Laing, Martin Ryle, Theodore Roszak, Fritjof Capra, Wendell Berry, Vandana Shiva, James Lovelock, Antony Gormley and the Dalai Lama. In September 2012, Resurgence merged with The Ecologist, resulting in the new, jointly named publication. Schumacher College Resurgence & Ecologist home page