Kukla's Korner

Bettman Looks Forward To The New Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP,

Another thing he’s not complaining about is a collective bargaining agreement that’s now entering its fourth year.

The NHL lost an entire season before owners and players ended up agreeing on a salary cap system that is tied to league revenues. Both have steadily increased during the three years since. The cap first began at US$39 million - a number that is no longer enough for a team to reach the floor because the current cap is set at $56.7 million.

Overall, the agreement has turned out to be something that both sides can be happy with, according to Bettman.

“I think this CBA has been fair to everyone,” he said. “It has made the industry healthier and it has made the game better.

“I think we give our fans a better product and environment to the game than we did before. I don’t think it’s close. And it’s working the way we anticipated it would.”

read on, many more topics discussed…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

Selanne Signs For Two Years

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Wood at Ducks Blog,

Right wing Teemu Selanne is scheduled to be in the Ducks’ lineup for Sunday’s 5 p.m. exhibition game against the Vancouver Canucks at Honda Center after signing a two-year, $5.25 million contract earlier in the day.

Two years? Perhaps next summer, unlike the past two, we won’t have to endure persistent and ridiculous Internet rumors that Selanne is headed to play in Montreal, Dallas, Sweden, Russia, Timbuktu or wherever else….

The signing of Selanne once again pushes the Ducks above the NHL’s $56.7 million salary ceiling for this season, by about $1.225 million…

The Ducks’ current salary-cap projection includes having rookie winger Bobby Ryan on the NHL roster, which isn’t a given, but appears more likely than not. Were the Ducks to assign Ryan to their American League affiliate, the Iowa Chops, the Ducks would slide more than $500,000 beneath the cap with that move alone.

continued

added 7:03pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The pertinent numbers: Selanne will earn $3.25 million in the first year of the deal and $2 million in the second. It’s a total package of $5.25 million, with no performance bonuses, so the annual salary-cap charge is $2.625 million – reasonable by today’s standards for a player of Selanne’s caliber, who will play in the Ducks’ top six.

Presumably, the Ducks are convinced of his commitment too, because if Selanne decides not to play next year, they take a salary-cap hit anyway (a function of his being over the age of 35).

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: teemu+selanne

More Teams May Open In Europe

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

BERLIN—It looks like the NHL is going for reinforcements in its European invasion.

With four teams in Europe to kick off the 2008-09 regular season this week it’s possible that number could double next fall, the head of the National Hockey League’s Players’ Association, Paul Kelly, said Sunday.

The number of teams taking part in what is now a two-year tradition of starting the regular season in Europe will grow next fall to six teams presumably in three cities and maybe as many as eight teams, Kelly said before the Tampa Bay Lightning faced off against Berlin in an exhibition game Sunday.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Niemi Gets Start Over Khabibulin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Cris Kuc of Icing at the Chicago Tribune,

First, veteran goalie Nikolai Khabibulin will not play tonight. He had been scheduled to see his first action of the preseason. Savard’s explantation for the switch was the team wanted to get a good look at free-agent signee Antti Niemi.

With rumors of the Hawks looking to move Khabibulin since the signing of Cristobal Huet, there’s always cause for a pause when a change is made without a definitive explanation. If something is going on, it makes you wonder if it wouldn’t be better to see Khabibulin in the lineup so teams can take a look at him.

more on Chicago…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

More Preparation & Leadership Needed For Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the San Jose Sharks,

Team Teal wasn’t quite up to snuff in the first two periods, falling behind 3-0 and taking way too many penalties.  They rallied in the third with an impressive final stanza, but it was too little too late.

“The team wasn’t prepared and it’s squarely on my shoulders and on the leadership’s shoulders,” said McLellan.  “We had a little discussion between the second and the third.  We had to manufacture a moment to get them going and that was unacceptable.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Retirement Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Stephens at NHL.com,

Retirement.

NHL players certainly are not immune. Eventually, the rush of speeding up ice, the sensation of delivering a hard body check, the thrill of scoring a big goal or making an important save and the jolt of energy felt from the home crowd fades, ultimately disappearing to memory.

Most face the end of their careers either seeing that they’re unable to keep up with younger players or having someone make the decision for them. Some are lucky to call it a day on their own terms.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Erik Johnson Sets The Record Straight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Since an MRI confirmed that Johnson has torn knee ligaments in his right knee, which will force him to miss the 2008-09 season, rumors have swirled that the 20-year-old was involved in horseplay while attending a team golf outing Sept. 16 at The Club at Porto Cima in Sunrise, Mo.


Johnson maintains the incident happened when he got his right foot caught between the accelerator and the brake in a golf cart. Johnson has heard the different versions of the story and seems irritated that some are continuing with the speculation.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Rask Continues To Improve

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bud Barth of the Worchester Telegram & Gazette,

If (Tuukka) Rask continues to have strong outings, it could open some interesting options for the Bruins. One would be to trade Fernandez and his $4.3 million salary, opening up cap space to add more scoring punch now or before the trade deadline in February.

Rask carries a hefty $2.2 million cap hit because of bonus clauses in his contract, but that’s only half of Manny’s load. The B’s would have to be sure Rask’s slender body could stand the punishment of the NHL game, especially after watching him melt down with Providence during the Calder Cup playoffs last spring.

more

The question should be, would any team want Manny Fernandez and his salary?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Thrashers Have A Legitimate Top Four

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Knobler of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Friday’s acquisition of Mathieu Schneider from the Anaheim Ducks was the third step in an overhaul that appears to have transformed a team weakness into a strength. In less than four months, the team that ranked worst in the league in shots allowed and shared the bottom spot in goals allowed might have shaken its blueline blues. The trade for Schneider follows the free-agent acquisition of Ron Hainsey and the drafting of Zach Bogosian.

“We’re 100 percent better,” Waddell said when asked about his top four during a Friday teleconference. He added that he didn’t mean that as a knock on his former players. “We were playing guys in higher positions than they should have been,” Waddell said. And now? “We have a legitimate top four,” he said.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Who May Move

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector’s Hockey,

Are the Bruins in the market for a defenseman? Is Calgary’s Adrian Aucoin concerned over a possible trade? What’s the latest on Joe Sakic, Luke Richardson and Petr Nedved?

read on for the lates trade and signing talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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