Kukla's Korner

Very Early Odds

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Ottawa Senators 6-1 Detroit Red Wings 6-1 Carolina Hurricanes 10-1 San Jose Sharks 12-1 Philadelphia Flyers 12-1 Buffalo Sabres 12-1 Calgary Flames 12-1 New Jersey Devils 12-1 Anaheim Mighty Ducks 15-1 Dallas Stars 15-1 Colorado Avalanche 20-1 Vancouver Canucks 20-1 New York Rangers 20-1 Nashville Predators 20-1 more

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Demitra Signing May Influence Gaborik

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pioneer Press,

Pavol Demitra and Marian Gaborik skated their first shifts together as Wild teammates during an informal workout Tuesday in Slovakia, a routine Demitra hopes to maintain with his comrade for years. "We always were talking about it, one day we're going to play on the same team. Now we've got a chance," Demitra said. "He'd better sign for a long time." The Wild's newest scorer and playmaker was referring to pending contract negotiations between the team and its star winger, Gaborik, who seeks a long-term extension and is eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2007. That is the intriguing back story to the trade the Wild swung with the Los Angeles Kings to acquire Demitra for hot minor league prospect Patrick O'Sullivan and a first-round pick during Saturday's entry draft.
continued

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It’s Hard To Take

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

In a story from Bloomberg about the gimmicks the Detroit Tigers have had to use to attract fans to Comerica Park, Tiger owner Mike Ilitch was quoted-

"They (fans & media) don't know how bad you feel when they are ripping you,'' he said. "It's hard to take.''
Well Mike, you are only a year os so away from that "feeling" from Wings fans. Time to make the JLA friendly again, the arena has become stale and boring and whatever happened to the new overhead scoreboard you said would be installed at some point last season? Plus, a shakeup of the Red Wings is needed, so far it is status quo and that is NOT going to cut it.

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We Want Cuban

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Mike Chen at his Hockey Blog wonders if Mark Cuban would run on the ice to dispute a call and would like to see Cuban as the owner of the Pens. I would love it too, another owner of an NHL team that would actually respond to email would be a plus for hockey fans. By the way, I am up to 22 emails to the Wings organization without a response! image added 10:30am, from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,

Here’s the first thing that ran through our mind after we heard Mark Cuban wants a piece of the NHL’s action: For goodness sake, Gary Bettman, don’t cough up the puck on this one. Do whatever you’ve got to do, but make it happen. For Cuban, Bettman should be planning the welcome mat party to end all welcome mat parties. He should be offering up flaming piñatas modeled after NBA referees, and organizing $500-a-plate fundraisers to help Cuban pay his NBA fines. He should be working a side deal with OLN to finance and broadcast new episodes of Cuban’s short-lived reality TV series.
more

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Avs Overreacted

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

If the Avalanche dramatically uses salary cap room freed up by Alex Tanguay's trade to Calgary for defenseman Jordan Leopold and two second-round draft choices, the weekend deal will be defensible. Otherwise, it's shaky. A trade for Edmonton's disgruntled Chris Pronger or the landing of an elite unrestricted free agent after the signing period opens Saturday would justify banishing Tanguay. Not much else would. The caveat: The salary cap makes this tricky. New Avalanche general manager Francois Giguere and those around him will have to be ingenious to pull off anything but the 2005-06 status quo - minus Tanguay. But they have to at least try.
read on

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Sens Scrambling To Keep Dmen

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Ideally, the Senators would like to get Redden and Chara at the same price -- around $6 million per season. But Chara stands to make a lot more on the open market and Redden's value is going up, which means a deal with him has no chance of happening at the moment. Sources say after learning defenceman Chris Pronger wants to be dealt out of Edmonton, the Oilers' interest in Redden has increased dramatically. And they've got the money -- and cap space -- to sign him.
more

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Moving Parts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Citizen via the Star Phoenix,

Enjoy them while you have them. The NHL didn't offer this little caveat to hockey fans when a new collective bargaining agreement was reached with its players last summer, but it might have. Enjoy your favourite players on your favourite teams because the new system does not foster long-term relationships. These are more like Hollywood marriages. Breaking up is hard to do . . . but inevitable in today's NHL. ...Now, Team A drafts a player with the understanding that Team B might soon benefit from A's wise selection. Twenty-nine teams missed out on drafting Sidney Crosby. Guess what, though. All 29 could be eligible to have him as a 25 year old, if he wants to explore the market. It's safe to assume Crosby might still have a few good years left -- 10? 15? -- by then.
more

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Guerin Will Bounce Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Star-Telegram,

There was a sadness in his voice when we spoke Tuesday, because Guerin knows that by the time you read this, he may have less than 48 more hours to call himself a Dallas Star. At only 35, Guerin is a relic of another era, another economic system. ...Thus, sometime Friday you can expect the Stars to announce that they have bought out the final year of Guerin's contract. No one fought harder to hammer out a better deal for the players than Guerin, who was on the Players Association negotiating committee during the lockout that cost the league the 2004-2005 season. There's no question that Guerin's rather unique situation and the emotional impact of that year from hell led to his worst season in the NHL last year, when he scored just 13 goals and had 27 assists. "It definitely played a part. I had a lot on my mind, a lot on my plate that never seemed to go away," said Guerin, who spent much of last season trying to deny that his role in the negotiations was affecting his play. "Once you get caught behind the eight-ball, it's hard to catch up all year. "That's definitely a burden that's been lifted."
read on

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The Cost Of A RFA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Now, under Exhibit 15 of the CBA, agents for restricted players are allowed to open discussions with teams. That means players like Ottawa's Martin Havlat, Jason Spezza, Ray Emery and Peter Schaefer -- who all require compensation if they were to sign elsewhere -- are allowed to see if anybody might be willing to take a chance with a Group II offer. This new twist in the CBA is there to try and entice owners into signing players as restricted free agents. In the past, teams were forced to give up five first round draft picks, but that's not the case anymore.
more

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Top UFAs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burside of ESPN,

Here's a look at 25 of the top free agents that will be available on July 1: Zdeno Chara: The biggest, in almost every sense of the word, free-agent defenseman on the market. The Senators will try and keep both Chara and Wade Redden, but if they have to choose one, Chara will be looking for a new, expensive home. Jason Allison: The big center with the soft hands had 60 points in 66 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was, however, minus-18 and rumors persist that he's a difficult guy in the dressing room. Still, there's always room for a point-a-game pivot in the NHL and Allison will have much to prove.
more...the players listed above were listed first and last. I am not sure if Scott listed them in order, but Lidstrom is ranked #19.

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