Kukla's Korner

Why Blame Anyone

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Province,

Pressed on how he'd deal with hitting the club's self-imposed salary ceiling of $42.5 million US if Kesler is kept -- 21 projected roster players under contract for $42.570 million with a backup goalie and Josh Green still to sign -- Nonis was non-committal. "You always want the best team possible, but I'm not talking about it and I will talk about it at the appropriate time," he said. Nonis also wouldn't bite on who's to blame for the offer sheet. Is it Clarke who needs a third-line centre with Keith Primeau announcing that he will retire today due to post-concussion syndrome? Is it NHL commissioner Gary Bettman or the new collective bargaining agreement that is driving up the salaries of Group 2 free agents?
read on

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Foppa For Captain

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Philly News,

Hitchcock said he has not identified or asked the successor, out of respect for Primeau. But reality being what it is, this is how it's going to go: Either the new captain is going to be Peter Forsberg, or Hitchcock is going to be spending an awful lot of his time explaining to people why not. In Primeau's absence last year, the first call was to Simon Gagne, who declined. Gagne has just signed a new 5-year contract, and he would have to be on the short-list of potential replacements. He says he was worried about stepping in last year when he thought Primeau's absence would only be temporary. He also said yesterday that just wearing the "A" as an assistant captain was a big step for him. If not Gagne, then who? One name you don't hear mentioned is Derian Hatcher, who ultimately took over the job last season, presiding over the collapse.
more

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Made For Each Other

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,

Just like that Carter has a place to play and the gaping hole in the Blue Jackets’ lineup has closed. The move leaves MacLean free to bleat like a billy goat at his former first-round draft pick and boast that he wasn’t kidding when he said he was prepared to let him stay in Russia. After a puzzling summer of negotiations, it was a brilliant move on MacLean’s part, because the team might actually be better this season with Carter in the lineup than it would have been with Zherdev. There’s no way to know, of course — as a rising young star, Zherdev might have scored 50 goals and Carter’s most productive offensive season was the 33 he scored last year for Vancouver — but Carter is big and strong and a nine-year veteran whose NHL game is more polished than Zherdev’s.
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Winning Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Northwest Herald,

The Blackhawks hope the 2006-07 season will be the dawn of a new era for a franchise trying to find its place, both in the NHL and in the Chicago sports landscape. The Hawks hope they will be able to turn the corner on a rough 10 years that has seen them make the Stanley Cup playoffs once since 1997 and has seen fan interest dramatically dwindle. "Winning does not happen overnight," coach Trent Yawney said. "Coming into last year the expectations were very high, and maybe we didn't handle it as well as we could. But only 16 clubs make it [to the playoffs]."
read on

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Torrey Worried

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

“I worry about this franchise,” said Torrey, the championship general manager. “When you put 20-plus years into something and you want it to keep going, you don’t want to make matters worse by talking about it (publicly). “I worry about our legacy. What will people think of (the Islanders)? I think we’re a little bit forgotten with all that’s gone on. “It’s not a pleasant time for me. I have four sons in Long Island, I have grandchildren playing hockey in Long Island. “I’m not going to lie to you, it’s tough.”
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Gary’s Dirty Little Secret

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

By George Malik Remember John Spano? The guy that tried to buy the Islanders in 1997 for $168 million, though he had a net worth of $2 million? The NHL was truly embarrassed by parading around a pauper as a franchise's saviour. The Isles were sold to Howard Milstein Steven Gluckstern in June 1999, and the two promptly bungled a deal to build a new rink on Long Island, and had Mad Mike Milbury trade Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Berard, Ziggy Palffy, and Bryan McCabe away to clear salary space. Gary Bettman and the NHL's Board of Governors breathed a huge sigh of relief when Charles Wang and Sanjay Kumar, the owner and CEO, respectively, of Computer Associates, came forward to buy the Isles... But the honeymoon was short-lived...

Continue Reading »

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Ruutu Signs In Chicago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

With time ticking down to the start of training camp Thursday at the United Center, the Blackhawks have finalized an agreement with winger Tuomo Ruutu. The Hawks re-signed Ruutu to a two-year deal, general manager Dale Tallon told chicagoblackhawks.com Wednesday night. Ruutu, the 9th overall pick in the 2001 Entry Draft, was the lone Blackhawk restricted free agent left to be signed and has been penciled in for a spot on the club's revamped top line with new additions Martin Havlat and Michal Handzus.

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Stajan Signs With Leafs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

The Toronto Maple Leafs and forward Matt Stajan have agreed on a two-year deal worth $1.75 million. The deal will pay Stajan $800,000 this season and $950,000 in 2007-08.

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KK- Alert For This Weekend

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

KK will be moving to a different geographical server location this weekend. This move should help stabalize a few of the issues some KK readers have experienced from time to time. KK will be in "read only" mode from 9pm ET this Saturday, September 16th through sometime Sunday, September 17th. When you see an "all clear" post sometime Sunday, comments will again be allowed. This holds true for the KKF too.

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Where Did Everyone Go

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via the CBC,

Some star players are set to meet their new NHL teammates, others their new coaches. Chris Pronger, Brendan Shanahan, Zdeno Chara, Ed Jovanovski, Eric Lindros and Roberto Luongo are among the players who will report to new teams as camps open Thursday after a summer marked by trades and free agent signings. Most clubs will have physical examinations on Thursday, with the first on-ice sessions scheduled for Friday. Eight teams have new head coaches, including Alain Vigneault in Vancouver, Paul Maurice in Toronto, Guy Carbonneau in Montreal and Jim Playfair in Calgary. As well, Claude Julien takes over in New Jersey, Marc Crawford in Los Angeles and Dave Lewis in Boston. Ted Nolan also makes his long-awaited return to the NHL with the New York Islanders.
continued

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