Kukla's Korner

He Was Wrong

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Mirror,

Last week, I wrote a column about a hockey fan I saw on television while watching Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals between Carolina and Edmonton. I turned on the tube late in the game and watched the final minutes. During those last few minutes, I noticed a Carolina Hurricanes fan waving an American flag. This upset me, because I thought that he had an Americans vs. Canadians mentality and that the U.S. team was superior. I found this odd because most of the Carolina players either were native Canadians or from other countries, mostly European. If only I had watched the entire game. After reading my column online, a few people from the Atlantic Coast set me straight about what really was going on at that game.
continued...readers of KK also brought out the point last week...

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Blues Doing It The Right Way

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

So into that mess step Checketts and Davidson, who seem to have a basic intuition about what they need to do to salvage such a bad situation. There is only one way to win back the few fanatical hockey fans they still have (who by the way are still steaming mad after last season's debacle and would like nothing better than to have someone from the old regime's bloody carcass tossed onto center ice like a dead squid) and lure in the much larger base of casual hockey fans whose interest sways easily with the dwindling winning percentage: Just care, baby. In a flurry of activity since taking ownership, Checketts' Blues are doing something that just might work. These guys seem to be at least smart enough to know that the interim product between rebuilding and championships has to be worth looking at.
read on...Burwell goes on stating the Blues should overpay and sign Shanahan, but reports I have read state Shananhan has eliminated the Blues...

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Bruins Learning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald,

To their credit, the Bruins learned. They learned that the old Jerry Jacobs/Harry Sinden strategy of always looking for a bargain would be a ticket to failure in the “new” NHL. This time, Jacobs, Sinden and acting general manager Jeff Gorton, whose extraordinary performance the last few weeks should mean that one day, in Boston or elsewhere, he’ll have the GM title for real, waited approximately 60 seconds after the opening of free agency. However it happened, the Bruins pulled off the coup of the free agent market, a single mega-transaction that drastically changed the direction of this team.
more

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When You’re Theodore…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Rocky Mountain News,

When you're Jose Theodore, your life is a perpetually roiling raft trip through Class VI white-water rapids. You party like a rock star. You hang with international starlets. Your photograph regularly adorns the covers of gossip tabloids. You become entwined in odd, out-of-the-clear-blue-sky scandals that always seem to have some sort of bizarre twist. When you're Jose Theodore, life is, uh, let's say, eventful.
continued

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Cup Run For Flyers Decreases

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,

Judging from the expected popularity of their free-agent signings, it's probably a good thing for the Flyers that the New Jersey casinos are likely to shut down today, because their odds of winning the Stanley Cup dropped dramatically over the extended weekend. Although it's difficult to assess just how much money they set aside for free agents, it's reasonable to assume that with about $31 million committed to players on the roster and another $9 million set aside for contract negotiations with Simon Gagne, Joni Pitkanen, R.J. Umberger and Antero Niittymaki, the Flyers had about $4 million in spending money for the free-agent market.
read on

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Danger Sign(ing)s

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

Pronger's tenure here may well be remembered as a cruel tease. Danger signs are sprouting up, here and there. Lowe acknowledged in his conference call on Monday that the free-agent market in the NHL is inflated right now. Not a good sign. In the New NHL, the idea was that free agents were going to be plentiful enough that demand would not wildly outstrip supply and drive salaries up. But when Chara, who is not yet in Pronger's class, is signing for $7.5 million US with Boston, when Bryan McCabe is locked up for five years in Toronto for the ridiculous sum of $28.75 million, when Boston is paying Savard $20 million over a four-year term, there's little doubt some teams are overpaying. And, in some cases, such as Patrick Elias, with his seven-year deal with the Devils, clubs are committing to recklessly long-term contracts.
more

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Tanguay Close To Long Term Deal & Move To Center

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Sun,

Darryl Sutter is so close to signing Alex Tanguay long-term, he has already pencilled him in as Jarome Iginla's opening day centreman. Answering two of the biggest questions being asked by Flames fans these days, Sutter told the Sun his extensive talks with Tanguay yesterday included discussion on moving from left wing to the middle. "I'd like to see Alex and Jarome playing together and I don't have a problem with him playing centre," said Sutter.
continued update 10:27am, TSN is reporting he has signed a new contract, but no details yet. added 11:4pm, per TSN,
The contract pays him $5 million in the first year, and $5.375 million in the next two seasons.

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Nashville Done With UFA Market

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Nashville City Paper,

Nashville Predators general manager David Poile may rifle through some bins in hockey’s bargain basement, but he isn’t going back to Neiman-Marcus this summer. Poile quickly found what he wanted in the free agent market, signing center Jason Arnott from the Dallas Stars for $22.5 over the next five years and returning back-up goaltender Chris Mason to the roster at $2.5 million for two years. “Our team is pretty well complete for our NHL roster,” Poile said. “We are looking, but I would say we are done in the free-agent market. What we are going to do in the offseason is try to improve our depth with players for Milwaukee that will come up and help us due to need and injuries.”
more

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Olczyk Replaces J.D.

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the NY Post (reg. req.),

With John Davidson becoming the president of the St. Louis Blues, NBC Sports plans to announce today that Eddie Olczyk will be the new lead game analyst for its NHL coverage. Olczyk will work the regular season, playoffs and the Stanley Cup Finals with Mike (Doc) Emrick. Emrick and Davidson were OLN's lead game broadcasters as well, so it wouldn't be surprising if Olczyk - who worked the studio last season for OLN - also takes that job.

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It Wasn’t Chara’s Choice To Leave Ottawa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Sun,

Before leaving Ottawa yesterday, he agreed to an exclusive one-on-one interview with Sun hockey writer Bruce Garrioch. Here is an edited transcript of their discussion: SUN: Are you disappointed things didn't work out with Ottawa? CHARA: "Oh, yes, for sure. My first priority was to stay in Ottawa. I love the city. I love the fans. The fans here are so passionate about hockey. They care for the team and every game was sold out. I love the guys. I loved living here. I'm obviously very sad to leave. But I had to move on. It wasn't my choice. It wasn't my decision. I'm excited to go to Boston."
read on

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