Kukla's Korner

Tough Decision For Halpern

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Washington Times,

The hockey world Jeff Halpern has known since his dad first started taking him to Washington Capitals games will change dramatically starting in September. "Playing in the area was a dream come true, obviously," he said. "And I'm going to miss not playing in front of my dad and friends. I hope the fans understand because I've loved my time here, I really have. It would be wonderful if I got the same reception in Dallas." Dallas offered a deal twice as long and significantly richer than Washington's offer. "This was a real nice story in Washington, that a local kid realized his dream of playing in the NHL for his hometown team and was kept by that team," Caps general manager George McPhee said. "No other youngster playing in this area should doubt their ability to make it in the NHL one day. Jeff kicked in the door, and now others can take advantage of that." "My dad has been very supportive of this," Halpern said. "He's known all the details from the very start. But it's going to be different; he could walk from work [to Verizon Center] to watch games. This has been a very hard decision for me to make."
more

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Rangers Still Have Money

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Star-Ledger,

With plenty of available cash at their disposal to offer to the free agents remaining on the market, Rangers assistant general manager Don Maloney said the team is sit ting pretty despite not having landed any big names since the free-agent signing period began Saturday. "There are lots of players still out there, and we have room on our payroll," Maloney said. "We're well positioned." He said the team is in contact with the agents for wingers Petr Sykora and Martin Rucinsky, and would like to re-sign both under the right conditions. "It comes down to price and fit," Maloney said. "Do we have interest? Yes." ...Asked if Ozolinsh would be ready for training camp, Maloney said "there is a question" as to whether he will be, but declined to answer more questions about the 33-year-old defenseman.
read on

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No More Spending For Flyers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philadelphia News,

Some big-name free agents might be left looking for work in the NHL today, but as far as the Flyers are concerned, they should forget about Philadelphia. The Flyers are done spending. "Right now, I would say we're $9 [million] or $10 million under the cap," Clarke said yesterday. "And we have a lot of players that we have to get signed. We know what the numbers are going to be, and it's higher than we expected. "You see what [Alex] Tanguay got and what some of these other guys are getting. It's higher than we expected. It's like there was never a lockout at all," Clarke said. "Even midlevel players are going for $4 million contracts."
read on

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Laraque- “They Didn’t Want Me Anymore”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

He (Laraque) desperately wanted assurances he wouldn't be dealt, and when it became clear that that wasn't going to be part of any new deal, he decided his days here were numbered -- and Edmonton's fan favourite became a Phoenix Coyote. He got a two-year deal that will pay him $2.4-million. It's a deal that includes a no-trade clause. "I had tears in my eyes. I've been here nine years and I know it's a business, but it was hard to take," Laraque said on Wednesday. "It really wasn't a decision. "I always wanted to be an Oiler and I wanted to stay here ... I thought I was going to be an Oiler for life. But I went to Phoenix because they didn't want me here anymore.
more

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Havlat Still Won’t Sign Long Term

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

While GM John Muckler will negotiate with Vermette, Schaefer, Neil and Kelly, sources say talks continue to try to move Havlat to a Western Conference team. It's believed the San Jose Sharks, New York Rangers, Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks are among the teams trying to work out a deal with Muckler. A furious Havlat, who is determined to test the free-agent market, told agent Allan Walsh that he will not sign more than a one-year contract with any team. That hurts Muckler's attempts to trade him. While Havlat made $2.6 million last season, Muckler must have cringed when he learned the Carolina Hurricanes gave winger Eric Cole a three-year, $12-million deal yesterday. The $4-million mark is expected to be Havlat's starting point when he goes to arbitration.
more

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Sens Sign Emery

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

The Ottawa Senators have signed goaltender Ray Emery to a one-year deal worth $925,000. The 23-year-old Emery had a record of 23-11-4 with the Senators last year with a .902 save percentage and a 2.82 goals against average.

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Wings Will Update Belfour On Status Soon

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Belfour met with Wings general manager Ken Holland at Joe Louis Arena and then saw team doctors, who examined his back. Belfour had surgery to repair a herniated disc on April 5. Holland hopes to find out the results today. "I told him we'd let him know in the next two or three days whether we're prepared to offer a contract,'' Holland said. "The question is his health and his age.''
more...plus Shanahan decision won't come any earlier than this weekend...

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Players Filing For Arbitration

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The NHLPA has listed players who have filed for arbitration. The deadline for Club Elected salary arbitration notification is July 6, 2006 at 5 p.m. ET. Hearings will be held in Toronto from July 20 to August 4, 2006. A little refresher course: SALARY ARBITRATION Who will be eligible for Salary Arbitration? As a general matter, players will be eligible for salary arbitration after four years in the League instead of three. For the first time, Clubs also will have the right to elect salary arbitration with respect to two categories of players. For players who are earning more than $1.5 million in their prior year, Clubs will have the right to elect salary arbitration in lieu of making a Qualifying Offer. Clubs also will have the right to elect salary arbitration with respect to other Group 2 players who chose not to take the Club to arbitration. QUALIFYING OFFERS How will qualifying offers work? Players earning $660,000 or less will be entitled to qualifying offers (QO) at 110% of their prior year's salary; players earning more than $660,000 and up to $1 million will be entitled to QOs at 105% of prior year's salary; players earning more than $1 million will be entitled to QO at 100% of their prior year's salary.

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Laraque A Yote

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

The Phoenix Coyotes have signed winger Georges Laraque to a multi-year deal.
No details yet... update 8:11pm, 2 year deal worth $2.4 million and NTC.

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Panthers Sign Defensive Pair

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Florida Panthers,

Florida Panthers General Manager Mike Keenan announced today that the club has agreed to terms with D Bryan Allen and D Branislav Mezei. “Both Bryan and Branislav are big and physical defensemen who we are pleased to have come to terms with,” said Keenan. “Both players will play important roles on our club this year and we are confident that they will provide us with solid play along the blueline.”

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